Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pope Benedict Speaks to Vox Clara - The Day Is Here

We just received this from the Bishops of the United States.

Alle ore 13.15 di oggi, nella Casina Pio IV, il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI pranza con i Membri e i Consultori del Comitato "Vox Clara", Comitato di consulenza su questioni circa la celebrazione del Rito Romano in lingua inglese, annesso alla Congregazione per il Culto Divino e la Disciplina dei Sacramenti.
Pubblichiamo di seguito il discorso che il Papa rivolge ai presenti alla fine del pranzo:
Dear Cardinals,
Dear Brother Bishops and Priests,
Members and Consultors of the Vox Clara Committee,
I thank you for the work that Vox Clara has done over the last eight years, assisting and advising the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to the English translations of liturgical texts. This has been a truly collegial enterprise. Not only are all five continents represented in the membership of the Committee, but you have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from Bishops’ Conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world. I thank you for the great labour you have expended in your study of the translations and in processing the results of the many consultations that have been conducted. I thank the expert assistants for offering the fruits of their scholarship in order to render a service to the universal Church. And I thank the Superiors and Officials of the Congregation for their daily, painstaking work of overseeing the preparation and translation of texts that proclaim the truth of our redemption in Christ, the Incarnate Word of God.
Saint Augustine spoke beautifully of the relation between John the Baptist, the vox clara that resounded on the banks of the Jordan, and the Word that he spoke. A voice, he said, serves to share with the listener the message that is already in the speaker’s heart. Once the word has been spoken, it is present in the hearts of both, and so the voice, its task having been completed, can fade away (cf. Sermon 293). I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication, so that the texts you have worked so hard to prepare may be proclaimed in the liturgy that is celebrated across the anglophone world. Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany them, Christ will be made present and active in the midst of his people. The voice that helped bring these words to birth will have completed its task.
A new task will then present itself, one which falls outside the direct competence of Vox Clara, but which in one way or another will involve all of you – the task of preparing for the reception of the new translation by clergy and lay faithful. Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world.
Dear Brother Bishops, Reverend Fathers, Friends, I want you to know how much I appreciate the great collaborative endeavour to which you have contributed. Soon the fruits of your labours will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere. As the prayers of God’s people rise before him like incense (cf. Psalm 140:2), may the Lord’s blessing come down upon all who have contributed their time and expertise to crafting the texts in which those prayers are expressed. Thank you, and may you be abundantly rewarded for your generous service to God’s people.

Gotta sing, gotta pray a new translation!


FJH 3rd said...

Deo gratias!

Steve said...

Truly, a sad day for the Church. Now begins the process of replacing Faith Formation textbooks, hymnals, missals, and other parish items - at a great cost to every parish. All of this because the Pope wants a text that is more true to Latin - a dead language. This is just another way that Rome is using it's power to control people.

FJH 3rd said...

Steve, the opportunity to offer more reverent prayer to the Lord should be cause for great rejoicing! Embrace it!

Charles said...

Yeah, that's it, Steve. I'm sure that the Pope is just on a power trip and wants to "control people". The new translation couldn't possibly have anything to do with a desire to have a more accurate translation and to use a modern, idiomatic, understandable and slightly elevated English to bring out the spiritual, poetic and biblical riches of the official Latin text better than the banal paraphrase that we are currently using. Sheesh, talk about unfairly questioning people's motives. And of course, since Latin is just a "dead" language, and even though the Vatican II Council said that use of Latin was to be preserved in the Roman rite, why don't we just throw out the entire Catholic liturgical tradition since it was all developed in Latin? Why don't we toss out everything and just have a happy, clappy Kumbaya singalong every Sunday morning? Sorry for the sarcasm, but the previous poster seems representative of a mindset that simply does not treasure our Catholic liturgical tradition and riches and that has an unfair kneejerk suspicion of the Magisterium.

Dan H said...

I am a 30 year old musical director and lover of our faith. My father is a deacon and my mother is a choir director, so I've been involved in our Church all of my life. I have learned to cherish and question my faith, out of love and respect equally. But I am growing tired and weary -- tired of our Church avoiding the obvious!

While I appreciate the hard work and energy being put into this entire translation undertaking, it seems a bit out of sync with the REAL issues facing our Church today: lack of vocations, child abuse crisis, women's role in the clergy, etc. Come on folks, these are SERIOUS issues.

Again, I am not demeaning the efforts of this committee and the sentiment behind it, but again I fear the Church is ignoring the elephant in the room. Do we have the courage to speak up and actually tackle the issues that most Catholics are thinking about, or will we continue to keep our heads buried in the sand?

FJH 3rd said...

Dan H, what could be of greater importance than how we worship almighty God?!

Proper, reverent, prayerful worship will better enable the faithful to deal with the myriad issues that are always facing us.