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Voices Online Edition
Vol IX: Documentary Supplement
April 1994 

NCCB Debate on Liturgical Revisions What the bishops said...  

FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPTION of audio and videotapes of the U. S. bishops' debate on liturgical revisions recorded at the November 1993 meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops [NCCB] in Washington, D.C. The bishops' discussion concerning the proposed liturgical revisions, and was by far the most lengthy and intense - and surely the most important - during the four-day meeting. The entire NCCB meeting was telecast live by EWTN.  

The sessions transcribed took place on Monday, November 15, and Wednesday, November 17.   On Monday, the bishops considered procedures for approving the first segment of the revised Roman Missal (Sacramentary) presented by the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy [BCL] and prepared by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy [ICEL]; and they opened debate on the Grail Psalter, Inclusive Language Version (by the Ladies of the Grail, England). 

The debate continued on Wednesday, November 17. The bishops agreed on a nine-point procedure which will involve review of the ICEL texts by the Doctrine Committee before they are represented to the bishops by the BCL for vote.   Although the new Grail Psalter had already been granted an imprimatur by Archbishop Keeler on the advice of the Administrative Committee, and was used for prayer at this NCCB meeting, it was rejected for liturgical use by the bishops after an absentee ballot failed to secure the necessary two-thirds majority required. 

The debate on the revisions will resume at the June 1994 meeting of the NCCB, where the bishops will review ICEL's theories and principles used in re-translating and revising liturgical texts, including the doctrinal import of so-called "inclusive language". The June meeting will be closed to the press.  Such discussions will recur for several years, not only in the United States, but also in the eleven other English-speaking countries, as ICEL proceeds with its extensive revision of all liturgical texts. (ICEL's annual budget is about $700,000.)

 [Women for Faith & Family’s] transcription of the NCCB’s debate on the liturgical texts has been prepared as a service to our bishops, and to those who wish to learn more about the challenges and problems with which our bishops are confronted in the matter of liturgical translations. As concern and confusion about new translations and revisions continues to intensify, readers will be encouraged by the often eloquent and edifying defenses of Catholic liturgical tradition recorded here. 

Minimal editorial notes (in brackets) provide clarification and identify the bishops, listing the principal Conference committees on which they serve, if any. These identifications were current in November, but do not reflect all changes since then (e-g. Bishop Wilton Gregory was succeeded as Chairman of the BCL by Bishop Donald Trautman, and Archbishop John Quinn was elected chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Doctrine). Inaudible words are indicated by ellipses or brackets. Otherwise, the text is unedited, and appears just as spoken by the bishops. 

Monday morning, November 15,1993 

Revision of Sacramentary, Procedures for Approval 

Bishop Wilton Gregory [then Aux,. Chicago; Chairman, Bishops' Committee on Liturgy, member Administrative Committee; now bishop of Belleville, IL]: Archbishop Keeler, my brother bishops, the Liturgy Committee wishes to present four Action Items for the approval of the membership of the NCCB. They deal with: 

One: Segment One, Ordinary Time of the Proposed Revision of the Sacramentary. 

Two: The Procedure for Approving the Revised Roman Missal at Future Meetings. 

Three: The Grail Psalter, Inclusive Language Version, and 

Four: the Spanish Translation of the Order of Christian Funerals.

Action Item #1 is concerned with the first segment of text of the Sacramentary. We will, however, treat it after the procedures which is listed as Action Item #2. But before I begin my summary of that Action Item, namely Action Item #I, I wish to deal with some questions and misunderstandings about the preparation and translation of liturgical texts. 

First of all, I would like to point out that all liturgical texts in English must be approved by the conference of bishops and confirmed by Rome before they can be used in the celebration of the liturgy. 

For the most part, liturgical texts in English are prepared by the International Committee [sic] on English in the Liturgy, which is commonly referred to as ICEL, for the English-speaking conferences of bishops. ICEL is an international body established at the request of the Apostolic See by the English-speaking conferences of bishops. It is governed by a board of bishops composed of one bishop from each of the eleven member conferences of bishops.  

ICEL has the responsibility of translating the official Latin text of the reformed liturgical books into English and it also prepares additional liturgical texts that its member conferences might desire. ICEL usually prepares an interim or provisional translation for comment by the episcopal conferences and the conferences may request Rome for the approval and subsequent use of these provisional texts. 

Usually after several years a final translation is prepared based on the comments that have been received on the provisional translation. Each conference of bishops is free to approve or reject any ICEL translation, but before any English text can be used in the liturgy, it must first be confirmed by the Apostolic See. 

But all ICEL translations presently in use have been authorized by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments in Rome after they were approved by our own episcopal conference. 

A few liturgical texts have not been prepared by ICEL but by the English Language Liturgical Consultation, an ecumenical body representing the Catholic Church and the various English-speaking Christian churches throughout the world. The Apostolic See had encouraged such cooperative ecumenical effort, as is noted in the recently published ecumenical directory from Rome. These texts are the ecumenical versions of the Gloria, Creed, Sanctus and Lord's Prayer. 

Each conference of bishops is free to use these texts or not. In the United States we have used these ecumenical texts, with the exception of the Lord's Prayer, since the late 1960's. In recent years some suggested revisions have been made in these prayers and the bishops will consider whether to adopt the revised version of these ecumenical texts for use in the new translation of the Sacramentary in November of next year. 

In addition to the Sacramentary a second book is needed for the celebration of Mass, the Lectionary for Mass which contains the scripture readings. The revision of the American edition of the Lectionary for Mass has not been an ICEL project, but rather has been a project of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops themselves. Our second edition of the Lectionary is based on the Latin second edition and uses the Revised New Testament and Psalms of the New American Bible. 

The Lectionary has already been approved by the NCCB and now awaits the confirmation of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. A second version of the Lectionary for Mass will also be published. It will use the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, the Catholic edition, which has been approved for liturgical use by our conference and confirmed by the Congregation for Divine Worship. 

In addition, the NCCB has approved a special Lectionary for Masses with Children which has been authorized for use by the Apostolic See. This special Lectionary for Masses with Children is the only one such approved for use in the United States.

[Note: All these revised texts are "inclusive language" translations. -ed.]

 I would also like to note that bishops, of course, are sensitive to the legitimate expressions of concern by the faithful in matters liturgical. However, we must evaluate these concerns in the light of the Church's official teaching and our requirements of the liturgy as reformed by the Second Vatican Council and mandated by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. 

In our Action Item #1 today, the members of the NCCB are asked to approve the first portion of the revised English text of the Roman Missal-or Sacramentary, as it is called in the United States and Canada. Rome has already issued two editions of the Latin Missal and intends to prepare a third Latin edition sometime in future. 

We have used our English texts for over twenty years and, like other language groups, for example the French, German and Italian speaking conferences of bishops, whose revised Sacramentaries have already been approved and issued or are under preparation, we are now revising our translation of the Mass prayers in the light of our experience of celebrating the liturgy in English. These new translations are both faithful to the meaning of the Latin and reflect a higher and more worthy English style.

Since 1978, all ICEL translations have used gender-inclusive language in reference to persons. Every liturgical book approved by the NCCB and confirmed by the Apostolic See has employed gender-inclusive language since that time: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the Dedication of a Church, Pastoral Care of the Sick, the Order of Christian Funerals, and the collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Our own conference of bishops has used inclusive language regarding persons in its official documents for many years.

Three years ago the NCCB approved guidelines [Criteria] for the Evaluation of Inclusive Language Translation of Scriptural Texts [Proposed] for Liturgical Use. These guidelines were prepared to insure that all scriptural translation destined for liturgical use are doctrinally sound. It should be noted that language regarding God has not been changed in the Sacramentary text or in the Lectionaries for Mass. 

This rather long preface to our Action Items is to remind all of the lengthy process leading to the revised translation and this process has already involved the bishops through preliminary consultation and study books. The proposed ICEL revision of the Missal is not a new liturgy. Rather, it is a new and improved translation of the one that we already have, supplemented at times by alternate texts; for example, the new optional opening prayers that correspond to the three year cycle of the Lectionary. 

Action #1: The first Action Item of the Liturgy Committee is on pages 1 through 6 of your yellow Supplementary Document #1, Action #l. 

You will also need to refer to the green book entitled The Proposed Revision of the Sacramentary, Segment One, Ordinary Time, which was sent to each bishop in September. It contains the actual text of the proposed ICEL liturgical texts along with the Latin text of the same prayer. For this action, we have been following an interim procedure for approving the Revised Roman Missal which was authorized by the Administrative Committee in September of this year. 

This procedure was formulated in order to respond to the concerns raised by His Eminence, Cardinal Mahony and others, to allow the bishops to receive the ICEL texts in segments and vote on them over a longer period of time. ICEL has been very cooperative in responding to our request and I wish to thank both Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, as Chairman of the ICEL Episcopal Board, and Dr. John Page, the Executive Secretary of ICEL, for their cooperation and assistance. 

In accordance with the instructions, Comme le prévoit [Note: 1969 document, also known as Instructions on the Translation of Liturgical Texts, which says translations need not "slavishly" adhere to the literal text. - ed.], each text may only be approved or not approved by the conference of bishops. Those texts not receiving two-thirds canonical approval will be returned to ICEL with a request for changes in the text or the substitution of other texts. ICEL will consult with the other episcopal conferences, and either modify the individual text, substitute another text, or reject the request of the NCCB. 

If the other conferences do not wish to join the NCCB in approving a modified text, the liturgy committee may again request the NCCB to approve the original text. If the original text again fails to receive the canonical 213 approval, or if the Liturgy Committee does not wish to resubmit the text to the NCCB, the Liturgy Committee will present its own text to the NCCB for approval. 

The Committee has reviewed all the comments received as of last night from individual bishops who have registered an objection to a particular text and have submitted motions requesting further consideration. It will review any further motions that must be submitted no later than noon today.  

Bishops who submit motions for further consideration by ICEL that are not accepted by the Liturgy Committee may ask that these motions be considered individually by the members of the NCCB. Approval of a text requires the canonical 213 affirmative votes of all the Latin rite de jure bishop members of the NCCB. A motion requesting further consideration requires only a simple majority of the Latin rite de jure members of the NCCB. The approved text will require the subsequent confirmation by the Apostolic See. 

The members of the NCCB are now asked to approve the following motion: Do the members of the NCCB approve segment #1 Ordinary Time of the Roman Missal as requested by the NCCB Committee on the Liturgy? 

Archbishop Keeler, I would be happy to entertain any questions for clarification on this motion. 

Archbishop Keeler: [Baltimore; President, NCCB.] Questions for clarification now. Bishop Bosco. 

Bishop Anthony Bosco [Greensburg; member, Committees on Women in Society and in the Church, Pastoral Practices and Administrative Committee; recently appointed a member of the BCL]: Bishop Gregory, each year I look forward to seeing which of our agenda items is going to generate the most mail and thus enrich the U.S. Postal Service. The winner by far this year was inclusive language, obviously generated, since most of the letters said the same thing, but included also- and I'm sure I'm not the only bishop that received this - was a critique of the English translation of Comme le prévoit. That about exhausts my French right there. [laughter] And since I don't know what the provenance of that was there is some question as to whether there was some malice in it, some manipulation, that it was a poor translation of the French and consequently misled those of us who are not fluent in French. 

Would you have anything to say about the origin of our English translation and whether it deserves the disdain that it has provoked? 

Bishop Gregory: Bishop Bosco, I am aware of the questions regarding the translation. May it suffice to say that the translation was 'indeed prepared by ICEL but it was submitted as a draft translation to the Concilium which did not accept uncritically the draft that it received and made corrections in that draft and issued it in its own name. 

But the concern that some have regarding the translation might properly be addressed to the Concilium rather than to ICEL since the Concilium made adjustments - perhaps some would consider not enough adjustments - but the Concilium did issue the text as we have it in English as a legitimate translation.  

Much beyond that, Bishop, I cannot say, but I think part of the difficulty was that some people were saying that the Concilium really had nothing to do with this translation, that it simply received it and in an uncritical manner issued it, and there are documents which would argue against that. Whether they would convince those parties who have trouble with the translation, of its accuracy or validity, it is de facto a document from the Holy See. 

[Note: Concilium was an agency created to implement the Vatican II constitution on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum concilium, and was eventually absorbed into the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments. Members of ICEL who were also Concilium members provided the English translation of Comme le prévoit. - ed.] 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Before I recognize the next speaker, I've received a bulletin amending the amended deadline for amendments. It will now be not twelve noon but 12:30 [laughter] for those who are rushing in with amendments to liturgical documents. Bishop Weigand, a question for clarification. 

Bishop William Weigand [Salt Lake City, member Adm. Committee. Now Bishop of Sacramento.]: Bishop Gregory, I don't relish the prospect of comment and debate on every one of these prayers when we later get to that point, but could you help those of us who are not at all experts on translation to understand the philosophy behind it? Are these generally literal translations or a more fluid kind of translation and, depending on that - at least if you think there's going to be outlandish discussion later - wouldn't it be better to get a sense of the body about those two ways of translating? 

Bishop Gregory: Bishop Weigand, I would like to separate in the first segment two types of prayers. 

The first type are the prayers that are translated from the Latin. The guiding principles that ICEL has followed are those that are enunciated in your green book and are in conformity with Comme le prévoit and other documents from the Holy See regarding the translation of Latin. I guess the operative word is "literal," since a number of bishops and individuals believe that literal means an absolute word-by-word even word order conformity with the Latin. 

The principles that Comme le prévoit outlined is that that type of literal translation is not required, that what is more important is that the truth of the prayer in Latin be rendered in a suitable, knowable way in the modem language.  

It also means that in those translations from the Latin it might be possible to amplify and enrich them, so for those who are looking for an absolute literal translation, the difficulty, perhaps, is not so much with this text as with some of the guiding principles in Comme le prévoit. 

The second type of prayers are the newly composed prayers that are original English composition and those prayers are written to reflect- or at least allude to - the scripture readings of the Sundays on which they are assigned and thus they sometimes make reference to the Gospel or one of the readings in an oblique fashion. They are new compositions; they are not translations from Latin. So you really have to look at it from those two different vantage points. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Cardinal Mahony and then Archbishop Levada with questions for clarification. 

Cardinal Roger Mahony [Los Angeles, Executive and Administrative Committee member, Chmn. Pro-life Committee; appointed a member of BCL, 1994.1: Bishop Gregory, there is a bit of an unsettling rumor moving around the halls in these days about this and I think it is very important to have some clarification. It has to do, I believe, with your meeting yesterday in the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy in which the amendments and the suggestions of the bishops were to be reviewed. 

The rumor has it that in fact Archbishop Pilarczyk and members of ICEL- two or three were there - and, in fact, had a primary role in reviewing the bishops' comments, which it would seem to me would be more appropriately done by our committee. Now ICEL has submitted the material to us and we submit our comments to our own committee and it seems to me that that is the appropriate way to go. I hope the rumor is not true. 

Bishop Gregory: Well, Your Eminence, it is true that ICEL, representatives of ICEL, were present and it is true that our BCL staff people in receiving the recommendations asked for assistance in either a question of why was this translated this way or why was this word not translated or why was this word used over this word, what rationale can you provide? 

It is not true that the members of ICEL voted or in any way directed how the BCL would either accept, reject, modify or explain its actions in reference to a bishop's opinion. They were there as periti [experts] since the work that was being criticized had come from them and some of the questions that had come from the bishops really asked ICEL why it was done this way rather than another way. So the presence of the ICEL representation is the truth, but that they were somehow making judgments on the bishops' observations or determining which bishops' observations would be accepted, which would be rejected is completely false. 

[Note: Rev. Ronald Krisman, executive director of BCL 1991-93, is a member of ICEL's Administrative Committee; Rev. Alan Detscher, assoc. dir. of BCL, is on ICEL's Subcommittee on Presentation of Texts. Msgr. Frederick McManus, former exec. dir. and current consultant to BCL, is a founding member of both ICEL and Concilium, the commission which issued Comme le prévoit, the letter advocating openness and freedom in translation published in 1969 in Notitiae, the official newsletter of the Congregation for Divine Worship. According to the BCL Newsletter, February 1994, two newly appointed advisors to the BCL are ICEL members, Sr. Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ and Rev. Jeremy Driscoll, OSB.-ed.] 

Archbishop Keeler: Archbishop Levada to be followed by Cardinal O'Connor. 

Archbishop William Levada [Portland, Oregon, Doctrine Committee member]: Thank you, Archbishop. My question is perhaps an appropriate follow-up to Cardinal Mahony's question. 

Bishop, I understand the magnitude of the task before your committee and I would like to ask at this time if my understanding of this opportunity that has been provided the conference, I think as a result of the motion that Cardinal Mahony made a year or so ago and that we voted last June, is a correct understanding. It is my understanding that through that motion the Conference sought to involve, to give us an opportunity to participate at an earlier stage in a helpful way in the work that ICEL produces, ultimately for our vote up or down in the revision of the new Sacramentary. 

I don't - and I can understand why - I don't see on our table as I have for the other Action Items presented this morning, a list of the committee's acceptance or rejection of items which have already been submitted by the bishops. But if I understand the process, at least from my perspective, it seems to me that what we are asked to present at this point, and what we will be asked to judge and vote on during our session here, would be material that we would ask to be given to ICEL for further consideration.

Therefore, it seems to me that what I would hope from our Conference's committee would be a process which would facilitate the transmission of those thoughtful recommendations to ICEL for their further consideration - and not a process that would want to exclude them or hasten, at this point, the ICEL process by seeking to reject a number of these suggestions. 

I certainly grant the committee's right to take anything that is spurious or ugly or contentious or whatever else and say, well, we recommend against it. But what I'm suggesting is that my understanding of this process is that our committee would want to assist and facilitate the involvement of the bishops in presenting material which they would like ICEL to give further consideration to as an additional aid to come up with a more refined and a better translation. Am I more or less on track with my sense? 

