Speaking of storms on the horizon: Motu Proprio on approval of liturgical translations

My spies tell me that something is up in Rome and that, tomorrow, we may see some … sub-optimal news in the the form of a document.

Pray that this is wrong.



I’m starting to get calls about this.

So, tomorrow, I believe, we will find in L’Osservatore Romano, a Motu Proprio whereby the Legislator will change the law to give conferences of bishops the ability to confirm the translation of liturgical texts.

I’ve looked at L’OssRom for Saturday 9 September, and there is nothing in that issue.

This will lead to greater disunity between regions which speak the same language.

Since liturgical worship shapes us in a way that virtually no other force in the Church does, this could have dire impact.

Can’t happen, you say?  We have seen different conferences of bishops have issued divergent outlines to implement ambiguous parts of Amoris laetitia in regard to pastoral care for the divorced and remarried.  Imagine what this might mean in smaller conferences.

One thing that we will have to look at carefully when this document comes out is whether or not the Supreme Pontiff will continue to reserve to him the approval of translations of forms of sacraments.   Hitherto, only the Pope can approve, for example, the translations of the forms of consecration in Mass.  You might recall the massive debates surrounding the translation of pro multis for the consecration of the Precious Blood.  Benedict XVI mandated personally that the vernacular translations must accurately reflect the Latin.  Conferences defied him.   If that pontifical reservation is reversed, we might – no – will see divergent forms of consecration from country to country.

The next problem is that the translation of the rite for ordinations is going on.

What could go wrong?

One senses in this an agenda of stripping power from the Roman Curia and diffusing it to regions, a battle which liberals have been fighting as a cherished cause since Vatican II.  The result will inevitably be less unity, rather than more.

And the next step would be the devolution of oversight of doctrine to regions.

But I am getting ahead of myself.  Let’s wait for the text.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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