A hope for liturgical texts that are both accurate and speak to the heart


The New Zealand bishops agree that translations of liturgical texts should be 100 per cent accurate.

But they are concerned that the existing rules for translating the texts, contained in Liturgiam Authenticam,  produced texts that impose latin syntax on contemporary english.

“We believe that some modification to the principles of liturgical translation as imposed by Liturgiam Authenticam could produce liturgical translations that could speak more easily to the hearts of English-speaking congregations and produce liturgical texts that are truly beautiful, as we believe the liturgy should be,” the  New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference president Bishop Patrick Dunn told NZ Catholic.

Last month Bishop Dunn was in Washington representing the New Zealand bishops at the International Commission for English Language in the Liturgy (ICEL).

Before he departed Dunn said it would be interesting to discuss with his brother bishops the plans of Pope Francis to have the commission review Liturgiam Authenticam.

“The new commission set up by Pope Francis will review this whole matter, together with the issue of inculturation and the question of what decentralisation is desirable in matters relating to the liturgy,” he wrote on his FaceBook page.

Dunn told NZ Catholic the New Zealand bishops will be very happy to support Archbishop Arthur Roche who has been appointed the chairman of the commission.

Roche is the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.(CDW)

He was formerly the Bishop of Leeds and was chairman of ICEL for 10 years.

Roche’s appointment is considered significant because he has more experience in the liturgical field and a more open approach to liturgical questions than the CDW’s prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah.

Officials of the CDW were not informed about Pope Francis’ plans to review translations of the liturgy, according to a National Catholic Register report by Edward Pentin.

Pentin said that the Pope’s decision to carry out a review were not known to the CDW until they leaked to the press early this year.


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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