Bishop Gregory: Well, I do know that relative to what we receive this afternoon, before 12:30, that you will receive a document which represents all of the bishops' observations and corrections and points of clarification. 

They will be divided into two packets: one, those that we s received that we did not feel that the committee wished to remand to ICEL; and those that we received that we believed that the committee had recommended should be remanded to ICEL. According to the procedures, we must vote on each one of those that we send for remanding, and it is the right of any bishop member to pull any of those that we had not suggested to be remanded for individual vote, so that will be provided you. ... I believe that the more practical reason that you don't have it now is that the document already is at 120 pages and it would mean duplicating such a document for a full body of bishops of 300, but you will get it. What we didn't want to do is reduplicate it now and then an additional one, so we want a full packet. 

Archbishop Levada: I understand that. Perhaps I did not make my point as directly as I might want to, and you illustrate that by the 120 pages you mentioned which may even expand.

It would be my hope that the committee would accept the recommendations of bishops to ask for further consideration by ICEL of their amendments regarding these prayers, unless it is clear that those recommendations are contrary to some established principle or contrary to good translation. 

In other words, I would hope that we would see a large bloc of those suggestions being accepted favorably by the committee and that the committee would help our discussion later by isolating those which really have some difficulty with them. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Cardinal O'Connor, a question for clarification to be followed by Archbishop Schulte. 

Cardinal John O'Connor [New York, Pro-life Committee member]: Bishop Gregory, I thought your explanation was very clear; I appreciated it very much.  

It seemed to me, however, that both your explanation and the intervention by Bishop Bosco seemed to articulate the issues primarily in terms of "inclusive" or "exclusive" language, so that an impression could be created that if one voted against this version, it would be because of dissatisfaction one way or the other relative to language. 

The majority of the proposals that I offered addressed doctrinal issues, correctly or incorrectly, but I would think that I would not want personally for the vote to be taken within that climate or context, that this is a vote on "inclusive" or "exclusive" language. That's a no-win vote. 

Bishop Gregory: Your Eminence, if I can respond briefly to your point. Of the 400 and approximately 40 recommendations, suggestions that we received, not one dealt with the question regarding "inclusive" language. 

They all were questions regarding the literalness of the translation from the Latin - for those texts that were translations -or a particular point of theological clarification or concern. That's why in my opening comments I highlighted that vis a vis the question of "inclusive" language, all of the texts that we have already approved and been confirmed by the Holy See were produced by ICEL using the same principles that it is currently operating under now in reference to "gender-inclusive" language. That has not been a point of concern in the texts that we have been reviewing. 

Archbishop Keeler: Archbishop Schulte, to be followed by Bishop Chaput. 

Archbishop Francis Schulte [New Orleans, Liturgy Committee member; replaced in 19941: Bishop Gregory, because of the doctrinal implications that you just referred to, and that Cardinal O'Connor referred to, there had been some suggestion - I don't know if that is the word - that perhaps a joint review of the material by the Committee on Doctrine as well as the Committee on Liturgy would be helpful. You and I had a private conversation about that, because I did bring that concern to you and I think it might be helpful for the body to know that indeed the Administrative Board considered doing that and decided against it? 

Bishop Gregory: Let me share a conversation I had not only with you, Archbishop, but with several other bishops. When I met with the Administrative Committee on Saturday, I had two questions - I may have had more - but two specific questions in reference to this project, that I wanted the wisdom of the Administrative Board. 

One: In September I wrote to Bishop Al Hughes, the Chairman on the Committee on Doctrine, and asked him to share in whatever way the Doctrine Committee felt appropriate in the review of this text. I did not feel that it was my prerogative to tell the Doctrine Committee how their participation should be detailed. Bishop Hughes and I had several conversations and the final conclusion thereof was the Doctrine Committee to date has not had a chance to review this material as committee, obviously, as members of the NCCB each of them have all of the information as voting members.

I was concerned about that. And I must say, I am still concerned about that. I brought that to the Administrative Committee along with another concern which is the fact that as of Wednesday, last week, the BCL had received responses from approximately only 16 bishops. Obviously, between Wednesday and this moment we have received others. 

But I wasn't certain how to interpret the lack of response on the part of the membership, especially in light of the fact that the documentation had been sent out two months prior, in conformity with the desire for us to have more time to review them . . . . 

I brought those two issues to the Administrative Committee and asked for their wisdom. They responded by saying that they felt that these were not reasons to delay having a vote and a discussion on this first fascicle of the Sacramentary. I say that in all candor to the full body, because it has been the topic of conversation with myself and other members of the membership as individuals. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Chaput, who will be the last ... oh, Bishop Hughes also. Bishop Chaput? 

Bishop Charles Chaput [Rapid City, member Committees on Permanent Diaconate, Evangelization, Native American Catholics]: Thank you very much. Bishop Gregory, you and the Committee have an impossible task and we're very grateful for your effort.  You said some while ago when you were talking about the principles of translations that translations should be noble and beautiful as well as literal. 

It seems to me that many of the problems that some of us have with the text would have been solved if it had been much more literal - and I don't think those terms are exclusive. It can be literal in terms of the content and beautiful in expression. It seemed to me that there was a looseness in the translation many times and it was not easy for someone to understand who is not an expert, perhaps. 

And I think those of us who have objections - serious objections - are trying to signal ICEL and the Committee that it would be a good thing that these translations could at least have all the contents of the prayer- maybe expressed in another way. So I [understand] your observations about the fact that so few of us responded ... I think part of that is because of the ad limina visits this fall, for some of us, that took us away; but also you have it difficult, as we do, too, at home. We don't have the kind of staff to help us with those kinds of difficult things. We rely on the expertise of ICEL and the expertise of your committee. 

Where my deepest concern is, is the fact that so many of the prayers seem that they could have been more embracive of the faith of our Church if they had been more literal -- not in a "slavish" sense -- but in the content of the prayers. 

And I'd like to ask, is that a principle of ICEL that when they translate they'll try to be as literal as possible while maintaining beauty and flow and all those important things? 

Bishop Gregory: The principles that ICEL follows are in the green book next to the Supplementary Documents, as well as the document Comme le prévoit. And I think you put your finger on the real neuralgic point that we face. That is, where does the "literal" and the "enriched" version intersect? And when I say "enriched" I mean, not a departure, but not that type of forced following of word order, the exact number of words, etc., etc. That's a point that we'll have to face together. 

Bishop Chaput: My concern was the impoverishment of the text, rather than its "enrichment" - because of the lack of a literal translation. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Hughes - Al Hughes. 

Bishop Alfred Hughes [Baton Rouge, Chmn., Committee on Doctrine, succeeded by Archbishop John Quinn, San Francisco]: Bishop Gregory, thank you very much for what you and the Liturgy Committee have been doing in attempting to facilitate this conference. As far as I know it is an extraordinarily challenging task. 

You rightly say that in our discussion in attempting to work out the best way for the Committee on Doctrine to work with the Committee on Liturgy, we have had a time-table conflict. We are appreciative of being invited into the process. We want to be participants. It was not possible for us between September and November to include it on the agenda of the one meeting that we had because the agenda was so full. 

In addressing something like this kind of review collectively as a committee, it takes, of course, considerable time, as you experienced with the Committee on Liturgy as well. It's for that reason that we have some difficulty in attempting to move ahead with the discussion and vote on this series of collects and prayers at this particular juncture. 

Understandably, the Administrative Committee wished to go ahead, because this body has requested ICEL to submit these texts piecemeal so that we could have a chance to review them. But I would like to indicate the continuing willingness and desire of the Committee on Doctrine to find a way and a time-table that would make possible either participation on the part of the whole committee or the formation of some kind of joint effort that would make possible a timely review of the text. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop San Pedro, to be followed by Archbishop Pilarczyk. 

Bishop Enrique San Pedro, SJ [Brownsville, TX: Chmn, Hispanic Affairs; member Priestly Formation, Review of Scripture Translations; BCL consultant, replaced 19941: Bishop Gregory, my question is concerned more with the alternative prayers that are composed by ICEL. I would like to know if my perception is correct that the original Latin prayers try to focus on specific aspects for every Sunday. I mean that the prayers are also an element of teaching that the liturgy uses for the faithful and if there is anything in this regard in the different prayers that have been made by the ICEL? I mean do they have anything in mind, any particular aspect of the doctrine, anything which is connected more or less with the main theme of the Mass of the particular Sunday? 

That is a question, and it is difficult - at least for me - to come to an opinion, if I don't know whether they are just randomly made or they have some idea behind what they want to convey. 

Bishop Gregory: Bishop San Pedro, the question that you raise is the type of question that doctoral dissertations come from, that is, how and where does the Holy See select the prayers that it chose - the Latin originals - and what was the thematic or dogmatic or doctrinal statement that the Holy See wished to make in each prayer, in the sequence of those prayers, and in choosing this edition over another. I am not certain of that. 

That is the work that came from the Congregation [for Divine Worship], from the Concilium in putting together the Missale Romanum, the original 'typical' edition. 

They chose prayers from a wide variety of sources, from some of the ancient Sacramentaries, some of the medieval Sacramentaries, from prayers that belong to liturgical books that were more circumscribed in their use, and it was the Holy See collection, and to my knowledge no one has come up with a definitive outline of how the theological, if in fact there is a theological development of those Sunday prayers. Certainly they are not related to the readings directly. They may, on occasion, but I believe that's more by chance than by design. 

Bishop San Pedro: My question is this. Is there anything that we know about the composition of the ICEL prayers, does it have anything to adjust ... 

Bishop Gregory: Of the new composed prayers? 

Bishop San Pedro: Yes. Was there anything that they had in their minds ... It is difficult for me, for instance, in the second Sunday we have three optional prayers which address very different- 

Bishop Gregory: Well, Prayer One addresses the scriptural theme from Year 1, the year of Matthew's Gospel. Prayer Two addresses the theme that would be found in the Liturgy of the Word in Luke's Gospel year, Year B. Year C would reflect a scriptural text. It doesn't necessarily come from the Gospel, but it is related to the Word of God that will be proclaimed in the Liturgy of the Word on that particular.... 

Bishop San Pedro: Is that the case? [Bp. Gregory responds: That is the case.] Not only this Sunday but in every other prayer that they composed? 

Bishop Gregory: No. This is only the guiding principle for this first set of prayers that we are considering, the Sunday prayers. 

Bishop San Pedro: OK. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Now, Archbishop Pilarczyk, to be followed by Bishop Connolly. It appears there is a great thirst for clarification in the body this morning. 

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk {Cincinnati; Chmn., Episcopal Board of ICEL; BCL consultant, Adm. Committee member]: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I wish to offer two items for clarification: 

First of all, it is my understanding that what we are empowered and asked to do by the Administrative Committee at this meeting dictates what is to be the final vote on this first batch of materials from ICEL, namely the Prayers for Ordinary Time. The plan is then, that was the intent of Cardinal Mahony's motion [at the Fall,1993 NCCB meeting]; namely, that materials come to us in smaller batches so that we can deal with them much more conveniently. This is not one more step in the composition of the prayers on the part of the International Commission on the English Liturgy.  

That step, namely, the participation of the bishops in the composition and revision of these prayers, is a step which I initiated when I sent out a letter some months ago inviting all those who had comments to submit them before I made my vote as our representative on the Episcopal Board of ICEL. As I have said on other occasions, the zeal to participate at that point in the process has not been much in evidence. 

Secondly, I wish to address the question of the participation of ICEL representatives, including myself, in the committee meeting of the Bishops' Committee on Liturgy. In one way, the ICEL person - the staff persons of ICEL - are staff persons to the Conference, in that ICEL is a creature of our Conference, at least in part. The fact remains, obviously, that the ICEL staff must follow the directives of the Holy See in preparing these documents and in getting these documents voted on by the member conferences. ICEL staff members are not free to change the disposition of Comme le prévoit anymore than we are. 

It seems tome that the chairmen of our committees have the right to invite whatever periti they wish to invite. Obviously, the final vote is taken by committee members only. I use the analogy of a composition of a Pastoral Letter when those who were the de facto writers of the letter generally meet with the bishop members of the drafting committee. 

Moreover, it has been the custom that the ICEL representative of our conference serve as a consultant to the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy. That has been the case ever since the beginning of ICEL, as far as I understand it. If either of those two practices, namely, the practice of allowing committee chairmen to invite in whatever periti they wish and the practice of having our Conference representative on the International Commission on English Liturgy as a consultant to BCL - if either of those practices are thought to be inappropriate - it seems to me that we need a policy decision so that unfortunate misunderstandings can be avoided in the future. 

[Note: No mention is made of the staff members and consultants of the BCL who are also members of ICEL. -ed.]  

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Connolly and then Bishop Hanus who is the last one who has asked for a clarification this lap. 

Bishop Thomas Connolly [Baker, CA; member Committee on Selection of Bishops]: Bishop Gregory, you have spoken several times about the Editio Typica, and then you used the word "the original" and it provoked a question in my mind. Which is the Latin text that we have for consideration in front of us? 

Bishop Gregory: It is the second typical edition, the second Latin edition of the Missale Romanum. 

Bishop Connolly: Is that the final one? 

Bishop Gregory: Bishop Connolly, I have been told that the Holy See is considering a third, however, that could be a very long process. I have no way of knowing how far along that third edition is, nor what areas it will modify. But, that's the common conversation. 

Bishop Connolly: Can you give us any enlightenment on the question of when they revised the original Editio Typica? Did they use the same kind of principles that we're trying to apply now to arrive at this second version or are we dealing with something that as a matter of fact may not have been an improvement over the first one? 

Bishop Gregory: Well, that would be - that would ask me to make judgment on the Holy See, and I'm a bit reticent to do that. I wouldn't want to criticize them, but only the text. [laughter] I believe that when the Holy See issued the second edition it included some additional plans, it also made some adjustments that had obviously been points ... raised for clarification from local episcopal conferences. I'd be hard pressed at this point to point out exactly what those were. But the second typical edition came out, I believe, in '77- '77 or '78 -but there is another one. When it will be issued I have no idea. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Hanus, and then we will conclude the search for clarification at this time, to be continued this afternoon. 

Bishop Jerome Hanus [St. Cloud; BCL member]: My point of clarification deals with the Bishops' Committee on Liturgy. Four years ago the election was between Bishop Gregory and myself. I'm very happy that you elected him [laughter] but I've been privileged to serve these three years with him on the committee and I think he's done a marvelous job. 

In regard to the presence of the ICEL people: last night I said that I supported Bishop Gregory's invitation of them. I think it was totally appropriate. Not all of us may agree with that, but I thought it was appropriate and certainly very helpful to the Liturgy Committee in working out our task as committee. I thought it was appropriate for you as chair and certainly in conformity with instructions of the Holy See which say that this the bishops' committee, that bishops' conferences are to employ any experts, any commission, any mixed commission, which they feel necessary to accomplish the task. So in that point of clarification, I certainly support him, and I think most of the Liturgy Committee supported him. 

Bishop Gregory: I also should clarify that there was another theological consultant who was present who was not a member of the ICEL staff, and that is Father Kevin Irwin, who is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and the Center of Liturgy at Catholic University of America, and I invited him to sit in on the conversation also. 

[Note: Father Irwin has now been appointed advisor to BCL.-ed.] 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you very much for your patience and for articulating responses to a number of concerns. We'll invite you back this afternoon to continue this discussion of the presentation on the liturgy. 

Monday Afternoon, November 15,1993

Discussion of Grail Psalter, Inclusive Language Version  

Archbishop William Keeler: The presentation of liturgical action items, for questions of clarification. 

Bishop Wilton Gregory: Archbishop Keeler and my brother bishops, I can tell you the second action is found on pages 7 though 11 of your yellow supplementary document #1, Action 2. As I indicated earlier, we have used, and we will use, an interim procedure for the approval of the first segment of the Missal. However, for future segments we will need formally to approve a more permanent procedure. This permanent procedure is exactly the same as the interim procedure I explained in the context of the first Action Item, with one slight exception: In number six, on page 11, you will see that we are proposing that motions requesting further consideration must be submitted to the NCCB office of the General Secretary at least two weeks prior to the start of the plenary session at which the text in question will be considered for approval. 

This early submission of motions for further consideration is essential in order to give the Liturgy Committee sufficient time to study carefully the motions and prepare responses to that. The next segment of the Sacramentary is twice as long as the one we are considering at this plenary session, and we will also be considering the order of Mass at that time. Given the number of motions we have received for this first segment, it will not be humanly possible to deal with the motions without this extra time. The reason for considering the procedure for approving the text after-or at least the reason that we had thought - approving the text after dealing with the first segment of the Sacramentary, which is now reversed, was to give us the practical experience of using this procedure once in order to see if it is satisfactory. Approval of the procedure for approving the revised Roman Missal, the Sacramentary, requires a simple majority of the de jure Latin rite members of the NCCB. Archbishop Keeler, I will now be pleased to answer any questions of clarification on this s

Bishop Grosz, please. 

Bishop Edward M. Grosz [Aux.Buffalo. appointed member of BCL, 1994]: Bishop Gregory, a point of information. In redoing the time-tables presented in our documentation, it came to my mind that we're talking also about changes in the introduction to the Sacramentary. Where will that fit into a time-table, or how does that come before the body? 

Bishop Gregory: That would be with the packet of information on the Ordinary of the Mass, and that's when we would consider that. 

Bishop Grosz: Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Now, you want to go on to the next item?

Bishop Gregory: The next action is the approval for liturgical use of the Grail Psalter, Inclusive Language Version. It is found on pages 12 through 173 of your yellow supplementary document, number 1, Action 3. 

You may recall that a revision of the Grail Psalter was first presented to the NCCB at the 1984 plenary meeting. The discussions at that time led to the eventual formation of the Joint Committee of the Liturgy and Doctrine Committees on Inclusive Language. 

