Pope Proposes New Translation as Chance to Learn

Prays It Will Renew English-Speaking World

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is welcoming the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will be published soon, while cautioning that the liturgical changes need to be made with sensitivity.

The Pope stated this today while meeting over lunch with members of the Vox Clara Committee. The committee, formed in 2001 under the headship of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, is a panel of bishops who provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language liturgical books.

The Pontiff acknowledged that the committee members “have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from bishops’ conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world.”

He thanked them for the “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.”

The Holy Father recalled that “St. 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,” he affirmed. “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.”

“I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication,” Benedict XVI said, “so that the texts you have worked so hard to prepare may be proclaimed in the liturgy that is celebrated across the anglophone world.”

He continued: “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.”

New task

“A new task will then present itself,” the Pope affirmed, “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.”

He acknowledged that “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,” the Pontiff said, “and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped.”

He added, “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.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: http://zenit.org/article-29063?l=english

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