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November 11, 2004


The Vox Clara Committee met for the sixth time from November 9-11, 2004 in the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from around the English-speaking world was established on July 19, 2001, to give advice to the Congregation regarding matters of liturgical translations of Latin liturgical texts into the English-language, and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences of Bishops in this regard.

The Vox Clara Committee is chaired by  Cardinal George Pell, Sydney (Australia). Present at this meeting were Members Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, Mobile (USA), who serves as First Vice-Chairman, Archbishop Oswald Gracias, Agra (India), who serves as Second Vice-Chairman;  Cardinal Justin Rigali, Philadelphia (USA), who serves as Treasurer;  Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary; Archbishop Alfred Hughes, New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Kumasi (Ghana); Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Castries (Saint Lucia), and Archbishop Terence Prendergast, S.J., Halifax (Canada); and Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland).  Other Members of the Committee, though not present at the meeting, are Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA); and Bishop Rolando Tria Tirona, O.C.D., Prelate of Infanta (Philippines). In attendance were the following Advisors to the Committee: Monsignor Gerard McKay (Rome), Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (England), Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. (USA), Professor Dennis McManus (USA), and Monsignor James P. Moroney (USA). 

In the course of their meeting, the Committee received a progress report by teleconference from Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. on the development of an English-language vernacular edition of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). 

The Committee was provided a copy of the latest revision of ICEL’s translation of the Order of Mass, recently revised in the light of comments from Bishops throughout the English-speaking world. The Committee was impressed by the significant progress made by the mixed commission.  At the request of the Congregation, the members conducted a review of the latest ICEL translation in the light of the instruction Liturgiam authenticam. In this way the Committee sought to respond to the desire expressed by Pope John Paul II in his message to the Vox Clara Commission of April 20, 2002 “of making available to the faithful, as quickly as possible, the vernacular translation of the editio tertia of the Missale Romanum…

The Vox Clara Committee also discussed the implications for its work of pursuing the development of common liturgical and devotional texts with Christians of other Churches and ecclesial communities.  In this regard, the Committee stressed the pressing pastoral need for the translation of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia as a first priority.

At the Congregation’s request, the Committee reviewed outlines of three appendices to the Ratio Translationis for the English-language, recently revised in the light of a world wide consultation with the English-speaking Conferences of Bishops.  The appendices are designed to provide concrete application of the Ratio Translationis, which itself serves to apply the principles of Liturgiam authenticam to the translation of Latin liturgical texts into the English-language.

 Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments addressed the Committee on November 10, 2004 and expressed his hope that the recently successful efforts by ICEL would result in a timely completion of the Roman Missal.  He also thanked the members and advisors of the Vox Clara Committee for helping to encourage the realization of “the very best translation that can be provided for the English-speaking world.” 

The next meeting of the Vox Clara Committee is scheduled for March, 2005.