As a result of that subcommittee's work, the Criteria for the Evaluation of Inclusive Language Translation of Scriptural Texts Proposed for Liturgical Use was prepared and approved by the NCCB. The Criteria were then used as a basis for the revision of the Grail Psalter. The Ad Hoc Committee on the Imprimatur for Scripture Translations carefully examined the Grail Psalter and requested that a number of changes be made. The required corrections have been made in the text, and Archbishop Keeler has granted the imprimatur in the name of the NCCB. 

The Liturgy Committee now wishes to present the Grail Psalter to the bishops in order that it might be approved for liturgical use. The unrevised Grail Psalter was originally chosen for the Liturgy of the Hours as the version most suited to singing, and because of its acceptance by the various conferences of bishops in the English speaking world. The revised Grail Psalter maintains the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that enables it easily to be sung in several different ways. It is because of its sing ability and its appropriate use of gender-inclusive language for persons that the Liturgy Committee wishes to request approval for its liturgical use. 

Approval for the liturgical use of the revised Grail Psalter requires an affirmative 213 vote by the Latin rite de jure members of the NCCB and the subsequent approval of the Apostolic See. The members of the NCCB are now asked to approve the following motion: Do the members of the NCCB approve the request of the NCCB Committee on the Liturgy that the Grail Psalter inclusive language version be approved for liturgical use in the dioceses of the United States? 

Archbishop Keeler, I would be happy to answer any questions for clarification that the members of the NCCB might now have. 

Bishop Connolly: Bishop Gregory, could you help me with this particular problem: I was wondering what use does the committee at this point expect this translation to be put to? 

Bishop Gregory: If I had to respond, bishop, with the strongest reason, it's that there is an entire corpus of music that has been composed for the Grail Psalter. This revised Grail Psalter with the appropriate adjustments, allows us to continue using that corpus of music. I do not envision that it will become the new psalter for the... 

Bishop Connolly: So by adopting this we're not replacing the present breviary, etc? 

Bishop Gregory: No, oh no. 

Bishop Connolly: Then, I wanted to ask you, too, what kind of principles they used in making this translation in addition to the fact that, as you've explained, it would be more singable, and that they've put this to a kind of a rhythm and it seems like from the use that we've made of it so far today in the recitation of the office, that seems to be working. 

But I was curious to know what other kinds of principles might have been at work as they made this translation, because, say for instance, on Psalm 147-B, page 171: 1 didn't have available to me in Baker, Oregon, the Editio Typica of the Latin - I have no idea what Editio Typica they used for this - so that I was having some difficulty trying to understand why did they take out "his" in so many cases in that psalm? Because I checked with the version that we use, say, for instance, in the New American Bible and "his" occurs a number of times in the psalm, for instance, on line 15 " God sends out his word." That seems to me to have special significance and I couldn't understand why they changed that and said, "God sends out word to the earth," which means something very different. 

Bishop Gregory: First of all, Bishop Connolly, I'm aware that they used the original Hebrew to go back to do a new translation. I know they also used the Criteria [on "inclusive language"], but would you mind if I ask the bishops who serve on that Ad Hoc committee for the granting of the imprimatur if they would assist me in pursuing those issues of scriptural translation that I am not familiar with? 

Bishop Connolly: I'd be delighted. 

Bishop Gregory: Bishop Sklba and Bishop Trautman, Bishop Wcela. I think that, I don't know if they're here ..... Yes, Bishop Sklba. Could you assist me in responding to Bishop Connolly? 

Bishop Richard Sklba [Aux., Milwaukee; Chmn. Ad Hoc Comm. on the Review of Scripture Translations, member Adm. Comm., Doctrine Comm.]: I don't know if I have all the specifics before me. I do know that the Grail Psalter, the revision, tried to be faithful to the Gelineau principles themselves, which were granted the imprimatur back in the late sixties, that there was a concern for inclusive language, and I would have to go back to the original text myself to study it through and make a specific answer to the psalm that you address. 

[Note: Rev. Joseph Gelineau is a French Jesuit liturgist/composer whose Psalmody in the Vernacular has been influential in the liturgical reform. -ed.]

 Bishop Gregory: Any of the other members of that Ad Hoc committee? Are there any observations? 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Archbishop Levada? And then Cardinal Mahony. 

Archbishop Levada: Bishop Gregory, I'm asking for a point of information. In the Action Item introduction, mention is made of the Criteria for the Evaluation of Inclusive Language Translations of Scriptural Texts Proposed for Liturgical Use, which this conference adopted in 1990. Is it the judgment of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy that this Grail translation corresponds to those Criteria? 

Bishop Gregory: What we did, Archbishop, is we depended on the subcommittee for the granting of the imprimatur to make that decision on its conformity to those principles because of their own expertise in the area of scripture. Once they recommended to Archbishop Keeler that they felt that the text was consistent with the principles and consistent with good scriptural scholarship, and he granted the imprimatur, we then asked if it might be used in the liturgy. We did not, ourselves, apply those Criteria nor walk through that process. 

Archbishop Levada: Archbishop Keeler, is it your sense that the subcommittee which has responsibility for granting the imprimatur, recommended the imprimatur to you on the basis of these Criteria? 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Sklba is ready to respond to that. 

Bishop Sklba: Archbishop Keeler, the Ad Hoc Committee reviewed the translation; we had some 41 requests for changes, and on the basis of those changes having been made, we felt that the Criteria were, in fact, respected. We had some, perhaps, differences of opinion regarding style or taste, and we had some suggestions beyond the 41 changes we requested, but having the assurance and now the evidence that those 41 changes had been made, we felt that the Criteria were respected. 

Archbishop Keeler: So the answer is given to you. 

Archbishop Levada: I suppose, then, if one wanted to call attention to a specific criterion, and how it's addressed, it would probably be the place to do that when this issue comes up for debate at the proper time. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Right. Cardinal Mahony and then Archbishop Sheehan, Michael Sheehan. 

Cardinal Mahony: Bishop Gregory, this is just a minor point, on page 16, Psalm 2, and 6 lines from the bottom, "The Lord said to me you are my Son," Is that what follows next to it, a Hebrew word of some kind or are those 5 question marks (?????). 

Bishop Gregory: [chuckling] I think that's a typo, is that not- 

Cardinal Mahony: -because it's precisely this kind of declaration in the Psalm that troubles a number of us, and I don't know what the five question marks mean - that this is going to drop out somewhere along the line? 

Bishop Gregory: I believe it represents a typographical error, Your Eminence, am I correct? .... We don't know. We did not put it there; our assumption is that it's a typo. It is not part of the text, I assure you. 

Cardinal Mahony: Thank you. [laughter] 

Archbishop Keeler: Archbishop Michael Sheehan, to be followed by Bishop Bosco. 

Archbishop Michael Sheehan [Santa Fe; Chmn., Ad Hoc Comm. on Nomination of Conference Officers; Bd. of Dirs., Catholic Relief Services]: Bishop Gregory, I'm in favor of the motion to approve the Grail Psalter, but I have a question about how this translation is accepted. What will be the doxology to conclude the praying of the psalm? Will it be the traditional doxology, using the Trinitarian formula, or will it be something else? 

Bishop Gregory: It's the traditional doxology: "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit." 

Archbishop Sheehan: Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Bosco, please. 

Bishop Bosco: I would like to know specifically how much of this text we would be approving. I'm thinking particularly [of] the titles, for instance, on page 41, Psalm 30, "Thanksgiving for Recovery from Sickness." Is that part of the text that we're approving, is there a substance for that? Page 25, Psalm 14, is a psalm which I could say with a great deal of meaning. Is that title appropriate, too? Are we approving those titles and is there a scriptural basis? [laughter] [Note: The title of Psalm 14 is "Fools" -ed.] 

Bishop Gregory: I believe it is an editorial introduction. Bishop Sklba? 

Bishop Sklba: To the best of my recollection, those were the titles that were in place in the printed Grail Psalter the first time around, 25,27 years ago. So they, Bishop Bosco, those are not new titles, but the ones that have been approved awhile back. 

Bishop Bosco: Then my question remains. Is there a scriptural basis for them. [laughter] 

Bishop Sklba: I'm uncertain, Bishop Bosco. I don't know how those titles were attributed to each of the psalms. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop San Pedro. 

Bishop Enrique San Pedro, S J. [Brownsville; member Adm. Comm, Review Scripture Texts, Priestly Formation, 1: If I may answer that question ... Certainly it's not the title of Psalm 30 in the Masoretic text, neither the one of Psalm 29 [ "The Glory of God is Seen in the Storm" -ed.], so those are made by the translators or the editors of the Grail. So those aren't done in the Masoretic text. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Gregory? 

Bishop Gregory: Excuse me, one of the things that the staff, Archbishop, one of the things that the staff was telling me, that those titles are never put into the liturgical texts that are issued. 

Bishop ?: (sotto voce ) They should never have been put in this one. 

Cardinal Mahony: Bishop Gregory, could you give us any idea of the quantity of changes to achieve inclusive language? For instance, how many of the 150 psalms have been affected? Or how many times has inclusive language had to be employed? Do you have any idea? 

Bishop Gregory: I have no idea and I'm looking at Bishop Sklba who doesn't seem to have any more idea than I do. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Cardinal O'Connor? 

Cardinal O'Connor: This latter question may be answered in part, or at least the answer would be included in this, and I was going to raise the question anyway. Bishop Gregory and Bishop Sklba, I think that you know that the religious who worked on it for me was very, very thorough in her submissions-. 

Bishop Gregory: Right. 

Cardinal O'Connor: -and I don't ask this contentiously, but to seek an explanation and perhaps to address the previous question.

This says - the letter to Bishop Sklba - if I may read this portion, says " the translators' brief stated that this was not a new translation, but a careful and minimal adaptation of the original translation. When I compared the proposed version against the Grail Psalter of 1960, used in the Liturgy of the Hours, I found fourteen hundred and twenty five ( 1,425 ) changes in the text. In one hundred sixty five cases ( 165 ),the change amounted to a complete rewriting of an entire line of verse." 

In attempting to avoid gender specific pronouns, the translators frequently changed the person, and consequently the sense of many verses and sometimes entire psalms, and as my eye catches this - and I don't want to bore you by trying to read them all - it would look to be, perhaps, 30 to 50 instances involved. Now you of the committee saw this, and if I'm correct, six all voted in favor and Sister voted negatively, but you made many of the changes that she had requested.  

Bishop Gregory: Right. 

Cardinal O'Connor: Following those changes, however, she still voted negatively because she felt that we were substantially departing from the original texts, so could you comment on that, please? 

Bishop Gregory: Once again, Your Eminence, those comments, I believe, were sent to the subcommittee and not - we got copies of them, but they were addressed to the subcommittee that was reviewing the texts, and I'm going to depend on them to find out how they felt they respected the texts but also paid attention to those criticisms. 

Bishop Sklba: If I recall, the letter that Sister Timothea wrote as a consultant for the Ad Hoc Committee [Review of Scripture Translations], there were several pages and virtually every one of the specific requests that she had were taken over and integrated into the 41 specific requests which we, then, made our own before we would recommend that the imprimatur be given. That was consultation to us, we reviewed them, attempted to assess the import of each of the consultant's suggestions and make them our own. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Wcela followed by Bishop Pfeifer.. 

Bishop Emil A. Wcela [Aux., Rockville Center; Chmn. Pastoral Practices; member BCL, Ad Hoc Comm. on the Review of Scripture Translations, Age of Confirmation.]: I'm not sure if this is the place or if some of these things will take place when the vote and debate takes place, but it seems there were some general principles that were raised in asking questions about the Grail Psalter, and they come under general areas. One has to do with the fact that third person singular "he's" are changed so that they can reflect "they" - they can reflect men and women, which is part of the guidelines that were issued with regard to inclusive language. 

The Cardinal raises another specific issue, and that is that in some places, for gender inclusive language, changes are made from third to second person. If I could just speak in general to that principle, that happens tremendously in the psalms, where, that is, in the Hebrew, so, if you'll just bear with me, I'll read Psalm 23 from the Revised Standard Version, which is translated literally from the Hebrew: "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul, He leads me in right paths for His Name's sake. Even though I walk in darkest valley, I fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows ..." and so on. 

There is a psalm, Psalm 31 which has one verse which is in the third person, the rest of the psalm is in the second person. In response to Cardinal O'Connor's question, my response would be that, in principle, since the psalms see no great problems in switching back and forth, in many cases to the second and third person, that it is also legitimate to do that in other circumstances, and that would deal with the one specific issue. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Pfiefer?. 

Bishop Michael Pfeifer [Sun Angelo; Comm. on Women]: This is a point of clarification for Bishop Gregory or someone on the committee. Several times we see some phrases are set out by parentheses or brackets ... Does that mean those phrases will be left that way or left out? Like on page 70, page 71, page 77. On page 70, line 15, is there a reason why they put some of these phrases in parentheses? 

Bishop Gregory: Bishop Pfeifer, from my personal knowledge, if a part of a text is in parentheses, it is not that it is to be either included or not included. Those parentheses refer to the text, the Masoretic text that comes from, that it might be a variant reading, is that correct, Bishop Wcela? So, it's a way of graphically demonstrating that this particular phrase in a psalm has a variant reading depending on the text that it is being considered, not one that can be dispensed with or added to at will. Is that a general description, Bishop Wcela, of why they used such graphical distinctions? 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Weigand. 

Bishop Weigand: Bishop Gregory, your stated rationale for this particular version is because of the body of music that is based on this. By approving this, it could then be used for other liturgical purposes, I would assume. Do you anticipate this version being used, for example, in a lectionary? Now, we would have to approve that, but ... 

Bishop Gregory: The version that will be used in the Lectionary is the Psalter from the NAB, so that's the printed version. However, the musicians could compose psalm responses using this version. That's what we're really saying, that it allows for that kind of usage. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Shall we go on to the next [item] then? 

Bishop Gregory: This Action Item is contained - number 4 - is contained in your yellow supplementary document #1, Action 4, which is Exequias Cristianis, the Spanish translation of the Order of Christian Funerals. 

Wednesday Morning, November 17,1993

Continuation of debate on liturgical matters. Discussion of procedures for considering revised texts.  

Bishop Wilton Gregory: Archbishop Keeler and my brother bishops, the Liturgy Committee had originally proposed that this action item, Action Item 2, would follow the approval of the first segment of the Missal, in order that we would have the experience of using the procedure once before voting on its final form. 

However, as you will recall, Monday it was decided to reverse the order of the first two liturgy action items so that Action 2 on the procedure for approving the Revised Roman Missal will now be considered first. Although the Liturgy Committee has not received any amendments from the members of the NCCB on Action Item 2, the Committee itself would like to propose an amendment to number 6 of the proposed procedure, as given on page eleven of the Supplementary Document number one. The amendment is found in the green Supplementary Document number one, Action 2, Group 1: Amendments Accepted by the Committee. (You will note that the Roman ritual is mentioned in the title. It should be corrected to read The Revised Roman Missal.) 

In the light of our present experience, the Committee would like to modify its original proposal, which required that all motions requesting further consideration be submitted two weeks before the meeting in which a particular segment of the Missal will be considered for approval, so that the text would read, "No more than five months after a segment has been mailed to the members of the NCCB, and at least two weeks prior to the start of a plenary meeting, at which the texts in question will be considered for approval.

Our brief experience at this present meeting, with over 500 motions requesting further consideration, has shown us that unless we have additional time to prepare appropriate responses to the motions, it will be humanly impossible to do all of the work necessary when we have to deal with three or more large segments of the Missal at the November 1994 meeting, in addition to the usual Liturgy action. 

Therefore, Archbishop Keeler, I move the acceptance of the Committee amendment to Action 2. 

Archbishop William Keeler: All right. He's made a motion ... 

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz [Lincoln]: Bishop Gregory, I was wondering, the time-table? Is it absolutely necessary that in 1994 this new matter be presented in November? Has that been decided by the Administrative Committee or by the [Executive] Board here or something? 

Bishop Gregory: Bishop Bruskewitz, it's in conformity with two principles, one that we would treat the fascicles that are set out from ICEL at the next available plenary meeting; and two, that the ICEL fascicles will be coming out in a particular order, which the ICEL Episcopal Board wrote to us and said, "This is how we will send you the fascicles." 

Bishop Bruskewitz: But where we are required to reply within a certain limited time or in a certain order to the ICEL fascicles - for example if the Administrative Committee feels that there is simply too much work next November - are we allowed to postpone this to 1995, let us say? 

Bishop Gregory: Certainly, if the Administrative Board or this body chooses to alter that, that's our prerogative. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Myers, followed by Cardinal Mahony. 

Bishop John Myers [Peoria; Canonical Affairs Comm. member]: If I understand, Bishop Gregory, the force of the motion, the effect of it, I think I am opposed to it, but I may misunderstand. 

Would this mean that we would be forced not to take into consideration the discussion that we might have on the floor and learn from the observations of other bishops, and then not be able to make a motion to remand something to committee even then? It says it has to be two weeks ahead of the meeting, but it seems to me we would be depriving ourselves of the benefit of our discussion together as bishops; that we would be doing our work in our own dioceses, sending our recommendations into the Committee, but we would not be able to have the benefit of the discussion we had with other bishops. And if that is the effect of the motion, then I would be very much against it. 

Bishop Gregory: OK. Let me try to give an example of what the motion is intended to accomplish. If, for example, in January the conference receives another fascicle, as it will, from ICEL, that fascicle will be sent to the body of bishops in January. 

The motion says that the bishops have five months, in that case it would be five months to review that material, to submit their motions or observations to the staff to prepare for November. That's the five-month time frame. 

The two-week time frame would be in effect if a fascicle were sent out in September and was therefore limited to a two-month consultative time span. Then the cutoff date would be two weeks before the plenary session. That is, we would need at least two weeks to receive your observations, so that we could prepare an appropriate response. It doesn't mean that we won't talk about it; it's just the time frame that we need in the staff to prepare responses for the motions and the observations that are received. 

Archbishop Keeler: Cardinal Mahony ... .Is there a follow up with ... 

