Here is the letter from the Prefect of the CDWDS, His Eminence Francis Card. Arinze, to the President of the US Conference, His Eminence Francis Card. George. You might say the letter is very "frank".
So, we have taken a big step in the right direction.
Here is my transcription of the text with my emphases and comments:
Prot. n. 1464/06/L
23 June 2008
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is pleased to enclose the decree by which it has granted recognitio for the territory of your Conference of Bishops for the new English-language translation of significant parts of the Ordo Missae as found in the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, including most of those texts used in the every celebration of Holy Mass. [As we will see later on, there are still some things to be done.]
The Dicastery has no little satisfaction in arriving at this juncture. [Considering how long they had to wait to get the texts from the Conference...] Nevertheless, the Congregation does not intend that these texts should be put into liturgical use immediately. [In other words: THEY CANNOT BE USED until WE say they can be used!] Instead, the granting now of the recognitio to this crucial segment of the Roman Missal will provide time for the pastoral preparation of priests, deacons and for appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful. [Notice the difference: preparation and catechesis. I wonder if that shouldn't be the other way around, in a sense.] It will likewise facilitate the divising of musical settings for the parts of the Mass, bearing in mind the criteria set forth in the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, n. 60, which requires that the musical settings of liturgical texts use only the actual approved texts and never be paraphrased. [Write new music settings, but the words better adhere to what we have sent.]
As regards the text enclosed, this Dicastery wishes to draw attention to the following points:
1. The attached text is to be considered binding. [Roma locuta est. You cannot now push for changes. It's over.] For its part, this Congregation is confident that the universal use of these texts will greatly contribute to the building up of the Faith throughout the broad and diverse English-speaking world. [This sentence is an answer to an implict objection, one raised explicitly for a long time before this recognitio came.]
2. It is to be borne in mind that use of this text is restricted by copyright. Therefore, all pertinent copyright legislation in civil law is to be observed in accordance with the statutes which this Congregation approved for the Mixed Commission known as the [ICEL] International Commission on English in the Liturgy. [Pretty hard to grasp this. I have a hard time understanding how the texts of Mass or of Sacred Scripture (Lectionary) can be copyrighted. Rather, why would they want to? I suspect it has to do with money. The production of liturgical books is a source of income for a Conference now gutted by cuts in giving by lay people - for obvious reasons. Also, the copyright can insure that the texts are reproduced properly, accurately. Once upon a time there was a license from the Holy See and, way back, an excommunication for those who made illicit changes to texts, again for obvious reasons.]
3. Although the Mixed Commission [ICEL] took the initiative of distributing, along with these Parts of the Order of Mass, an adapted text of Eucharistic Prayer IV, Higher Authority [!] has determined that as regards to either modification of the typical edition of the manner of translating it: non expedire. [What does this mean? Briefly, "no". Latin expedio means a whole raft of things, but eventually in the phrase res expedit, or impersonally expedit, constructed with the dative (e.g., alicui - literally "it helps out, furthers, promotes) it thus means "it is serviceable, profitable, advantageous, useful, expedient". Note also the word "although". You know there is a "no" on the way. So, read this as "It's not useful to adapt texts of EP IV." What isn't clear is precisely who the "Higher Authority" is here. It is either the Congregation itself or the Holy Father himself: those are the only two options. But this will be clearer in a moment.]<
4. Likewise, the Holy Father ["Likewise" and "the Holy Father", following the above "Higher Authority" means that the "Higher Authority" was Pope Benedict himself.] has decided that, in response to a recommendation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 2-23, 2005), a selection of additional formulae of dismissal for the faithful should be introduced in n. 144 of the Missale Romanum and consequently these materials are included in the attached text. [I suspect that this will include phrases commonly in use, such as "Go in the peace and love of the Lord!", and will not include "Have a nice day! See you 'round", which would be more in keeping with the older ICEL versions.]
With every prayerful good wish, I remain
Devotedly yours in Christ
+Francis Card. Arinze
+A. Malcolm Ranjith
Soon, I’ll start looking at some of these texts which were approved.