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Online Edition - Vol. IX, No. 9: December 2003 - January 2004

Vox Clara sees sample translations of the Roman Missal

Vatican Information Service

The Vox Clara Committee met for the fourth time from November 18-20, 2003 in the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. This Committee of senior bishops from around the English-speaking world was established on July 19, 2001, to give advice to the Congregation regarding matters of translations of Latin liturgical texts into the English language, and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences of Bishops in this regard.

The Vox Clara Committee is chaired by His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Sydney (Australia). Present at this meeting were Members Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, Mobile (USA), who serves as First Vice-Chairman; Archbishop Oswald Gracias, Agra (India), who serves as Second Vice-Chairman; His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali, Philadelphia (USA), who serves as Treasurer; His Eminence Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Kumasi (Ghana); Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Castries (Saint Lucia); and Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland). 

Other Members of the Committee, though not present at the meeting, are His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary; Archbishop Alfred Hughes, New Orleans (USA); and Bishop Rolando Tria Tirona, O.C.D., Prelate of Infanta (Philippines). In attendance were the following Advisors to the Committee: Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (England), Monsignor Gerard McKay (Rome), Professor Dennis McManus (USA), and Monsignor James P. Moroney (USA). 

In the course of their meeting the Committee sought to advise the Congregation on ways in which to expedite the completion of an English language edition of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia.  The Committee heard reports concerning the October 23, 2003 meeting in Rome of Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation, with the Presidents of English-speaking Conferences of Bishops, the recent approval of the statutes of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) by the Congregation, and ICEL's plans for the translation of the Missale Romanum.

Having examined sample ICEL translations from the Missale Romanum, the Committee expressed its gratitude for the excellent start made by the mixed commission in translating the Missale Romanum in an English style that is in conformity with the spirit and the specific provisions of the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, approved by the Holy Father on March 20, 2001.  

The Committee, likewise, made numerous recommendations to the Congregation in regard to specific strategies by which all parties might focus more closely on the completion of the Roman Missal for the English-speaking world.  These strategies involved processes for the review of translations of the Roman Missal in segments by Conferences of Bishops and the Holy See, the development of explanatory materials, the timetable for the completion of the Roman Missal, and the relationship of the Roman Missal to other ICEL projects.

The bishops present also had occasion for an exchange with the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, His Eminence Cardinal Francis Arinze, and the Secretary, Archbishop Dominic Sorrentino.

The next meeting of the Vox Clara Committee is scheduled for the spring of 2004.

Vox Clara Committee Press Release, November 21, 2003. [Church Documents]


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