Bishop Myers: I understand the need of the committee and the staff to have time; that isn't a problem. But it seems to me that it's talking not just about your work, it's talking about motions requesting further consideration, and it's saying that a motion like that would be out of order if it came from the floor after the discussion that we had by bishops, so that it's effectively eliminating the possibility of our making such a motion after we heard other bishops talk about it, which I think would be - 

Bishop Gregory: -a serious mistake. I see your observations. I think that Archbishop Pilarczyk wants to make a clarification. 

Archbishop Keeler: A point of clarification, Archbishop Pilarczyk? 

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk: Mr. Chairman, it's my understanding that motions from the floor are always in order and that the procedure that we engage in to try to weigh and dispose of motions ahead of time is an approach of convenience that our conference has adopted over the years, so it's my understanding that if bishops want to make additional motions from the floor, in the course of the meeting, that is always in order. Is that correct, Mr. Chairman? 

Archbishop Keeler: That is correct; we wouldn't want to lose the fun of a live debate. [laughter] Cardinal Mahony, which color card [for or against the motion] would you have used if you had used a card? [laughter] 

Cardinal Mahony: Well, I'm not sure. [laughter] I think, in order to talk about the proposed order of dealing with this, I think my remarks would be to do something a little bit different than is being proposed, and I first of all make two very general remarks. 

I think all of us have received correspondence, etc. during the course of the last few weeks, some of which I found very unhelpful. And I think we need to make sure that we're not operating from some of that - even tending towards hysteria -that has surrounded us even in these days. 

And secondly, I'd like to reconfirm what I think most of us would have in our hearts and our minds, and that is a great deal of trust in the personnel and the procedures that ICEL has been using. This is not some attempt to dilute that level of trust, and I would like to reconfirm that because I think all of us believe that good will is at play here. 

I have four specific remarks I would like to make. We obviously do have a greater interest, involvement in the proposed translations by the bishops than we've ever had before, and I think Archbishop Pilarczyk should be delighted because he has long expressed the fact that very few bishops ever express much interest in that [ICEL's work of translation]. I think he has brought us all now to a new place in this level of interest. Over 500 amendments is probably the proof of that. 

Secondly, I'd like to remind us that there really is not an urgency for the finalization of this project by the proposed publication you state of 1998. That is something that is desirable - and I understand the financial implications - I would be very happy to see us finance the operation for another year or two. I see no reason why we cannot look at the year 1999 or even 2000 for the publication of the new revised Roman Missal Sacramentary. I have not received ever any concern from my priests, my priests' councils or even lay people saying: "How soon can we get the new Sacramentary?" So I think we should not feel ourselves locked into the dates that you've got listed under this Action Item, and I think that we need to look at that possibility. 

Thirdly, my motion of 1992, that we passed last year, really called for us to have a more full and active involvement in the process, and I think that has proven to be something the bishops want to do. I would think that from the experience this time, that we really should be moving to a two-phase involvement of the bishops, rather than being involved in the one phase we're at now, where for the first time we've had a great deal of active involvement, and all we can do is remand things back to ICEL. It seems to me that if we could do two stages - if we could receive it and have this kind of involvement and debate and give all of that back to our representative to ICEL before that definitive text comes to us for a final definitive vote, it seems to me that two layer process would cause no harm whatsoever, but would accomplish a lot that Archbishop Pilarczyk has been asking for. 

And fourthly, in talking informally to Bishop Trautman and Bishop Hughes, apparently they have anew process involved to deal with some of the doctrinal content concerns. We have not yet had a chance to hear from them. Their input, even on this fascicle, is going to be very important to us before we have a final vote. So I would very much like to hear from them first and what they have in mind; and then following that I might wish to make an amendment that we look at a two-phase process and look at our definitive votes in 1994, June of '95, November of '95 as a possible alternative. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Wuerl, a question for clarification. 

Bishop Donald Wuerl [Pittsburgh; member Doctrine, Priestly Formation]: Thank you, Archbishop. The question for clarification has to do with [paragraph] number six, and perhaps it ties in with the whole question of how we as a Conference - as opposed to individuals - address the text before us. 

Is it the intention of the last two sentences to indicate that when the texts arrive they will enter the regular Conference process of being examined by the Committee on Doctrine, or any other committee that's assisted you that might be necessary, and then we would receive a report back on that as a part of the ongoing process? 

The reason I raise that - this seems to be able to be read in several ways. A certain uneasiness with the process as we have experienced it in the past, at least personally, comes out of the fact that we receive a mountain of material and we're asked individually to go through it, which we attempt to do. But that comes back as an individual reflection, and we never get the benefit of the conference's mechanism to reflect on the same material, the committees that are established to do that and their welcomed reflection. We do that with every single piece of material we produce and - in fact, I'm thinking of the document we once received from the Holy See on the nature of a Conference - we gave that to committees to reflect, even though we were going to reflect individually. 

Is paragraph six intended to provide a Conference reception of the document, distribution of it to appropriate committees, reflection by the committees, and then individual reflection; or is that a discretionary item for the Committee on Liturgy? 

Bishop Gregory: That item,- and Bishop Wuerl, we've chatted about this earlier - this particular segment, at least from my perspective, the items you point out in number six, remain something that is to date yet to be resolved, from my perspective. 

As I told you on Monday, I wrote to Bishop Hughes inviting the Doctrine Committee to review the material according to their own particular mode of operating, and he wrote back saying that the Doctrine Committee was quite willing to do so, but had not yet finalized how that ought to be done, and they were certainly very much aware of their own matters of consideration outside of the liturgical review. 

I know that Bishop Trautman has been in dialogue. He is a member of the Doctrine Committee himself and he has pursued this, perhaps, with Bishop Hughes, and might offer some observations now if the chair would recognize him. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Trautman has also asked to speak. Bishop Trautman, please. 

Bishop Donald Trautman [Erie; now Chmn., BCL; member Doctrine, Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Scripture Translations: Thank you very much. I am presently a member of both the Doctrine Committee and the Liturgy Committee and Chair-elect of Liturgy. So I know the valid concerns of both committees and the need to respect the integrity and competence of both committees. 

Therefore, I would propose the following working relationship between these two committees relative to the revision of the Sacramentary. I propose that the chair of Liturgy and the chair of Doctrine, together with the Executive Director of Liturgy and the Executive Director of Doctrine, review the ICEL texts in the particular segment being submitted to the body of bishops and surface those texts which appear to raise doctrinal concerns. 

Submit those texts to the Doctrine Committee for study and recommendation. The conclusions of the Doctrine Committee would be forwarded to the Liturgy Committee. Where there is need for dialogue or clarification over these conclusions, the chairmen would seek to facilitate joint discussions between committee members and committee consultants. 

The Liturgy Committee would report to the body of bishops the recommendations received from the Doctrine Committee when the Liturgy Committee presents the Action Item for approval of the proposed liturgical text. And Bishop Al Hughes has joined in supporting this working relationship. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Hughes? 

Bishop Alfred Hughes [Baton Rouge; Adm. Comm, Doctrine (chmn, term exp. after this meeting]: Bishop Trautman and I have had conversation, and I fully support the proposed way in which we might work together in order to provide an evaluation of those particular issues that seem to be theologically neuralgic or problematic. 

I would make one further comment, and that is that it would be very helpful for the Doctrine Committee to receive the analyses and the critiques that are supplied by the consultants for the Liturgy Committee or the members of the Liturgy Committee as we would proceed with our work, and we want to work in that cooperative way. 

I'd also like to underscore the remarks which Cardinal Mahony made with regard to overall time-table. I do not sense a great urgency among the faithful for the revision of the Missal; it seems to me that we're going to - in our lifetime -have one opportunity to do this well. I would rather see the opportunity for the bishops truly to be engaged in the evaluation and eventual endorsement of the texts and the opportunity for very careful evaluation of those texts so that we can have the best possible translation in the revised Missal. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Archbishop McCarrick? 

Archbishop Theodore McCarrick [Newark; Chmn. Migration, member Adm. Comm.]: Thank you, Archbishop. I rose with a question. I think I - certainly for myself, and I think for some other members of the body - would be very eager to see the proposal that Bishop Trautman even used for the present fascicle. And I'm wondering where we are in our present procedures, and whether it would be possible for this to be put on the floor rather than going into a long discussion; if it is possible for us to begin the procedure that Bishop Trautman had mentioned even on this present fascicle. Because there are many of us who I think would feel more comfortable, let us say, if we would have already had that discussion between Doctrine Committee and Liturgy. So that's my question. Thank you. 

Bishop Hughes: If I can respond? I don't know to whom you addressed the question- 

Archbishop Keeler: I wonder whether we should face this amendment that we're discussing now, and then respond to that, if that's all right with Archbishop McCarrick. Bishop Daily? 

Bishop Thomas Daily [Brooklyn; member, Comm. on Selection of Bishops]: I would also support what has been said by Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Trautman. My concern, as a pastor, not so much as a linguist or a scripture scholar or even a liturgist-I worry about unity and the further division that might be caused by discussion of the whole question of translation. 

That's kind of a general observation. But in regard to the question on the floor, I would hope that we might be able to use a written ballot for the vote, and I would move that if that is in order. 

Archbishop Keeler: This is the question regarding the amendment that Bishop Gregory presented? And you are requesting a written ballot? It requires the support, the parliamentarian tells us, the support of five other members. Would five other members also - All right, we have that show of hands, so now a written ballot. What kind of vote is required here, Mr. Parliamentarian? A simple majority. All right. Bishop Gregory.

Bishop Gregory: I think that it's been very helpful in response to Bishop Wuerl's question about Article number six in the procedure, that what we are following now is the suggested approach of Bishop Trautman and Bishop Hughes about how this dialogue between Doctrine and Liturgy will take place, and I support that, for whatever good that does. I agree with the scheme of it they have outlined, which gives specificity to Article 6. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Joseph Sullivan with a question, followed by Bishop Al Hughes. I see a number of questions popping up. 

Bishop Joseph Sullivan [Aux .Brooklyn; Adm. Comm.]: Mr. Chairman, a clarification: When the Doctrine Committee then makes its clarifications, will the Liturgy Committee be in the position, as the committee presenting here on the floor, indicating whether they accept or reject? 

The ultimate authority is in the body of bishops, not the two committees, but it would seem to me it would be very helpful that we do not have the Doctrine Committee then becoming the ruling committee when it comes back to the Liturgy Committee. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Trautman first enunciated this proposal and will be Chair of Liturgy. Bishop Trautman, do you want to make a comment on that? 

Bishop Trautman: The document is liturgical text, and the competence for handling that is in the Liturgy Committee. My motion is simply spelling out the working relationship between Doctrine and Liturgy, but the document is under the ownership, the aegis, of the Liturgy Committee and will be reported back to the body of bishops in that fashion. 

The Liturgy Committee will report carefully and fully and clearly totally all that Doctrine has said about the text, but it is the Liturgy Committee that will be presenting the document. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Now just another point of clarification. This has not formally been proposed as a motion. It's something that could happen as we move ahead with the discussion. You seem to be developing a little consensus about it. 

Bishop Trautman: Right. In fact, the wording that I have presented doesn't really pertain to this particular paragraph; it really relates more to page 10, number 4, where consultation with the Doctrine Committee is first mentioned, not this paragraph presently dealing with time-tables. 

Archbishop Keeler: Correct. Thank you. 

Bishop Gregory: Archbishop? In response to Bishop Sullivan, I too, from the very beginning was concerned about how the Liturgy Committee could maintain its own integrity and its own competence in those areas that belong to liturgy. However, in this particular matter, even if the Liturgy Committee receives a recommendation from the Doctrine Committee and has a number of responses, it's in the body of bishops that the ultimate decision will be made, and so it doesn't seem to compromise what Liturgy's competence is. Is that not correct, Bishop Trautman? 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Al Hughes, is your clarification - all right. Archbishop Buechlein, is this with respect to the amendment proposal now on the floor? 

Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, OSB [Indianapolis; Ch. Priestly Formation; member Adm. Comm., Pro-Life; advisor, Doctrine]: Yes, it is. I don't know what I'm voting on. If we vote for the amendment, what's the relationship of that vote to the Trautman proposal? 

Bishop Gregory: Actually, I think the Trautman proposal has specified how Liturgy and Doctrine will work together. The amendment is on how the body of bishops will follow a time frame in submitting their observations, so really they're two autonomous issues. Bishop Trautman's proposal helped to clarify for the body of bishops how this relationship will take place. It's really not up for vote. The vote that is being taken is on the time frame. 

Archbishop Buechlein: My question was: If I vote in favor of this amendment, that does not eliminate my voting in favor of the Trautman proposal? 

Bishop Gregory: No. 

Archbishop Buechlein: Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: But this does refer to a time frame. Any other questions? Yes. Cardinal Mahony. 

Cardinal Mahony: Just wanted a clarification, Bishop Gregory. If this particular amendment passes, then what I had suggested as a farther out time-table, can that still be added? Or would I have to amend your amendment? 

Bishop Gregory: I believe that your suggestion that we not be bound to the time-frame as it exists here probably will have to be put into the form of another motion. 

Archbishop Keeler: That's what I would rule, too. You would be looking at the whole procedure and presenting an amendment to that. Ready now to vote on this question, written ballot, use number 25. No envelope necessary. 

Cardinal O'Connor: What are we voting yes or no on? That all right to ask? 

Bishop Gregory: Your Eminence, we are voting on the amendment that says, in reference to Article 6, that the time-frame governing the submission of motions or amendments or corrections on the part of the body of bishops would be a maximum of five months or a minimum of two weeks before the plenary session at which that fascicle was being voted on 

Cardinal O'Connor: That, then, is that in consonance with what Cardinal Mahony is proposing? 

Bishop Gregory: No. 

Cardinal O'Connor: So, a vote yes for this would preclude Cardinal Mahony 's- 

Bishop Gregory: No, it would not. It would set up - if I may be allowed - I think, in a sense, we're voting on a secondary item, rather than the primary item. The primary item should be Cardinal Mahony's - I'm putting words in your mouth, Your Eminence - Cardinal Mahony's suggestion that we break out of the existing or the presumed time frame. If that vote takes place, then this secondary vote would merely speak to how the bishops will respond to the material in whatever time frame we're going to be pursuing. Is that correct, Your Eminence? 

Cardinal Mahony: I think so. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop San Pedro. Another question for clarification. 

Bishop San Pedro: English not being my primary language, [laughter] and logic not my forte, if we vote 'no' it means that the text proposed in number 6 stays in place. [Right] 

What it says is that we have to submit whatever at least two weeks before but it doesn't say anything about the five months - that we've received that fascicle ten months before the meeting, we could have ten months to discuss the text. 

Bishop Gregory: That is correct.

Bishop San Pedro: Thank you. You have clarified it for me. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Mansell. 

Bishop Henry J. Mansell [Aux. New York]: I regret having to draw out these explanations, but a vote for this, does that preclude the five month/two week time frame? Does that preclude the Liturgy and Doctrine Committee from reviewing the individual suggestions and amendments sent in by the bishops? Because if they're sent in two weeks prior to the meeting of the bishops, they will have to review that, therefore the bishops would not vote at that particular meeting, in terms of these recommendations. 

Bishop Gregory: Yeah, it would not preclude because the Doctrine Committee and the Liturgy Committee will be receiving the material at the same time that everyone else is. Their operation, their cooperation will begin from the first moment they set up that joint discussion, so they're two autonomous issues. 

What the amendment actually strikes at is this: that if at a given period of time, there are three fascicles that will be considered, we don't want the staff, two weeks before the plenary session, to deal with all of the flood of amendments and motions. It would be impossible. So what we're trying to do is to allow the staff to have as much time to receive the documentation, to prepare a response, as possible. 

Bishop Mansell: Does that then mandate a vote at a particular meeting of the bishops? If the staff has that difficulty, won't the two committees have the same difficulty in trying to get their recommendations placed on the floor of the meeting? 

Bishop Gregory: They might very well, because this gives a very large corpus of material. 

Bishop Mansell: Therefore, the question stands. Would that mandate a vote of the bishops on the proposals at that particular meeting? 

Bishop Gregory: I don't know. 

Archbishop Keeler: I think it's really a question apart. This is just looking at that time-frame issue. I foresee other discussion, and another proposal that may address that more directly. 

Bishop Mansell: That would bring it back to Cardinal Mahony 's position about the time-frame being extended out further into the future. 

Archbishop Keeler: That's correct. Bishop James Sullivan, and then Bishop Al Hughes. 

Bishop James Sullivan [Fargo]: In order to resolve this somewhat, would it be possible for Bishop Gregory to withdraw his motion, and we could put Cardinal Mahony's motion on the floor immediately? 

[Parliamentarian, aside: "Apples and oranges..."] 

Archbishop Keeler: They 're two different issues. This is something that refers to just part of it, but it would be up to the Committee chair. 

Bishop Sullivan: But I think we have a sequence factor here that we are very worried about. 

Bishop Gregory: Would it assist the chair if I did withdraw that? His Eminence is ready to make a - 

Archbishop Keeler: The parliamentarian informs us that a step of this kind would require the approval of the body to withdraw the motion. 

Bishop Sullivan: Could we ask for that please? 

Bishop Gregory: From my point of view-we'll have to take this vote. It does not in any way preclude Cardinal Mahony from making a vote nor does it bias the vote that Cardinal Mahony will call for, I'm presuming, with his amendment. I do object. 

Archbishop Keeler: He objects to withdrawing it; they're really two different issues. Bishop Hughes, Al Hughes. 

Bishop Hughes: Just a point of clarification in connection with Bishop Mansell's question. It's my understanding, and I think Bishop Trautman is in agreement, that the Doctrine Committee will not be involved in the evaluating of the amendments that are proposed; we're going to be surfacing ahead of time the issues that need to be evaluated doctrinally and submitting that to the Liturgy Committee. 

We will not be involved in that final process of receiving amendments from the body of bishops and evaluating that. Then that will be the providence and responsibility of the Committee on Liturgy. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Archbishop Lipscomb. 

Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb [Mobile; advisor, Doctrine; Chmn. Ecumenical Affairs]: Just a question in response to Bishop Gregory's answer to Bishop San Pedro, because I think there might have been some misunderstanding. 

This is a serious effort and the idea, it seems to me, of this amendment is not to have everything coalesce at one time so that we are faced in the future with this kind of a situation where the Committee on Liturgy has to deal, under pressure and swiftly, with matters which should be given more mature and sensible consideration - not that you haven't done that this time, please don't misunderstand. [laughter] 

So that when Bishop San Pedro asked for a clarification that we would have ten months, if necessary, to send in. Was that correct? Because it seems to me, the amendment reads "No more than five months after segment has been mailed, and at least two weeks ..." The "at least two weeks" refers to the latest segment, but a bishop could hold the three fascicles and send them all in two weeks ahead of time. We'd be in the same situation almost as we are now, so my understanding of this amendment is that if we get a fascicle, and we expect to make written suggestions for amendments, and you do not have a meeting of the Committee of the conference for say another eight months, the answers to that fascicle should be given within five months? 

Bishop Gregory: That is correct. And I think that Bishop San Pedro's question was "If we don't approve this amendment, will we have ten months?" 

Archbishop Keeler: One other point. The year 1994 does not occur in the amendment. So, if people are concerned about next year, this amendment does not explicitly say that. This is simply talking about prompt consideration of fascicles that are received. Ready now to collect the ballots? ... All right, now, discussion, amendments. Cardinal Mahony? 

Cardinal Mahony: In the spirit of and in light of all of our discussions so far, I would like to amend that Action Item to allow a two-phase involvement by the bishops of our conference, unless this part has to be a private motion, but that would, of necessity, probably or most likely extend the time period, possibly a year, maybe even more. 

But the two-phase involvement which would involve the bishops in two ways: first, to receive each ICEL segment; allowing us, then, the opportunity to offer recommendations, suggestions, etc., which would go back to both our Doctrine and Liturgy Committees, as well as to our ICEL representative for further discussion, etc., and allowing us an opportunity, here in our meeting, to discuss those issues. Then secondly, receive back, then, a final, definitive version, segment, for our final, definitive vote. 

Archbishop Keeler: You're amending the motion? 

Cardinal Mahony: Yes. 

Archbishop Keeler: Is there a second for Cardinal Mahony? 

Cardinal Mahony: So, what I'm looking for is what we receive from ICEL two ways to deal with it: one a preliminary cut at it and then, secondly, a refined ability based on the input of the bishops and our two committees to then give a definitive vote with items we wish remanded to IC

Archbishop Keeler: Your Eminence, I understand it would be helpful if we would have a written version of that for the sake of clari- 

Cardinal Mahony: Yes, I just haven't had time to write it out as such. But again we need to simplify it. Now just simply say we have one opportunity and we are doing that today, with that first segment. We have one opportunity, and everything that comes from today will go to Archbishop Pilarczyk and back to ICEL. 

I am simply suggesting that there be a two-level involvement; that we have one opportunity as bishops to discuss all of this, to make our recommendations, to involve our committees; and then from that process comes a more refined version of recommendations and comments that we can then vote on in a definitive way and make that our ICEL presentation. 

Bishop Gregory: Your Eminence, first of all, I support that concern, but I also think that the body of bishops ought to be aware perhaps Archbishop Pilarczyk will say - but in effect that two staged development has already taken place. 

The materials that ICEL sent out through Archbishop Pilarczyk, were sent out months and months ago and there were so-well, there were very few respondents and it was actually the paucity of respondents even to this level that caused me to take this matter up with the Administrative Board, so that- 

Cardinal Mahony: I realize that. What has happened, though, with Archbishop Pilarczyk's nodding and prodding, he has engaged us and now we are in a different place and I think we will always be now on board with him in the process. 

Because what I'm really saying is that probably was a non-event for most of us, that first time around, and I'm simply saying that what was [not] done then is probably being done now. And given the enormity of the response and involvement, it's just simply offering the opportunity for us to then take all of this, engage those committees, have it brought back next November with nothing very serious, and far fewer recommendations, and so that's what the result would be. I wish I could do that in simple, clear language. 

Archbishop Keeler: We're going to call a momentary time-out. 

Mr. Robert [parliamentarian]: ... recommended by the committee, and if that is voted down then it would be in order for Cardinal Mahony to introduce his proposal. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you, Mr. Robert. If the chair retracted the proposal-  

Bishop Gregory: Well, I believe that it would be better for us to vote on this proposal. If the body of bishops rejects it, then I think we should move with a new procedure, physically a new procedure. 

Cardinal Mahony: Then, let me just say that I would urge us to vote 'no' on this proposal, and the reason would be to give us the kind of collective involvement, discussion of the bishops. 

What we have before us has been really an individual response and what I would be proposing as a subsequent motion would involve us in a collective involvement of all the bishops to hear each other, to participate, and what comes from us will be collective. So I would urge us to vote 'no' on this, and then I would introduce it. 

Archbishop Keeler: In the light of that ruling by the parliamentarian, we would proceed to debate and discuss the motion that has been made, and we have now a number of people who have asked to speak. Archbishop Cronin. 

Archbishop Daniel Cronin [Hartford]: I speak against the motion, Mr. Chairman, precisely for the reason that time is of the essence on this and we really and truly cannot confront all the ramifications of these translations with all the amendments and all the rest without a lot, a lot of time, and I think that the intention of Cardinal Mahony's amendment was very, very wise and very well chosen. 

I would like one clarification, though; in the light of all of this the input that would come from Bishop Trautman and Bishop Hughes' committee- Would that ever be made available, or at least I suggest that it be made available, in the future, to the body of bishops and not just be an inter-committee exchange of correspondence, because if Doctrine raises very serious points that should be considered, the body of bishops should know about that. In any event, for the motion on the floor, I vote no. 

Archbishop Keeler: All right. Archbishop Pilarczyk in favor of the motion. 

Archbishop Pilarczyk: I speak in favor of the motion, Archbishop, because it is in accord with the processes that have been used in the past, it is in accord with the legislation of the Holy See, and it is in accord with reality. [laughter] The fact of the matter is that if we choose to follow the promised path of Cardinal Mahony, we are going to have missed the bus already because about 85% of the material for the new Sacramentary has already been approved by the ICEL Episcopal Board. I have on my desk at home the second last bundle which I have to vote on as your representative. There's only one more to come, I think. Consequently, the material that we will be getting is already in the pipeline. 

Secondly, I do not believe that we - our Conference - can come to ICEL and say, "We unilaterally have decided that we're going to do it differently from all the rest of the world." It seems to me that what's required is another change of ICEL statutes to accommodate this Conference. We have already made one change, at your request, last year, by getting the stuff a little bit at a time instead of altogether. 

Finally, I believe that if members find the present approach to be demanding and time-consuming, I would simply say that I have found that to be the case myself in my work as your representative. If it's hard done by one person sitting at a desk alone, the difficulty when it's done by 300 people sitting in a room together is practically beyond calculation. 

I submit that a group this large cannot write prayers. I submit that a group this large has to trust those it has entrusted with the work, and either take it or leave it. I don't think that anything else is going to work. 

Moreover, if we shelve this piece, it will be waiting for us next year at this time, together with three more pieces even larger. I speak in favor of the motion because I think the procedures presented by the Liturgy Committee are the only thing that makes sense, given the realities with which we have to deal. [applause] 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Archbishop Levada. 

Archbishop Levada: I was going to suggest that for response to the previous discussion, that it would be helpful to formalize the Trautman proposal, the part of this item that we're voting on. 

I really regret the decision by the parliamentarian to force us to do this piece now, instead of dealing with what I think could have been accepted as an amendment to the entire question about the procedures. But I'm going to leave to someone else, perhaps Bishop Trautman would be the person to do that, and speak against the motion so that now we're forced to defeat what is otherwise a reasonable procedure, so that we can address what is an even more reasonable procedure. 

Archbishop Pilarczyk suggests that this conference needs to put its trust in ICEL. In a letter we have in our documentation, he addresses the issue this way: "First," he says, "I would hope that the members of the NCCB realize that ICEL is not them, but us - it is an agency of our Conference and of other bishops' conferences." 

Now, it continues to come back to us, however, that ICEL has made decisions independently of our Conference and says "you can take it or leave it." Again, Archbishop Pilarczyk's words. I don't like to be put in that position. And I think there's a kind of ambiguity here. As I understand the intention of Cardinal Mahony, it is to implement the resolutions which this Conference adopted a year ago. 

These two actions: let me read them. "Be adopted these two motions: that the NCCB accept the call of paragraph 20 of Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter on the 25th anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, that the NCCB evaluate the relationship between its Committee on the Liturgy and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy; and that the Committee on the Liturgy evaluate, and possibly amend, the guidelines to ensure that it and all the members of the NCCB remain fully engaged in all ICEL translation projects." 

I take it that that's the point that Cardinal Mahony is attempting through his motion to provide a procedure, a more detailed procedure, to implement absent the Liturgy Committee's and ICEL's adopting, addressing that issue. 

The second motion that we adopted last year: "Let NCCB instruct its representative to ICEL to propose that ICEL review its procedures so that members of its eleven episcopal conferences can review proposed translations in smaller segments and at more frequent intervals, thus ensuring the bishops will be more fully and actively involved through the entire process.

And I'm grateful to the ICEL board for addressing that motion by putting before us in segments what it had previously intended to put before us all at once. But I think it is entirely consistent with these motions that Cardinal Mahony wants to involve the bishops in a double review of these texts, precisely in order to allow us, in our judgment together, to come up with the best possible product for the revision of the Missal. 

For this reason, I think it would be important for us bishops, at this point, to vote no on the proposed process, procedure that Bishop Gregory has put before us as action item, so that we can address these further refinements of the attention to this matter that we voted last year as a result of Cardinal Mahony's original proposal. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Cardinal Mahony, a clarification. 

Cardinal Mahony: It is with some trepidation that I ask a review of Mr. Robert's ruling, because I don't want to see this in an adversarial relationship; I don't want to see us having to vote no against this to vote for something else. 

My amendment, the proposed action item, is to approve the NCCB procedure for approving the Revised Roman Missal. My amendment is to the very heart of that proposal. My proposed amendment is not something different from or distinct from - and I am afraid it has created a kind of "us-and-them" which I'm precisely trying to avoid - and it would seem to me that the heart of my motion was to bring together the best of the variety of proposals here before us into one sound motion that possibly all of us could vote for. And so I would just question whether or not this is not something distinct. It is an enhancement, in fact, of the proposal.  

Archbishop Keeler: We're going to look now ... Are they ready for the coffee? We can have a coffee break. [laughter]

[Note: After the coffee break Monsignor Robert N. Lynch (NCCB General Secretary) announced the results of the ballot on the amendment concerning the five-month to two-week time-frame for review of texts. The votes were: 195 Yes, 31 No, one abstention, so the motion to amend carried.] 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you Monsignor Lynch. During the coffee break, there was a meeting at which participated Cardinal Mahony, Bishop Hughes, Bishop Trautman, Bishop Gregory, the officers, Archbishop Pilarczyk and it was a truly fruitful meeting. [laughter] And there are going to be three interventions now that will, with the also supporting words of Bishop Gregory, express a consensus. First, Bishop Trautman is going to present a couple ... amendments which will touch on numbers 4 and 6 of the procedures. Bishop Trautman, please. 

Bishop Trautman: Thank you. I'd like to preface the amendment, if I may, by simply saying that these procedures are needed. They will afford the body of bishops input on revised Sacramentaries. I also think this conference should note that the committee system has served this conference well, and these procedures are enabling that to continue. 

I would propose, on page 10, number 4, the last line, "Consultation with the NCCB Committee on Doctrine and with other NCCB committees is to be included in this review, " that following this sentence these words would be added: "The chair of Liturgy and the chair of Doctrine, together with the Executive Director of Liturgy and the Executive Director of Doctrine, review the ICEL texts in the particular segment being submitted to the body of Bishops and surface those texts which appear to raise doctrinal concerns, submit those texts to the Doctrine Committee for study and recommendation. 

"The conclusions of the Doctrine Committee would be forwarded to the Liturgy Committee. Where there is need for dialogue or clarification over these conclusions, the Chairmen would seek to facilitate joint discussions between committee members and Committee consultants. The Liturgy Committee would report to the body of bishops the recommendations received from the Doctrine Committee, when the Liturgy Committee presents the action item for approval of the proposed liturgical texts." 

I so move. 

Archbishop Keeler: Is there a second? 

Bishop Trautman: Could I point out that this amendment will also effect the wording on page eleven, number 6, the second last sentence, which presently reads: "Each segment of material will be reviewed by the Committee on Doctrine." In view of the amendment, that wording would fall out. 

Archbishop Keeler: So that is understood as one amendment and, I'm presuming, the second would cover also the deletion and Bishop Gregory, do you have a comment on that? 

Bishop Gregory: Archbishop, I am very happy to accept that amendment as a friendly amendment, and I endorse it. 

Archbishop Keeler: I wonder if, in the context of the discussion of this amendment, I may call on the other two speakers right now so that the body of bishops will have a sense of the total picture. So, I'd like Cardinal Mahony, please, if you would speak about our understanding of what is going to occur with the adoption of this amendment. 

Cardinal Mahony: Yes, thank you. I think our coffee break time was very, very useful. We must keep in mind, as Archbishop Pilarczyk has pointed out several times, that it is not up to each individual bishop or Episcopal Conference to write or rewrite the prayers of the Sacramentary. But it is our responsibility to review those, to offer recommendations to Archbishop Pilarczyk when he so inquires of us, and then, secondly, to review those as we are doing today on that first segment and to vote to remand certain things back to ICEL for their consideration. So, in effect, we really do have two levels involved now, because what Archbishop Pilarczyk, the staff of ICEL and the board will do with all of our remandings or remandents or whatever the noun is, we will get back then, again, for a final, definitive vote. 

So, I am going to move, as an amendment to the motion before us on the procedure, that we continue forward now with the process as now amended by Bishop Trautman, and that the conference accept as a primary task, in the coming, at least, two or three years, an in-depth review of the coming segments of the ICEL translations, and that we continue forward with the process as it is now actually envisioned for the future. The difficulty is today's treatments of these matters. That's where the confusion has come. So that next year, next November, we would have the opportunity possibly to have an in-depth review, plus our own written interventions. 

[End of tape.] 

Wednesday morning, Nov. 17,1993

Part 2, Continued Liturgical Discussion  

Archbishop Pilarczyk: ... Cardinal Mahony's motion will be basically that we continue the process that we have entered, that we are not, therefore, empowered to write the prayers. All we can do is either accept or remand. 

Now, what does 'remand' mean? Those elements of the proposed text which are sent back to ICEL - remanded - by our conference, will be looked at together with the justificatory material; and ICEL'S staff will rework, if necessary, and then bring those items to the attention of the Episcopal Board [of ICEL] which must approve all ICEL products. 

Perhaps they will need to go to the other [English-speaking national] Conferences, if the other Conferences are interested, or if they have received - if ICEL has received - similar requests from other Conferences. The product of ICEL's staff work and the vote of the Episcopal Board ultimately will come back to this Conference for approval or rejection. That's what 'remanding' means. They might not come back by the next meeting, given the complexity of the process. It may take a couple of years, but they will ultimately come back for acceptance or rejection. 

That's the only choice we have. This is not because ICEL wants to be difficult, but because that's the legislation of the Church on these matters. We [U.S. bishops] do not have the option to rewrite the prayers. Our only option is to accept or send it back. 

Sending it back means the ICEL staff does preliminary work; the ICEL Episcopal Board ultimately has to approve it, and then it comes back here. I think the Episcopal Board will want to discuss whether these matters need to go to the other 10 Conferences. That's an issue that may or may not have been resolved. 

In any case, it's going to be a long process. But that's the choice: to accept or remand. 

And if I understand Cardinal Mahony correctly, you're saying "that's fine, let's just do it a little more slowly". Is that correct, Your Eminence? 

Cardinal Mahony: Yes- and involving the other committees. 

Archbishop Pilarczyk: I'd be glad to answer any questions if still further clarity is required. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Bruskewitz. 

Bishop Bruskewitz: I just want to ask Archbishop Pilarczyk if there's no time-table necessary for us to conform to, however. For example, the alternatives "accept or remand" can have an added one: "delay." Am I correct? 

Archbishop Pilarczyk: Well, it seems to me that no, yes and no. You're partially correct and partially not. First of all, the time-table is up to us - this Conference - to determine. In the meantime, other Conferences, of course, are looking at these texts and it's quite conceivable that the conference of England and Wales, being a smaller one, will give its approval and have the Sacramentary on the shelves before ours. That's not the issue, however. The option that we have, as I understand it, is accept or remand. If we have not, we can not accept. Accept, reject, remand. 

[Note: The bishops of England and Wales were sent the ICEL revisions two months before their Conference meets, after the Second Sunday of Easter, 1994, and a vote on the first segment of the Sacramentary is scheduled for that meeting -ed.] 

Bishop Bruskewitz: But can't we-We have a blizzard of papers; we cut down a forest to accompany this meeting. I can't understand why we can't take more time to think of it. Why - what is the urgency; what is the hurry? That would be my question, I guess. 

Archbishop Pilarczyk: And my answer would be that there is no hurry. It's up to this Conference to decide what time-table it will follow. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Archbishop Weakland, please. 

Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, OSB[Milwaukee; Chmn., Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; member Adm. Comm., Mission and Structure of the NCCB.] I think we all feel very uncomfortable with the discussion this morning, and what Archbishop Pilarczyk said, of course, is true with regard to the restrictions on us. But I do sense in looking at those 155 pages, that bishops who have attempted to retranslate and are sending in motions, are also calling into question the primary document of the Concilium of 1969, Comme le prévoit. And this is, I think, the core of the problem.

