Two documents, both episcopal but both quite different, have captured my attention these last few weeks. The first was the motu proprio of Pope Francis, Magnum principium, devolving primary responsibility for the liturgical translations to bishops’ conferences. It has already been dealt with on this site here and here and here, but one thing from it lingers in the mind: that “great principle” of the title, which is really something of a great misrepresentation:
The great principle, established by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood, required the weighty task of introducing the vernacular language into the liturgy and of preparing and approving the versions of the liturgical books, a charge that was entrusted to the Bishops.
One searches in vain through the conciliar decree on the liturgy for anything that adequately justifies this bold assertion. Whoever drafted this for the pope got away with quite the deception. Continue reading “Vale Vatican II: Moving On”
On social media there are clergy and others who are worried, as I am, about the extra burden of expense new missals would bring to parishes, and many an individual, already struggling to make ends meet.
However, it would be a brave anglophone bishops’ conference that would submit a new translation of the missal now. The last one took almost ten years to produce and was attended by such angst that one wonders who in his right mind would want to renew that saga now.
If the missal is in the crosshairs, it will be for small but crucial details. Continue reading “The Motu Proprio – where it will bite”
Let’s compare the old and the newly-decreed forms of canon 838.
Can. 838 – §1 The ordering and guidance of the sacred liturgy depends solely upon the authority of the Church, namely, that of the Apostolic See and, as provided by law, that of the diocesan Bishop.
§2. It is the prerogative of the Apostolic See to regulate the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, to publish liturgical books and review their vernacular translations, and to be watchful that liturgical regulations are everywhere faithfully observed.
§3. It pertains to Episcopal Conferences to prepare vernacular translations of liturgical books, with appropriate adaptations as allowed by the books themselves and, with the prior review of the Holy See, to publish these translations.
§4. Within the limits of his competence, it belongs to the diocesan Bishop to lay down for the Church entrusted to his care, liturgical regulations which are binding on all.
The new (using Rorate Caeli’s translation): Continue reading “Motu proprio-gate: the upside”
Not unreasonably, some people in social media are at a loss as to why there is such a fuss about the change to canon law, and so liturgical law, in the pope’s just-released motu proprio, Magnum Principium. After all, it is just a change to an obscure canon, #838, that 99% of Catholics have never heard of, let alone read. Surely allowing bishops’ conferences to choose their own translations of liturgical books is sensible, and no big deal?
Well, yes and no. It should not be a big deal, all things being equal. However, in the current context of post-conciliar liturgical reform it is a potentially retrograde step that presages strife and turmoil. Continue reading “Magnum Principium: Why the Fuss?”
Herewith my hasty and rough translation of the pope’s new motu proprio, Magnum Principium. Comments to follow in due course.
The great principle, confirmed by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer, as adapted to their comprehension, should be understood by the people, required the grave duty be entrusted to the Bishops for introducing the vernacular into the liturgy, and to prepare and approve the [vernacular] versions of liturgical books. Continue reading “Motu proprio “Magnum Principium”—a translation”
It has dropped. Not in L”Osservatore Romano as expected, but on the Vatican website. As yet it is only in Latin and Italian, so it will take some time for those slow in those languages (like me) to read it properly.
Attached herewith is the Latin text and the interpretive notes from the Congregation for Divine Worship.
This may seem to be a matter of small details. But as we know, the devil is so often in the details.
UPDATE: I have added my own rough translation here.
**Click here for the motu proprio in Latin
**Click here for the official guidance notes in English
There is quite some buzz afoot about an impending liturgical change. Fr Z outed the issue last night.
It seems that the change will not be to liturgical law but to canon law. In particular, canon 838. Currently it reads: Continue reading “Farewell Canon 838, and a new great principle — updated”