Brief Report on USCCB meeting June 20, 2006
We are preparing a report of the June meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that took place last week in Los Angeles -- especially the liturgy items -- to appear in the July-August issue of Adoremus Bulletin.
The most important item is that the new ICEL texts for the Order of Mass -- a great improvement over what we now have -- were handily approved by more than 2/3 majority required. (Only 29 negative votes.) As we said in our earlier account (May 2006 AB - Bishops to Vote on Mass Translation these texts (including the amendments added by the US bishops conference at this meeting) will now go to the Holy See to be reviewed and further amended as necessary before approval by the Holy See is granted.
We are very pleased and relieved that the bishops’ approval occurred without extended conflict and further delays. Unquestionably, the address to the conference by Bishop Arthur Roche, of Leeds, president of ICEL, just before the ICEL text was introduced, had a salutary effect. He effectively addressed several points that had been raised earlier in criticism of the new ICEL translation, and his talk surely inspired confidence of the bishops in the “new” ICEL.
There are other texts of the Roman Missal that are now being translated (the Propers). So the process will continue, and the same issues will almost certainly surface. However, I think we can say with some confidence, now, that we have reached the end of the beginning -- Deo gratias. I am hopeful that this vote was a turning point, and I’m now convinced that the majority of our bishops support accurate and more sacred sounding translations. We are thankful for all the prayers offered for the decisions of the bishops at this meeting -- and ask for prayers to continue that the Holy Spirit will guide all these important translation efforts.
Helen Hull Hitchcock
ORAL REPORT to the USCCB June 2006 Meeting, TASK FORCE ON CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND CATHOLIC POLITICIANS -- Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, June 15, 2006
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