Thursday, December 28, 2017


Praytell is reporting that at the website of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments [CDW] is a very fine article on collaboration between the Curia and bishops’ conferences in the area of liturgical translations. It is by Fr. Giacomo Incitti, full professor of canon law at Urbaniana University and consultor of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy: Magnum Principium: For a Better Mutual Collaboration between the Roman Curia and Bishops’ Conferences.” The Vatican website has it up in both Italian and English.

My questions have to do with the difference between recognitio and confirmatio in the sense that the Vatican can still withhold confirmatio, correct? Thus this implies that the bishops submitting a translation have to revise it, no?

Thus, given that Liturgiam Authenticum is not completely abrogated, let say the bishops submit the 1998 rejected Roman Missal English Translation again, much of which is an adaption, this could still be rejected either by not giving confirmatio or recognitio, no?

Thus given the highly politicized nature of the the Mass today and its translations, something which was not present in the pre-Vatican II Church and thus contributed to the unity of the Church when the liturgy isn't politicized and to the disunity of the Church when it is, just what is going on here given the fact the Vatican can withhold both recognitio or confirmatio. What am I missing?????? Perplexed in Richmond Hill!

The main take-away on the significance of Pope Francis’s motu proprio Magnum Principium [MP] is that vernacular translations require only confirmatio from Rome now, and no longer recognitio. Adaptations, on the other hand, still require the Roman recognitio.

Before MP: Now, since MP:
Translations required from Rome: recognitio confirmatio

Adaptations require from Rome:

recognitio recognitio


Henry said...

Yawn. This may be big stuff in countries that haven't yet revised their original vernacular translations. But here in the U.S. (and in the UK?) there's no significant interest in translation issues, other than among the tiny PrayTell constituency with its zero influence. And, surely, no taste or energy in the USCCB for more translation debates or liturgy wars. Most of our bishops likely don't even think the liturgy is important enough to waste their time on it, not with pressing moral concerns like immigration and tax reform on their front burners. So we here will be stuck with the splendid 2011 English translation for at least a biblical forty years, thus beyond the lifetimes of most or all readers here.

Marc said...

The Novus Ordo folks at my work with whom I've happened to discuss church-y things are among those who would like to revert to the prior translation. I don't get the impression they have any theological attachment to the prior translation, but it is familiar to them, so they prefer it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, are they every Sunday Mass attendees or every so often like at Christmas, Easter, weddings and funerals? I find that those who come only sporadically are the ones most confused by the new and glorious English translation and continue with the older translation nothing really being ingrained with the new, like "and also with you" which I had at a recent funeral.

Marc said...

Father, these folks are Sunday Mass (and sometimes daily mass) attendees who are involved in their parishes and parochial schools during the week.

Henry said...

"here in the U.S. there's no significant interest in translation issues"

I might better have said . . . no serious interest--meaning interest on the part of significant decision makers in the U.S. Church.

Although I've not personally heard a single adverse comment on it from a pew-sitter in the 6 years of use of the splendid 2017 translation, I don't doubt that among 65+ million alleged U.S. Catholics there's a wide range of personal preferences at all levels--laity, priests, and bishops (many of them, in all three categories, not well informed about doctrine and liturgy).

John Nolan said...

I have perused Professor Incitti's essay, and very interesting it is, although it does assume that the reader is conversant with Latin.

It would appear that whoever wrote Magnum Principium, which the Holy Father signed off, returned to the basic principles of Sacrosanctum Concilium which delegated to territorial authorities (which would mean national conferences providing that their decisions were unanimous) the task of translation into vernacular languages. The term 'recognitio' is not used, rather 'probatis seu confirmatis'.

'Recognitio' applies to texts which are not translations but are proposed for liturgical use. When, in 1997, the CDW rejected ICEL's version of the Ordination Rite (with at least 117 objections) it used the term 'not approved or confirmed'. By this stage ICEL had become almost a law unto itself, and there were serious concerns on the part of the bishops, for instance Cardinal George.

ICEL 1998 did indeed generate its own texts, for example 'alternative' Collects, and an 'alternative' version of the Exsultet which makes the likes of Rita Ferrone go weak at the knees, but makes most of us want to puke. That, and a commitment to 'inclusive' language which would have us say 'May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, to the praise and glory of God's name', and its refusal to alter the translation of the Eucharistic Prayers, would have condemned it in my eyes. 20 years ago I attended a mainly vernacular Mass with sung Latin - nowadays I don't have to put up with Mass in English.

Although the bishops in E&W in 1998 were more liberal than they are now, I suspect most of them breathed a sigh of relief when ICEL 1998 was kicked into touch. And it would still require recognition, approbation and confirmation from the Holy See, which will not be forthcoming.