From a reader:
Under the provisions of Summorun Pontificum the Clergy are permitted to use the Breviarium Romanum in place of the Liturgy of the Hours, as I’m sure I don’t need to tell you. However there are those who, whilst finding the idea attractive are more than a little daunted by the idea of praying in Latin, their use of Latin being enough to get through Mass, but perhaps not the full Office. I was wondering, do you think it is possible to recite the extraordinary form in English and still fulfill canonical obligation? Would it be a case of asking their bishop?
I assume it would have to be an approved translation- I posses a copy of the 1964 breviary in English, published by Benzinger Brothers, which has Imprimatur etc.
I hope you can shed some light on this matter.
I am pretty sure that a cleric fulfills his obligation to recite the office using also a translation of the office.
I believe that at one time, long ago, it was necessary to obtain a dispensation of some sort in order to recite the office in a language other than Latin. I don’t think that pertains any longer.
You mention an approved translation. I am moved to wonder if there is an unapproved translation. I doubt it.
UPDATE 1749 GMT:
From a priest reader:
Father, my pastor is the Judicial Vicar of my diocese …, and has told me that if the faculty to pray the Office in the traditional (1962) breviary was granted, subsequent concessions (vernacular) apply.
There is a great story about this from the Council days. Cardinal Spellman was absolutely death on the vernacular at Mass, but opined that the faculty to pray the breviary in the vernacular would be good. Whereupon Cardinal Ottaviani exploded, "QUESTI AMERICANI: They want the Priest to pray in English and the people in Latin!!"
The concession to pray the Office in English is a precious, spiritually useful one. Everyone should be looking forward to the forthcoming Lat/Eng breviary of Baronius Press.