I have to admit that I was a member of the Concilium [Concilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy] set up by Paul VI for the implementation of the Sacrosanctum Concilium [Vatican II constitution on the liturgy], and that when we put out that document Comme le prévoit, the idea was to permit all of the language groups the kind of freedom they would need to adapt to the genius of each language and not to have slavish translations. The "slavish" translation was said [to be] one where you could almost say the Latin again by looking at the English. 

Now the question is that so many of the translations we're getting - and so much of the discussion, I think - about the value of the ICEL translations, centers around that document Comme le prévoit. I would suggest that maybe we have to have some good, clear discussion among ourselves and the criteria in that document, before we sit down even to give recommendations, because so many of those recommendations are outside of that document. That would be my first kind of clarity that I think we need before we proceed on this. We can't come with 155 pages each time. 

The second clarification I think that we need right now - and I would give this to Bishop Trautman's committee now - I sense that retranslating the Sacramentary is getting the brunt of all the unease out there with regard to liturgy; that this is just the tip of the iceberg, that somehow we have to get at the core of the problem.

There is an enormous unrest and unease about liturgy in the United States right now. It's doctrinal, it's linguistic, it's also music -and somehow we're not getting at the heart of that and the battles on the floor over translation, I think, is just typical of something out there which is much deeper. 

Now, I said that with regard to Children's Liturgy [revision approved 19921 and made a motion on the floor and it was voted by this body - but I don't think we went anywhere with it. But I would love again at least to mention to the Committee on Liturgy, I think the problem is deeper than translations. We could speed up the process if we would get at the root of the problem instead of just retranslating every oration. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. I would remind the body now that under discussion is the amendment made by Bishop Trautman. Do we have any further discussion of that amendment? 

Voice vote, ready for the question? Those in favor, please say "aye." Opposed, "no."[none] Are we ready now for the vote on the - oh, Cardinal Mahony? 

Cardinal Mahony: Isn't it the intent of our gathering up there was to have one global proposal rather than several votes? And I simply move, as an amendment, that the Conference accept now as a primary task our in-depth review of the coming segments in ICEL translation and that we utilize at least 1994 and 1995 as general meetings as primary times for far more in-depth consultation among ourselves, discussion and votes on remanding. 

That would accomplish what I have suggested before, in the light of Archbishop Pilarczyk's comments, that in fact we do have the ability to send back to ICEL for review the number of items that we decide, and that we will get that back yet another time for a final review. And so I would propose that, as an amendment to further enhance the process. 

Archbishop Keeler: It would be introductory words on this as we understand it. Is there a second for Cardinal Mahony's amendment? Seconded. Archbishop McCarrick, you have a question? 

Archbishop McCarrick: Archbishop, may I come back to the question that I raised initially? What effect does this have on our approval of this fascicle which we have in front of us. I am presuming that it has none and that after we take this vote, then it would be proper to try to put in place for this fascicle what we have already adopted now for the other fascicles. Is that correct? 

Archbishop Keeler: That is ... Bishop Gregory will speak to that when we come to the next action item. Any other questions? Archbishop Keleher? 

Archbishop James P. Keleher: [Kansas City, Kansas; Chmn,. Economic Concerns of Holy See]: Maybe Archbishop Pilarczyk could answer this, Archbishop Keeler, but after the remanding, and it comes back to us and we take a look at it, and let us say we are still not satisfied with the text, then what is our option? Is it reject and then we rewrite? Or what happens? 

Archbishop Pilarczyk: It is my understanding, Archbishop, that that is the case. If we don't like what the remand has yielded, we have the right, still, to reject. If we reject the remand, then, it seems, we have the right to do one of our own. How that would be indicated in the ICEL text is a technical question. But that's my understanding. Is that incorrect Dr. Page? 

Dr. John Page: [Secretary of ICEL]: Correct. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Any further discussion? Archbishop Levada? 

Archbishop Levada: In the procedure, on page 10, number 3 it says, "For texts failing to receive the requisite approval of the NCCB, requested changes or substitutions are to be communicated to the ICEL Secretariat after the appropriate consultation," etc. 

This is just a point of clarification. In the consideration we give to any of these fascicles, it seems to me that this process envisions some of the specific prayers being separated out and remanded. Will the work product that comes back for our consideration include all of the fascicles or only those remanded prayers? Is it not possible that in the consideration of the suggestions that are made on these remanded prayers that some implications will be present also for those other prayers which were not singled out? 

Archbishop Keeler: Archbishop Pilarczyk. 

Archbishop Pilarczyk: It's my understanding, Archbishop, that what we send to ICEL will be what we get back. In other words, if we remand a prayer for the 19th Sunday of the year, that will be looked at, and that's what will come back to us, changed, unchanged - whatever. 

I do not perceive that ICEL will find it necessary to redo whole segments of texts which have not been remanded. It seems to me that once a text is approved, it's approved - and the remand is the exception and it is dealt with, in my my opinion, in the narrow context in which it is sent back. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. 

Archbishop Levada: Let me put my further question for clarification, then. In the event that the entire fascicle were rejected, in order to accomplish what number 3 says, that is, "texts failing to receive the requisite approval and the entire fascicle...", it seems to me that the process envisions selecting out particular prayers for remanding, which then may be a part of the final vote - which may be a negative vote - in which case the entire thing would go back to ICEL. 

In that case, will the suggestions about the prayers which have not been isolated for remanding also be communicated to ICEL as a part of the overall rejection - for them to work on? 

Archbishop Pilarczyk: Archbishop, I'm not sure I understood all that. Let me try to say what I think you're referring to. If an entire fascicle is rejected or remanded, then that fascicle becomes the object of study and work on the part ICEL's staff and Episcopal Board. If there are concerns about approved texts, I think this Conference has the right to express those; however, the remanding process is a tight process. In other words, you have to - we have to - be clear about what we are remanding and for what reason.

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Gaughan. 

Bishop Norbert F. Gaughan [Gary, retired]: Archbishop Weakland mentioned Comme le prévoit but I'd like to ask him or John Page or Archbishop Pilarczyk: the redoubtable Joseph Fessio  [Note: Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, Ignatius Press - ed . ] has taken on that that document was mistranslated and therefore is misused in the process. I would like to hear Archbishop Weakland's theory on it. 

Bishop Gregory: May, I? Archbishop-may I read a letter that I have in my possession in response to Bishop Gaughan? This letter is from the Concilium, dated January 8, 1969. 

The letter reads: 

"Dear Father McManus: 

I am sending you the final text of the instruction on translations of liturgical texts. You have already given us an English translation of this document -but, as you can see, some changes have been made in the beginning and at the end. New things have been added. 

"Right now an English translation is being prepared sooner at the Secretariat, using the one you gave us as a basis. This is being done so that, as soon as possible, it can be sent to the various English speaking episcopal Conferences. 

"Thank you for your continual cooperation. I hope that the New Year brings you much success in your work. 

"Sincerely yours in Christ, Anibale Bugnini, Secretary of the Concilium." 

The Concilium issued that document

Bishop Gaughan: And the translation? 

Bishop Gregory: And the translation. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Any further discussion? Questioning? 

Now reverting on the amendment that Cardinal Mahony presented to ... which gives his understanding, an understanding to the approach being taken. Are you ready for the question? 

Those in favor, please say "aye". Opposed, "no''. It carries. 

Now we're ready to vote on the Action Item itself. It takes a simple majority of Latin - no, yes. Simple majority. Latin rite members. And do we use a written ballot? 

Bishop Gregory: .... one must give the benefit of doubt to the text itself. The burden of accusing the text lies on the objector who must clearly demonstrate that a particular text is at variance with the Church's teaching. 

Accordingly, as the Committee reviewed the various motions, it decided to preface the Group II document with a series of notes on the issues that were raised by the bishops who presented these motions and the responses to them. 

These comments - or notes - are found on the first 9 pages of the Group II Amendment document, and deal with the style of the translation, petitionary language, the use of pronouns, the titles used for God, the alternate opening prayers, the translation of quaesumus. the translation of mereamur, and the translation of mens and voluntas. 

These comments will also be helpful in dealing with future segments of the Sacramentary. 

Archbishop Keeler, on behalf of the Liturgy Committee, I move that the Motions for Further Consideration rejected by the Committee contained in Group II be approved en bloc

Archbishop Keeler: The motion on behalf of the Committee does not require a second .... OK, I'm sorry ...... We will now consider the amendments in your brochure marked Group I. The Committee recommends that all these amendments be adopted. Does any member desire a separate vote on any amendment in Group I? Cardinal Hickey. 

Cardinal James Hickey [Washington, DC; Adm. Comm, recently named Consultant to BCL]: Archbishop, before we consider these amendments, I move to return to the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy the translations of the Sunday Mass texts before us so that they may be reviewed by the Doctrine Committee, in a process that was agreed upon by this Conference and was in writing. 

They may be reviewed by the Doctrine Committee in accordance with the procedure agreed upon prior to our meeting today, and secondly so that the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy may conduct its own review - independent of ICEL - after a further examination of the texts for their pastoral advantages or problems. 

I do this out of concern as a priest and pastor - as bishop. I'm concerned for the average man and woman in the pews who is being constantly asked to adapt themselves to unfamiliar and often confusing modes of prayer. I think they will be confused and harmed by the following points characteristic of the translations before us. 

The words of supplication - this is by way of explaining my motion - words of supplication have been either eliminated or reduced to a brief word at the end of the text. Supplication, however, is integral to private prayer and to public prayer. [Note: He refers to the Latin quaesumus, lit. 'we beseech', or 'we beg' -ed.] 

We gather as a people in need, we ask mercy and forgiveness. We were all taught to say "please" in our homes and in our schools and certainly in polite discourse. Why is it so wrong to preface our prayer to God with a "please"? I submit that that is not harking back to the rules of an ancient court practice, but that it is ordinary usage amongst civilized people. 

I also am concerned that words that indicate transcendence - the transcendence of God - need more attention, and often a more literal translation. Cælestis maiestas. [lit. 'heavenly majesty'. - ed.] Why can we predicate majesty of mountains and architectural structures so easily, but we avoid it with respect to God? 

Already our liturgy has removed many elements that induce a sense of awe and reverence. We dare not increase the lack of the transcendent. Rather we should be seeking to have the transcendent as an important part of our prayer. 

And finally, words that speak of the inner self of the participant in the liturgy need to be more evident. I'm referring here to mereamur [lit. deserve, merit -ed.], a number of times translated by 'May we.' I submit that that is not enough. The concept of merit and inner worthiness should not be lost. 

Secondly, in respect to mens, mentes: our text consistently prefers to translate this as 'heart.' To be sure, 'heart' is rich in theological meaning, but we should not neglect the intellectual dimension of translating mens as mind. 

And finally, words indicating God's compassion and forgiveness should not be diluted as I believe they have in this. I make this request because perhaps the latter points I've been raising have to do with style. But I would very much like to have, from the Doctrine Committee, their view of whether or not these translations do have doctrinal implications. I was looking forward to that very much, I was hoping we would have it and it was only on Saturday that I learned that the procedure had not yet been agreed upon as to how that would take place. 

For that reason, I move that we return these texts to the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy for further work, for further consultation with the Doctrine Committee - and above all that our Liturgy Committee give special attention to the pastoral dimensions. 

Let me close by saying, Please, my brothers - quæsumus, fratres-return these texts to the Committee so that the translations before us can be acted upon by the Doctrine Committee and the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy with the pastoral points in view. 

Archbishop Keeler: The motion is in order. It's debatable. Is there a second? Second. All right. Now, for discussion, please use the cards, the timer will be functioning, Bishop Al Hughes, speaking in favor of the motion. 

Bishop Alfred Hughes: I do rise in support of Cardinal Hickey's motion to pledge the assistance of the Committee on Doctrine in addressing the concerns that he has raised. 

I personally did not submit amendments or suggestions about remanding particular prayers. I would like to have the opportunity to review with the Committee on Doctrine, what I see to be some areas that do need study. 

How the transcendence of God is preserved appropriately in the translation Sempiterne, eterne omnipotens, as well as- as Cardinal Hickey mentioned - caelestis and maiestas

The posture of the Church at prayer, the way in which terms that use the.. . [convey] the Latin laetare, humiles, and quæsumus

I recognize how the Committee on Liturgy is expressing their understanding of the response of ICEL, but I would like to see the Committee on Doctrine at least look at that to see if there is a theological issue involved here. 

A third issue is that the implicit theology of grace, and in particular with regard to merit, in the way in which mereamur is consistently treated in the translations. The first would be the spousal imagery of the Church as reflected in the translations. Are we, by referring to the Church as "it" eliminating consistently the spousal imagery and thereby impacting the way in which we all faithful are experiencing the relationship of the Church to Christ? 

So I speak in favor of postponing our treatment of this fascicle to allow the Committee - to allow what we just voted in to take place in reference to the Committee on Doctrine's cooperation with the Committee on Liturgy with regard to this fascicle. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Sheets, to be followed by Bishop Chaput, both speaking in favor. Bishop Sheets? 

Bishop John R Sheets, SJ [Aux., Fort Wayne-South Bend; Doctrine Committee]: I'd like to begin by reading part of a letter which I addressed to Bishop Gregory a couple of weeks ago: 

"This is not an easy letter for me to write. I've just finished going over the proposed revision of the Sacramentary, segment I, Ordinary Time. There were 100 passages with which I had problems; I decided it would take too much time to copy out all of them, the text and so on, and give the reasons for the disagreement. 

"It pains me to say that in my opinion the whole text of the Sacramentary is flawed beyond any possibility of remedy. The real question at issue is the validity of the rationale or the hermeneutical principle that forms the basis of the norms used by ICEL in their translations." 

We're talking here about an intrinsic nature of what translation means - not the words we've heard: 'slavish', 'literal'. The Pope himself - nobody on earth or in heaven - can change the intrinsic meaning of translation. Translation means to take from one medium something from another medium, print it into another medium. 

By this coming into this other medium, it means that you should first of all get conceptually what was in the original but also get affectively what was in the original. If somebody translates a joke and nobody laughs, you might have the conceptual part, but not the affective part. In other words, I find here a questionable notion, I don't know how to use the term - the unit of, the conceptual unit - as a way to guide their translations. 

Whatever they do, there has to be a conceptual translation, the concepts that are in the original have to be found in the translation. But also the affectivity - the sense of majesty, dignity, whatever it is - if it is going to be a true translation, it has to find itself in that new medium. If you take Hamlet, which is a play, and transform it into an opera, conceptually the same ideas have to be in the opera that are in the play, and also affectively. 

And I really find it flawed - and that's why all of the discussions about individual translations [fail], I think - unless they're seen in terms of an intrinsic philosophy at work here. Whether it is conceptualized, whether it is articulated, it seems to me there is an intrinsic philosophy (some of these points have been brought up by Bishop Hughes and others); and that's why I don't know how it's possible for us to go through [the text] putting Band-Aids on individual passages without looking at the implicit philosophy which is behind the translation. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Chaput, to be followed by Archbishop McCarrick. 

Bishop Chaput: I fully support Cardinal Hickey's motion for the reasons that have been given but also because I think what Archbishop Weakland said earlier is very important here, perhaps it was - in my mind - the most important intervention on this question. 

It's really important for us to have our principles in place, or we're going to fight this every time it comes up, and we're going to go through the same agony. I think it's worth our taking our time to look at the principles of translation that are involved. Lex orandi, lex credendi -we all know that - so this touches on the basis of our mission as bishops: to teach and to preach the truth. 

So I think that in addition to the issues that Cardinal Hickey brought to our attention, we ought to reflect again on what Archbishop Weakland said about the importance of reviewing the document that gave us principles for translation [Comme le prévoit], not only among ourselves, but to ask the Holy See's opinion on this. 

I grant that we did receive the official translation from the Concilium itself, I guess; but we still might have problems with the way it's applied today. So, just talking about the past doesn't solve our problem. We have to talk about the concerns of the present, so I really do voice support for what the Cardinal says. Let's take our time, let's not get part of it done; then have to redo it because we have reviewed the principles of translation and need to redo it again. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Archbishop McCarrick speaking for the motion, followed by Bishop Bosco speaking against it. 

Archbishop McCarrick: Archbishop, I stand in awe at the extraordinary work of the Liturgy Committee in having gone through all of those interventions and I think on behalf of the - certainly on my own behalf -I'm very grateful to you for that remarkable work on behalf of all of us. 

I also stand in awe of the great theological goodness and depth that we've heard from Cardinal Hickey and Bishop Hughes and Bishop Sheets. I stand just as a someone who looks at the history of this this morning. 

We have just approved a new procedure for all the other fascicles. It seems to me that it is only consistent that we do with the first fascicle what we have unanimously decided to do with the others and therefore Cardinal Hickey's suggestion, his motion rather - which I support - would allow us to be consistent and to subject this first fascicle to that same scrutiny that unanimously we have adopted as our principle for the subsequent ones, so that's why I'm in favor of this motion. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Bosco 'against', and then Bishop Galante 'for', and I think at that point we may have - oh, and we have another, all right. Bishop Galante 'for'. After Bishop Bosco we'll hear two more speakers and that will be it. After these two. 

Bishop Bosco: I'm always delighted with the verbal practices of this body. They remind me very much of the Senate of the United States where phrases such as "the most distinguished gentleman, with all due respect is an idiot" [laughter] -and we approached in candor this morning, I think, and Archbishop Weakland led us in that direction. 

I don't question at all the sincerity or the concern about theological questions and doctrinal questions in our translations here, but the implication is that there is something deeper here and I share the opinion of Archbishop Weakland, namely, that somehow or another these are questions of orthodoxy. 

I believe that if we read and read some of the material that comes across our desks from all different sources, the implication is that perhaps ICEL, perhaps our own Committee, are not in union with the Holy See, or are not necessarily reciting the same creed or with the same intention. 

And I think that is what bothers me - that we are not really getting to the root issue here and charges are being made. The sea is turbulent and we, perhaps, I think, should admit that fact that there is a great deal of name-calling, a great deal of suspicion, a great deal of suspicion against men - and women - who are as devoutly in love with Jesus Christ as I hope we all are. 

