Pope Francis Wants New Review of Mass Translation to Modernize Text

Pope Francis ordered a review of the new Mass translation to try to revise the outdated and rigid text.

A review of the “Liturgiam Authenticam” has been ordered by Pope Francis.[/tweetit] This is the controversial decree which has drawn much attention behind recent translations of the liturgical text from its original Latin to the modern English language. The Roman Missal was translated to English on the basis of this 2001 era document. This is a welcome step for many in love with the liturgy of the church. It would also be loved by anyone who loves the English language.

Pope Francis Wants New Review of Mass Translation to Modernize Text[/tweetthis]

The Pontiff established the commission a short while prior to Christmas. The review will also examine the level of desirable decentralization of church when it comes to such issues.

The Liturgiam Authenticam is not the first document in this regard. Members of the International Committee for English, in 1998, had made a quality translation after 17 years of tough labor, only to witness being pushed away by the Vatican officials at that time. The English faithful then had to go back to an inadequate and theologically restricted missal. The latter has high precision, but its “awkward, literal compositions” lack poetry.

The Roman Missal, arguably the greatest prayer in the church, must not be dependent on the literal and awkward compositions which are even unfit to be academically studied. God has actually been put at a distance by the prayer tones, exaltation of merit and not mercy. The highlight on human weaknesses is at the expense of human dignity. These complaints come from not only parishioners but also from priests. The bishops’ conferences think that the translation is “too rigid” and do not accept there is such a thing as sacral language. A survey done in 2014 by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate of Georgetown University showed that only 27 percent were satisfied by the new translation. Approximately 50 percent of the respondents hold the belief that an urgent revision of the text is needed.

When it comes to decentralization, the commission is a mix of all bishops spread across the continents. It is to be noted that Archbishop Arthur Roche has been appointed by Pope Francis to be the president of the commission. The former has held the post of secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments. The Archbishop himself is English and occupies the second most powerful position in the congregation with considerable experience in liturgical field. He also has a more transparent approach than his prefect, the Cardinal Robert Sarah. The commission details have been kept discreet by the church.


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