Friday, June 02, 2006

Cardinal Pell on Translations


In an interview with John Allen of NCR, Cardinal Pell of Australia reminds the Whine-Crowd (Bp Trautman, e.g.) of reality:

Where do things stand on the new Order of the Mass?

Basically pretty healthy. It's been approved in Australia, it's been approved in England.

There's a big vote coming up in June in the United States. Do you have any sense of what you think will happen?

I think it'll get through.

If so, are the big battles over?

Experience has taught me that it's always dangerous to claim that. Nevertheless, if it gets through, that represents a significant achievement. I think the approval by Australia and England of the Order of the Mass is also significant.

When do you expect the Order of Mass will be in use?

I'm not sure. I think that we'll probably proceed together. I don't think it will be approved country-by-country piecemeal, because the ambition is to have one Roman Missal for the English-speaking world, with possibly a few local variants. I think that's a very worthy ambition.
What if the American bishops vote to request significant changes? Would the Australians and the English take another look?

I'm not exactly sure. I suspect that there would be informal consultations, and very possibly if the changes weren't too radical the Congregation for Divine Worship would either rule or suggest some compromise. But we're talking hypothetically, because I don't know.

You've seen the recent letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze to Bishop William Skylstad in the United States, warning that any text departing from the principles of Liturgiam Authenticam could not be approved. What do you make of it?

It's just stating what the situation is. It's sometimes useful to be reminded of the basic verities
The Vox Clara Commission believes the new text satisfies those principles?

Yes, very much so.

A cynic might suggest the cardinal's letter was intended to influence the upcoming vote of the U.S. bishops.

I'm sure he'd write it for some good purpose!

If this text is eventually approved, are the liturgy wars over?

I'm tempted to say that it would enormously change the balance of things, but I have no doubt there would be isolated and sporadic resistance. We have a big challenge to make the English [texts] powerful modern, appropriate and strong. We don't want to just achieve doctrinal fidelity but have clumsy English. We've got the doctrinal fidelity now. The ICEL translations are coming through beautifully on that score. But I think with some of them, a few of them, the quality is quite uneven.

Including the Order of the Mass?

No, I think the Order of the Mass is OK. I'm looking at other texts that are at a much earlier stage.

HT: Amy

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