I certainly could have sat down alone, all by myself, and written a magnificent translation. I wouldn't have wanted to subject it to this body, however. [laughter] 

I will remind you of the lovely, concise Italian proverb traduttore, tradittore. It's inevitable that there is going to be some question raised about any translation. Some might see that as cynical. For the sake of those not of the "chosen people7' that means every translator is a betrayer. I don't think it is cynical. I think it's good, sound Italian realism -and so I will vote against the motion. 

Archbishop Keeler: There was another red card here. [Holding up a red card means a bishop wishes to speak against the motion being considered. -ed.] Bishop Galante 'for' and then Bishop Wcela 'against'. 

Bishop Joseph A. Galante [Aux., San Antonio]: I'd like to support Cardinal Hickey's motion for a couple of reasons. I want to hark back to what Archbishop Weakland said and support his comment about the general concern of liturgy. 

All of us in this body are not theologians professionally or scripture scholars or liturgists. All of us are pastors, professionally if you will. I think that one of the things that we discover even for ourselves and for people is a certain unease. And I think what's a pastoral response to unease is to seek a greater sense of clarity or a greater sense of security. I feel very comfortable in turning over to those members of our group who are professional theologians, as well as professional liturgists, because they are also pastors, these texts for their expertise. 

I think the other thing is, too, that part of the unease perhaps in the whole question of the liturgy is we've lost the sense of symbolism in some of the liturgical changes perhaps that have been made - some liturgical expressions (and I would submit that language is also symbolic) because symbols express our theology and our belief, so it is gestures, place, etc. -and language - which is symbolic of our belief. And I think that those people who can maybe reflect best on our belief are those members of our body who are members of the Doctrinal Committee - to see if our symbols, including language, really reflect our belief. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Wcela against the motion to be followed by Bishop Egan and he will be the last one to intervene and then we'll have a clarification. 

Bishop Wcela: I speak not so much against the specific issues that Cardinal Hickey raises. I have no objection with more consideration and more study.

I speak against it because I think, with Archbishop Weakland and with Bishop Bosco - and also with Bishop Sheets, who's speaking from a different point of view - that to be voting on specific motions about process is spinning our wheels. 

It is very clear that there are principles that are involved here. There are stakes that are involved here. What we need to agree on is, do we or do we not accept the principles that are presented for us in the introduction to the document? Do we or do we not agree that that's the style we want to take? If we are coming and each looking at the document from a different point of view and saying, "This is the way I see it", and "This is the way I see it", we'll never get any plate without commonly accepted principles.

I don't deny that there may be, in some places, doctrinal issues. Most - I shouldn't say most -a large part of those presentations we have, objections we have, are not doctrinal issues. They have to do with translation, they have to do with style.  

In the last 30 years 27 translations of the Bible have been made into English. Is it because everybody else thinks that there is something wrong in another translation, or there is something doctrinally inaccurate? No. It's a matter of style. It's a matter of the audience you're talking to. It's a matter of how are you trying to express the language. Are you trying to be a literal translation? Are you trying to be a functional-equivalent translation? 

I would say, then, that I am against this. Again, not because of the specifics but because it doesn't face the real issue. Even our whole discussion of process earlier doesn't face the real issue. 

Do we or do we not, as a body, agree with the principles that have been presented to us for translation? 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Egan and then Archbishop Pilarczyk with an observation or clarification. 

Bishop Edward M. Egan [Bridgeport; Adm. Comm., Science & Human Values]: Mr. Chairman, I believe our problem is precisely where Bishop Wcela located it. There are many who are looking for a translation. A translation need not be "slavish"; it need not be inelegant. Many great translations have been done of the classics of literature from one language to another.  

A translation is a conversion from one language to another. It is not to update attitudes; it is to capture the attitudes and repeat them. 

Updating attitudes is an editing or a correcting of a text. 

I think that perhaps we have not served our wonderful staffs well. We should, perhaps, have said to them, if this is our mind, "we are seeking a translation which is inspiring and elegant; we are not looking for an editing, a correcting, or an updating. We want to capture in our language and in our time the ideas, the attitudes of the time of composition." 

I have a feeling that if we were to say that clearly, we would be helping our staffs and we would be eliminating these kinds of problems. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Archbishop Pilarczyk, to be followed by Bishop Trautman with a clarification. 

Archbishop Pilarczyk: I have a question, Archbishop, if I may; however I would like to make a small observation before. It's the experience of all who have ever translated anything that no translation satisfies everybody and that what one will see as a "slavish" translation others will see as overly creative. 

As I've mentioned elsewhere, translation is not a science: it's an art. And on questions of art and skill, you are always going to have differences of opinion. Some will say it's too much this, and some will say it's too much that. And that is always going to be the case no matter what principles we agree on. 

My question: It is my understanding that the purpose of this motion is to allow the material presently before us to undergo that one remaining step which we agreed on in the process. Is that the intent of the motion? [Yes]. 

Consequently, this would not reopen the field for further amendments or further requests or anything else. Is that - that is my understanding. Is that correct? 

Archbishop Keeler: Cardinal Hickey made the motion- 

Cardinal Hickey: No, it's not entirely correct. The motion very clearly says that it is to go to the Doctrine Committee so that we will be following the same procedure that we've just agreed to for all the future. 

My motion also included a review of it - an independent review of the text - by the Committee on the Liturgy, with a special eye to the pastoral results for the people. 

What I'm asking the Committee on the Liturgy to consider the effect upon the people of dropping words such as "we implore You," "we merit" and so on: the very issues that I suspect are going to be in the Doctrine Committee Report but also have pastoral implications. 

I would love to be assured that not just in a joint meeting with ICEL - and I'm not casting any stones or raising any questions about that - I have great respect for the folks who make up the ICEL team. But normally, a work is always validated by someone else. I think a process in which the translating, the translators and the receivers sit together to make the final decision as to whether or not the [inaudible] ... of this body is not somewhat flawed. That's why I said an independent review by the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy. There are two points to my motion. 

Bishop Gregory: Archbishop, may I step in? I think Archbishop Pilarczyk's question, Your Eminence, was: "Given the material we already have in hand from the bishops, does your amendment reopen the process of sending comments or are we to do that with the material that we have?" 

Cardinal Hickey: My point is that if the Doctrine Committee says they see no problems in these translations and if the Liturgy Committee says these translations they see as serving well the needs of our people, fine. There's no need to go into all of this. I would not have, personally would not have, raised all these if I'd had that in the first place. But we didn't have it. We didn't have a vital - to me a key - report that was promised before we voted on this. 

I would suspect that 95% of my suggestions, motions to remand, would drop by the wayside. I think they would become very much smaller and very much more manageable. As it is, I have a tremendous litany to go through. I would love to . . . as long as I was assured there were no doctrinal considerations, I don't claim any prize for being a great translator. 

I'm only concerned as a bishop who is responsible for the faith, as we all are, to be sure that the faith is in no way impinged by these prayers because the many time quoted aphorism lex orandi, lex credendi [lit., "the law of prayer is the law of belief"  -ed.] certainly holds here more than anywhere else. More than books that are written. This is what is prayed on Sundays and I am very concerned for the doctrinal purity and I am concerned for the pastoral effect. 

If both Committees give me that assurance, I'll put all mine in the ash can and be done and be happy. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: So, Your Eminence, you're looking for an evaluation of what has happened, not an indication for more things to come in? 

Cardinal Hickey: That's right, yes. That phase of it is finished It's finished, but I think it should be suspended until we get these respondee's two reports. When that happens, if it's favorable, I'm at peace. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Trautman has either a question or a clarification. 

Bishop Trautman: The last coffee break was very effective. Is it time for another one? [laughter] 

However, I'd just like to make these observations. Most of the concerns that have been raised have been addressed by the Committee. It's in the document before us, pages 1-9. The problem is we haven't had the opportunity to deal with that or to expose that, discuss that, talk about that, but the answers are there. 

I'm afraid, a little bit, of part of Cardinal Hickey's motion, the part that talks about all going to the Doctrine Committee. That's not the motion that was made by me or accepted by this body. There's a detailed process that talks of the Committee Chairmen and the Executive Directors coming together and surfacing certain texts which raise doctrinal concerns. 

It doesn't say that everything goes to Doctrine. I think we have to be precise and clear on that. 

Archbishop Keeler: Cardinal Hickey is going to clarify the motion. 

Cardinal Hickey: I prepared this this morning before this other discussion, before the first coffee break. I certainly would be pleased if the procedure that we have voted for the future be used for this present, and that would mean six months until our Spring meeting, or whenever that is, but I would be very pleased to have it that way, to have my motion so interpreted. 

Archbishop Keeler: Right. That would be for November of next year. Discussion seems to have been full and ample. Oh, Bishop San Pedro. 

Bishop San Pedro: I need help again. It seems to me that the motion of Cardinal Hickey has two parts, that, though related, could be separated, and I would be more comfortable if they are two separate votes on that thing, practically two motions. But he's the one who made the motion. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: This item- Cardinal Hickey? 

Cardinal Hickey: I think they should be together. For one thing, in responding to Bishop Trautman, the comments of the Committee here are out of, as I understood it, out of a joint committee meeting on Sunday. We just got these this morning. I mean, I think we've all been wrestling with mounds of paper and I would like to study them. I would like, as has been suggested earlier today or somewhere, to have a discussion on these points. I think it would be very- time very well spent. I would welcome that, but I don't think the fact that we got it at nine o'clock this morning gives us any adequate opportunity, so I would like my motion to stand as it is. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Fine. I think we've had a very full discussion. Are we ready for the question on Cardinal Hickey's motion? Those in favor, please say "aye". Those opposed, "no". The "ayes" have it. We're ready to go now to the next- 

Bishop Gregory: Yes, we are, Archbishop. 

Archbishop Keeler: -Action Item. This is number 3. 

Bishop Gregory: Archbishop, the Liturgy Committee has received no amendments to this action item on the Grail Psalter. I therefore move the approval of Action Item 3. 

Archbishop Keeler: Coming from the Committee, it requires no second. I see Bishop Bruskewitz speaking against the motion and Bishop George. 

Bishop Bruskewitz: Mr. Chairman, I cannot in conscience vote for this motion because I believe the Grail Psalter is ideologically driven. 

I don't mean to put down the good people who composed the Psalter and revised it and I hope this isn't taken in the wrong way. But in the 1930s, I understand, there was a Nazi Psalter that expunged certain politically incorrect expressions so that it would be more acceptable to certain ideologically driven folks. 

Later on, this Psalter was a source of great embarrassment. It was clear that it was not the Word of God; that it was some parody or paraphrase of the Word of God. 

At least in some instances, I believe the Grail Psalter is also not the Word of God. It may be beautiful singing, it might be wonderful to sing, but it is not the Word of God and I don't think that imprimaturs and committees of experts or even two-thirds majority of this group can make what is not the inspired Word of God into the inspired Word of God. So I think it's guilty in many ways of terminological inexactitude.  

Furthermore, just because the psalmist, in the course of the psalm, changes persons and numbers of pronouns, it's not authorized, in my view, for the translator to change persons and numbers of pronouns. This psalmist is inspired by God and, I'm sure, despite the noble qualities of ICEL and Grail, they may be inspired, but I question whether it is of God. 

So, I would ask this group to seriously consider rejecting the use of this Psalter, as it did on another occasion. 

I point to several things, for example, the use of the word "princes." Because it is a masculine word, it's not used, and they change it into the word "leader" in Psalm 141:6a, just as an example. Leaders are not the same as princes. Similarly, the word "king" is changed into "the powerful" in 119: 46a. Kings - there are a lot of people in the country who are powerful, but there usually is just one king. It changes the meaning.

In the very first psalm, Psalm 1, verse 1a, the word "man" is made plural, "those." It changes the meaning of the psalm.

In Psalm 25, verse 12b, the passive voice is used when the Hebrew has the active, and vice-versa in Psalm 75, 11. 

The psalms 42 through 83 are Elohist psalms where Elohim is translated normally as "God," Yaweh is translated as "Lord" and here they just mix them up without any discernment, for whatever esthetic reasons might motivate them. 

So the terminological inexactitude of the Grail Psalter, in my view, makes this particular Psalter, at least in many instances, something other than God's word. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Also against, Bishop George to be followed by Archbishop Levada. 

Bishop Francis George, OMI [Yakima; Doctrine Committee]: At first I thought that, well, this will only be sung and the music is good and let's not worry about it; but in fact if it's approved for official liturgical worship, then it can be used in many different ways, in as many ways as the liturgy itself permits. 

And I think that pastorally, its a great advantage to have a more unified way of speaking of God in our official liturgical prayers. As Bishop Wcela was speaking, it occurred to me that in fact there are several sets of rules here and that we do have to do the work you have asked us to do. 

When we use the third person singular, masculine pronoun, we have, at least as I could see, three sets of rules. We have our own for the translation of the NAB [New American Bible] pericopes, where we say the third person singular, masculine pronoun will be used for all three Persons of the Godhead, all three of the divine Persons in the Trinity, although occasionally Jesus or Christ or God, for the sake of understanding and proclamation can be substituted. That's one set of rules. 

In the Third Interim Report on the revision of the Roman Sacramentary, given us by ICEL, on page 10 there is a statement that wherever possible the third person singular, masculine pronoun will not be used for the First and Third Persons; and I think this is reflected in Catholic Biblical Quarterly, on the NAB psalms. That's at least different in emphasis; it isn't necessarily contradictory, but it's a difference in emphasis there. 

And in the Grail translation, we have a rather systematic - quite systematic - elimination of "he"; although there is the occasional use of the possessive "his" in referring to God in Hebrew scriptures, the God whom we know to be the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

So, I think that it isn't systematic, consistent, and that's pastorally harmful. It also has some doctrinal consequences which we have already seen in certain schools of theology.

It can give the impression, when we pick up a book like this, that in fact the Tradition is not the carrier of revelation, but to some extent, its betrayal, to the extent that in the past we have called God "He." And now, quite literally we seem to think that "he" must refer to a male-which of course it doesn't in God's case, and it has always been taught that way-but if now we're saying, well, there is suspicion that it might do that, we cast reflection on the entire tradition which is our link to divine revelation. 

And secondly, it's another doctrinal consequence that the word "God" itself, devoid of any personalist, personal qualification by use of personal pronouns, becomes a kind of an empty keg- a container which we fill up with metaphoric content according to the needs of the people to whom it is addressed - and we risk losing revelation when we do that. So I would certainly ask you to reject this. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Now, to get some balance, I'm going to ask Bishop Wcela who's speaking for the proposal to be followed by Archbishop Levada against. 

Bishop Wcela: I speak for the acceptance of the Grail Psalter for a number of reasons that have to do with translation and the use of language.

I could begin with a simple, or the, perhaps, the easiest dealing with the objections, or some objections. The objection has been raised that "princes" is not used in the Grail Psalter because it reflects an espousal of feminist causes. 

In Hebrew, the word that in some English translations are translated "princes" are actually four different words. In Koehler- Baumgartner, which is a standard Hebrew lexicon of the Bible, written many, many years before there was any concern about feminism, in no place is any of those four words translated as "prince." The translations are "chief," "leader," "head of family," "head of staff," "captain," "ruler," and so on. 

Furthermore, if you read- at least the English Bible that I have, which is a Webster - it says that one of the meanings of princes is a member of a royal family. In the psalms, the princes are not all members of royal families. In my English dictionary it also says that "prince" in Great Britain means the son or the grandson of a ruling monarch. 

In at least one psalm, where objections are being raised about the non-use of "prince," "prince" would be a mistranslation because it speaks about the princes of Ephraim, the princes of Zebulon. There is no royal family dynasty in the Northern Kingdom, and so to call them "princes" would be to be a mistranslation in England, and the Grail Psalter comes from England. 

Now, I raise all these things simply to say that to pick out and say this is doing this and there is some great philosophical, theological [inaudible] at work here, I don't believe that's the case. 

With regard to the use of "he" and "you" in speaking of God in the psalm, I would say it's not only Grail and ICEL that has said that that practice is so common in Engl ... in Hebrew that they're interchangeable. It is also the case in the New American Bible, Psalter Revision. It is also the case in American Bible Society. 

[End of tape.] 

Archbishop Levada: ..... the Criteria for the use of Inclusive Language. I have it here from Origins. They're referred to in the introductory material, in any case, and I'd like to recall from that. I asked Bishop Gregory a question about this on Monday, and deferred it to Bishop Sklba, who felt that the Criteria were followed, but I really believe that they're not, and I think that it is a matter of - ought to be a matter of concern to us. 

I'm the head of the Oregon Catholic Press Corporation in the Archdiocese of Portland, which produces many liturgical aids, and one of the discussions I had with the publisher is about what are the appropriate guidelines for developing hymns and liturgy aids regarding inclusive language. And I have been pleased to be able to give these guidelines on inclusive criteria that we adopted to him so that he can work with composers and authors and give them some guidance. And now I find that we're being asked to approve for liturgical use a translation that does not follow these guidelines. 

There were twenty-nine of these criteria that we adopted in 1990 that says this: "Christ is the center and focus of all scripture. The New Testament has interpreted certain texts of the Old Testament in an explicitly Christological fashion. Special care should be observed in the translation of these texts so that the Christological meaning is not lost." Then they give some examples. 

They did not, I see now, give the example of Psalm 8. If you look at your text on page 21 at Psalm 8, verses 4 and 5, you can see the Grail translation. Let me read the translation from the Revised Standard version at verses 4 and 5: "When I look at Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast established, What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the Son of Man that Thou dost care for him? That Thou hast made a little less than God and dost crown him with glory and honor?" 

In the Letter to the Hebrews, in chapter 2, in the discussion about Jesus, this psalm is quoted as a Christological reference. Hebrews 2 says: "For it's not to angels that God subjected the world to come of which we are speaking, but as has been testified somewhere - Psalm 8 is now explicitly quotied - "For its not to angels that God subjected the world to come. What is man that Thou art mindful of him or the Son of Man that Thou carest for him?" This explicit reference to Christ, in using this specific Christological term "Son of Man" which has its most important and, I would say, prominent use in the scriptures in the Gospels in reference to Daniel 7, is nonetheless an important dimension which has been cited explicitly in our conference's criteria. 

I think that the suggestion that we should approve a translation of the scriptures which does not take that into account puts us in the position of ignoring the criteria which we ourselves developed to guide us, and indeed the criteria which were developed originally because of the first presentation of this Grail Psalter to us. So I would like to suggest that it would be consistent with our own criteria that we reject the Grail translation which is before us today. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Bishop Trautman, for the motion; to be followed by Bishop Connolly, speaking against. 

Bishop Trautman: I don't believe this is the proper forum for debate on individual verses. I didn't bring the Hebrew Bible. I'm not prepared to go into individual texts. No one has submitted motions that would have enabled that. 

I do want to talk about the process that was used. The president of this Conference appointed an Ad Hoc Committee of five bishops, four of whom have scripture degrees. They also employed the use of outside scripture consultants who are all experts in their field. 

We have faithfully and scrupulously applied the Criteria for Inclusive Language to the Grail Psalter. In the collective judgment of these people, this text is worthy for approval. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Connolly, to be followed by Bishop Sklba. 

Bishop Connolly: I just wanted to point out a few things that are helpful, I think, for us to remember in the context of what we're doing. We're asked to approve for liturgical use a portion of the scripture that is very important to all of us; we pray it daily. But we don't have, this morning, nor will we have in the future, any power to amend the text. The text is not in our possession; it's a Grail text and so, therefore, we have only the power to vote up or down. I think that is a deficiency when it comes to use of a liturgical text. 

It has an imprimatur and can be used in a limited way for song and undoubtedly, if it has value, I think it will continue to find its way into further and further use, but we don't have to approve it, to move it to the point where it is accepted as a liturgical text. And, therefore, I would like to vote against it, and let it be where it is for a while and see how it works. 

The use of "he" or not in referring to God, in avoiding any kind of anthropological application of this to God in a literal kind of fashion, I think should not be guided by what now appears to us as an overuse, but by what the text actually says. And so I was a bit concerned about Bishop Wcela's defense of dropping that because in the present text or texture of things in the milieu in which we are now, it doesn't seem to be so appropriate to use it, and that it seems to be a kind of an overkill, or something, that we don't want to try to make God anthropologically masculine. But the text, I think, should guide us. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Next, Bishop Sklba, followed by Bishop Cooney who will be the last speaker. 

Bishop Sklba: The issue before the house is not really the imprimatur; it's the liturgical use of the text of that Grail Psalter and so I really don't think it's proper to distract us with a long justification or explanation of the Grail Psalter and the imprimatur.

Nevertheless, because it continues to be raised, and in service to Bishop Gregory and the Liturgy Committee, I want to ask for a few things that have perhaps ... that might be of help and to underscore some that have already been said. 

We are a committee appointed by the president: Bishops John Marshall, Enrique San Pedro, Donald Trautman, Emile Wcela and myself. We have a group of some twelve scholarly consultants selected from seminaries around the country with the explicit approbation of their respective ordinaries, men and women all with Biblical degrees, who were selected for this project and the committee has utilized their work without [inaudible] them. 

The Grail Psalter, as we recognize, was first granted an imprimatur in the British Isles in the mid '60's. It was accepted as not a literal translation, but one which attempted to utilize this sprung rhythm technique, namely to recreate some of the dynamics of Hebrew poetry. It isn't exactly a dynamic equivalency translation or a functional equivalency, but it is not in its original conception a literal translation. 

It tries to pick up the ideas conceptualized by Father Gelineau, and as we may recall, the Revised Version was reviewed very carefully, as other members of the Committee have indicated, in light of the Hebrew Masoretic text, in light of literal translations already in place, in light of the Criteria and the observations of the scholars. 

We tried to separate our own convictions or things that we would require from the publishers from issues of personal taste or preference. 

There were some forty-one changes required by the committee before an imprimatur would be accepted, to restore the active role to God as in Psalm 4, used by this group earlier this week in prayer. Other changes might be to insist that a personal pronoun be restored so that it's very clear that it's God's temple, His people, His Messiah, His Anointed One, His Word, etc. 

Sometimes a third person was requested to be restored to the text, if the text was not universal or if it was not supportive in the context, phrases consecrated by use such as Psalm 22 - "a worm and no man" - were insisted upon and, on occasion, "Lord" and "God" were reviewed and changes requested if there was some confusion so that it almost sounded as if they were distinct persons. 

The end result is that we were convinced that the text was faithful, not literal, but faithful to the concepts. Psalm 1 we allowed to be in the plural because it is a universal category rather than an individual. We also were conscious of corporate personality usages in the Hebrew. Psalm 8, we did discuss the text referred to by Archbishop Levada, but recognized that the New American Bible and the New Revised Version had accepted something similar to what is in this text before us. We felt that if it were mentioned in a note, that would be sufficient, and so we ended with a recommendation that the imprimatur be granted. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Cooney and then Cardinal 0'Connor with a question or clarification. 

Bishop Patrick R. Cooney [Gaylord; Committee on Liturgy, Consultant]: I want to speak to the approval of the revised Grail Psalter. As we all know, the Grail Psalter was approved for liturgical use both in 1964 and in 1969. That text has served the Church well since the earliest days of liturgical reform basically because it is more easily set to music. 

We have used this translation and continued to use it in the celebration of the Eucharist and the other celebrations of the sacraments and of the Word of God. And we've grown accustomed to praying these psalms in the liturgy of the day. 

It's interesting, I noticed in the acknowledgments at the end of the morning prayer booklet, from which we prayed this morning and every morning of the week, that the revised version of the Grail Psalter was included for all of our celebrations of prayer. Probably most of us did not even notice the changes which are, obviously, quite subtle. 

Then, at our meeting last year at this time, there was a negative reaction to our own method of praying in this open assembly which did not use inclusive language, and we unanimously agreed together that something should be done about that, that we would begin a system where we would use the inclusive language. 

Now a vote for the use of the revised Grail Psalter, which has been approved as a fair translation by a committee established by our own president and just now reported on by Bishop Sklba, would be a great step in this direction, and perhaps as we pray the Psalter for ourselves or with congregations and here, publicly, that at least we would be kind of where we would like to be. So I would urge everyone to vote "yes" for the approval of this psalter. 

Archbishop Keeler: That is the last of the talks pro and con. Now we're at the question and clarification.. . Cardinal O'Connor? followed by Bishop Gonzalez. 

Cardinal O'Connor: Thank you. I have a question for Bishop Trautman and a question for the floor, for the chair rather. But perhaps the question to Bishop Trautman should go to Bishop Gregory. 

Yesterday there was reference to the individual who advises me on such matters, whom you have been using, Sister Timothea Elliot. My understanding was that she was one of the six who had been consulted and that she did not approve this-which is perfectly all right, that's still 5 to 1-but I just want to clarify this. Bishop Trautman, are we speaking of the same thing? 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Sklba is the chair of that committee. 

Bishop Sklba: Your Eminence I went to the rest room for a moment and I.. . [laughter ] 

Cardinal O'Connor: Well, I'm awfully sorry. You've missed a magnificent question. I refuse to repeat it. [laughter] 

Bishop Sklba, this is not a contentious question; it's a point of clarification. Bishop Trautman said that six highly professional scripture scholars were consulted, and that all had approved. The scripture scholar from our seminary who was consulted sent me a letter that I thought was to be a copy of a letter sent to the committee disapproving- and that's still 5 to 1, I'm not arguing one way or the other. I'd just like to know which is the correct position. 

Bishop Sklba: Sister Timothea Elliot was one of the two scholarly consultants to the committee. She did raise severe reservations and had a general negative conclusion to her letter. At the same time there were thirty-five specific issues which she noted and I believe every one of them were, in fact, required as changes in the text. So we found ourselves trying to balance out the consultation.. . 

Cardinal O'Connor: .... but despite the thirty-five changes, which I understand she appreciated, she was still negative toward the approval of the text. 

Bishop Sklba: I did not understand her letter as saying that. I understood her letter, rather, as saying that these thirty-five were evidence of why she felt the way she did and that with the change she was wi.. . 

Cardinal O'Connor: Your interpretation may be perfectly correct. I do not want to challenge your interpretation of that at all. My question to the chair. I'm a little bit puzzled about this. We addressed the Sacramentary with so much concern because-in large measure - because of potential doctrinal problems, at least that was my sense of it. There were pastoral anxieties as well. 

I am not concerned about the inclusive or exclusive language. Certainly, in any instance in which it can be legitimately inclusive, I think we would all agree that it should be inclusive. Yesterday I suggested at the outset of these liturgical discussions that we should not let that be the issue, that we are concerned doctrinally and pastorally and I would hate to see a vote therefore on the question of inclusive/exclusive language, if there are doctrinal problems. 

Now, I don't know whether there are doctrinal problems. Several-if Bishop Bosco will permit me-several distinguished theologians here have suggested that there are doctrinal problems. I would wonder why, before we would take action on this liturgical document, why we would not turn to the Doctrine Committee and ask the Doctrine Committee to look at this, using the same procedure that has now been adopted, following Cardinal Hickey's approved amendment for the Sacramentary. I know we're not dealing with ICEL, that's not the issue, but we're dealing with a liturgical document, and consequently I would wonder why that, too, why it wouldn't be wise to use such a procedure which I know is not already in place. 

Archbishop Keeler: You've raised a question. I'm sure that that could be a question that could be addressed by a motion later on. I wonder, we're going through a series of questions about this motion which is on the floor. 

Cardinal O'Connor: I thought you were concluding all the ... and therefore I had a question. There would be opportunity to ask a question later then? 

Archbishop Keeler: I'm wondering if perhaps now we've reached the lunch period, if we might just not break for lunch now. I have about four other questions for clarification and we can discuss this issue, too.  

Cardinal O'Connor: With great respect for you as my very close friend, is this extended coffee break going to be a pattern now for .... 

Archbishop Keeler: ... More than coffee - food, and food for thought. 

Wednesday Afternoon, November 17,1993

Continued discussions and vote  

Archbishop Keeler: Now, we return to our discussion of this morning with respect to the approval of the Grail Psalter for liturgical use. Before we broke, we were looking at questions for clarification. I'm going to respond to the last question that was asked, and then we have a number of bishops who have-who wish to continue that raising of questions for clarification. 

Question was raised regarding the doctrinal content of the Psalter. That issue was addressed to the granting of the imprimatur which, I would remind us, was done in accord with a procedure that we were informed by the Council - the Holy See's Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts - could be authorized by the conference of bishops. Our Conference authorized a procedure whereby the president could appoint a committee of bishops, including bishops who are expert at doctrine - and I note that several members of the Doctrine Committee serve on that committee - and they reviewed the texts, and as to their part of it, the Nihil Obstat, and in accord with the procedures, the president granted the imprimatur. So that the doctrinal question was addressed in that fashion. 

Now, for clarification, I'm recognizing first Bishop Francis George ... and then Bishop Gonzalez. 

Bishop Francis George: Archbishop, I welcome what you just said because my point of clarification was very similar; that is, my own remarks have nothing to do with the value or the doctrinal content as such of the translation of the text. It was a pastoral concern. There are many texts that deserve an imprimatur - 27 translations, as we were told, of the New Testament in recent years. Most of them could receive an imprimatur as valid translations of the original. 

My concern was the doctrinal consequences of approving for liturgical use - approving for liturgical use, not granting an imprimatur - a text when it seems to me we are in some disarray about vertical language in the English translations at this point. My hesitancy is granting permission for liturgical use, not an imprimatur, at this time because of possible doctrinal consequences. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you, Bishop George. Bishop Gonzalez, to be followed by Bishop Cooney. 

Bishop Roberto Gonzalez [Aux., Boston; Liturgy Committee]: I would like to request that the vote on Action Item #3 be a written ballot, if possible. 

Archbishop Keeler: It has to be a written ballot. 

Bishop Gonzalez: Thank you.  

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Cooney, followed by Archbishop Roach. Oh, Archbishop Roach was before. 

Archbishop John R. Roach [St. Paul and Minneapolis, Adm Committee, Chmn. Internat'l. Policy Committee]: Archbishop Keeler, you answered the question I was going to ask for clarification on ... that the imprimatur is an official approbation of the doctrinal .... 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. Now are we ready for the question? We are going to use ... It's a written ballot that requires a vote of two-thirds of the de jure Latin rite bishops with subsequent confirmation of the Apostolic See. Envelope, print and sign your name, use ballot #26 ...... Yes, Bishop Ahern. 

Bishop Patrick V. Ahern [Aux., New York]: Could we please have stated clearly once again exactly what the vote is? 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Gregory? 

Bishop Gregory: Bishop Ahern, this is a vote requesting the NCCB to give approval to the use of the revised Grail Psalter for the liturgy. It already has an imprimatur. We're asking you to approve it for liturgical use. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: We'll now proceed to the next action item, containing the supplementary document ... oh, excuse me. We have an information question? Point of Order? Bishop Untener. 

Bishop Kenneth E. Untener [Saginaw]: I don't know if this is exactly a point of order, but I didn't know how to raise it otherwise. I appreciate very much the need for attention to detail in the liturgy as we have just done. However, I have a concern as to whether or not we have the ability to step back and take a look at the whole Eucharistic Liturgy in a structural way. 

In your presidential address you talked about the need for the media to understand the real Catholic story, and I believe that the real Catholic story out there about the Eucharist is not how we translate "prince", but that the Mass to many people is boring, and that the ...particularly the second half of the Eucharist, after the Liturgy of the Word, is not experienced as the offering of the whole Christ to the whole Christ. 

It is also my experience, when I attend Mass out of town to experience that, that as well as I know the liturgy, my attention sags once we begin the Liturgy of the Eucharist because, despite the increase in ministries at the Mass, the majority of the people have no part.  

Now we've talked about the fact that our concern that a Word-and- Communion service looks like the Mass, I think that the concern is that the Mass looks like a Word-and-Communion service. 

And I don't have an easy answer to that, but I'd like to surface to the Liturgy Committee and to my brother bishops the need, as we attend to this detail, also to attend to the larger concern. Because I believe that the people watching this on television are saying that those are not the heart of my concerns in this particular parish, relative to the Eucharist. 

And so, in trying to connect with real American Catholic story and the real vital concerns of the Church out there, I want us, in addition to what we just did, to find a way to do that. Thank you. 

Archbishop Keeler: Bishop Chaput, point of order. 

Bishop Chaput: Archbishop, I hope - I hope I'm not out of order, so I want your direction on this. 

Some of us expressed a concern about the principles of interpretation of translation in Comme le prévoit , and I'm wondering if it would be appropriate for us to make a motion at this time asking that the officers of our conference take this question of the interpretation of that document up with the Holy See at the appropriate offices. 

Now, it may be inappropriate to introduce that question at this time, but I think, as Archbishop Weakland said, it's a fundamental question -and I really appreciate the work of the Liturgy Committee, by the way, in the 7 or 8 pages of explanation that they gave - but they reduced some of my objections and others' objections to a matter of style. I would say it is a matter of interpretation of the principles of interpretation, so is it appropriate to raise the question with ... 

Archbishop Keeler: Very appropriate. As far as I can see, you can raise the question; and a question I would have is what is some more homework, what to be done before that exact step of saying who will do what. I would just put that as something I would look forward to would be a little bit of homework as to procedures to be followed, but you've raised the question and I don't know if my response may have caused some more confusion. Do you see what my [inaudible] is? 

Bishop Chaput: And that's the reason why I said "the officers of the conference". I would hope that you could reflect on our discussion and find the appropriate mechanism of that discussion, whether it be the officers themselves or the Doctrine and Liturgy Committees working together with you ... I just think it would be a very good thing for us to do, so we don't have to keep ... I mean, people quote that document as the authority for what's been done and some of us say: "That's one opinion and another opinion would translate very differently according to that document." So that's the reason I said "the officers of the conference," rather than being more specific.. . 

Archbishop Keeler: Would it be enough for this moment to say the officers will take your observation under consideration and then come back to the body with some thoughts on it? 

Bishop Chaput: Yes. 

Archbishop Keeler: Thank you.  [Somewhat later in the afternoon, after discussion of other matters, the inconclusive result of the vote on the approval of the Grail Psalter was reported. - ed .] 

Archbishop Keeler: Monsignor Lynch has some, the results of some voting to report. 

Monsignor Lynch: Well, the first thing I want to report is anon result. On the question of the approval for liturgical use of the dioceses of the United States of America, the Grail Psalter, the vote is inconclusive. 

That means there are neither a sufficient number to pass it or a sufficient number to defeat it. Since it requires two-thirds of the Latin rite de jure members, we must poll those not present and voting. 

So that vote remains inconclusive until that can be done. 


Editor’s NOTE: On Thursday morning Archbishop Keeler announced that, since the vote on the Grail Psalter had been inconclusive, ballots, with detailed notes on the discussion which had taken place at the meeting, would be sent to the 47 bishops who had been absent for the vote. For this one instance only, he said, he and Cardinal Hickey would personally open and count the ballots. 


In the final tally after the mail-in ballot was received, the number of "yes" votes fell short of the two-thirds majority required to approve the Grail Psalter (Inclusive Language Version) for liturgical use. Lacking the conference’s approval, therefore, this “inclusive language” edition of the Grail Psalter was not sent to the Holy See for the approval that is required before any Scripture texts may be used in the Church’s liturgy.  

The BCL Newsletter (December 1993) reported this negative outcome of the bishops’ vote.  The Grail Psalter (Inclusive Language Version) had very recently (September 1993) received an imprimatur from the President of the US bishops’ conference “at the recommendation of the Conference’s Ad Hoc Committee for the Review of Scripture Translations”, the note said, and explained what the imprimatur means:

Imprimaturs granted to Scripture translations permit their publication in Catholic editions for general use (e.g., study, reading, private devotional prayer)”.

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