CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP
VOX CLARA COMMITTEE
November 10, 2005
The Vox Clara Committee met for the eighth time from November 8-10, 2005 in the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome.
Established by the Congregation on July 19, 2001, this Committee of senior Bishops from Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world was formed to give advice to the Congregation regarding the translation 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). The participants in the meeting were 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; Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Kumasi (Ghana); Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Castries (Saint Lucia), and Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland). Other members of the Committee, though not present at the meeting, are Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary; Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA); Archbishop Alfred Hughes, New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Halifax (Canada); and Bishop Rolando Tria Tirona, O.C.D., Prelate of Infanta (Philippines). The work of the Committee was supported by the following Advisors: Monsignor Gerard McKay (Rome), Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (England), Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. (USA), Reverend Dennis McManus (USA), and Monsignor James P. Moroney (USA).
On the first day of its meeting, the Committee welcomed the opportunity to meet with Bishop Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds and Chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy and Monsignor Bruce Harbert, Executive Director of the ICEL Secretariat. The members were particularly gratified by the preparation of a projected schedule for the completion of the ICEL translations of the various parts of the Roman Missal over the next twenty-three months.
Consequently, the Committee looked closely at its own processes and schedules in order to facilitate an effective coordination between the production of ICEL "Green Books," (preliminary drafts for the consideration of Bishops' Conferences) of the various parts of the Roman Missal and the review of each of these segments by the Vox Clara Committee.
The major work of the Committee consisted of a review of the draft ICEL translation of the Proper of Seasons. The indispensable role of the Ratio Translationis of the English Language in the continuing work of translating the Roman Missal was also discussed, as were plans for the completion of various supplementary materials to the Ratio Translationis.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments met with the members and advisors on the last day of the meeting. The Cardinal Prefect read to the Committee a letter he had received from Pope Benedict XVI concerning the work of the Vox Clara Committee. In that letter, dated November 9, 2005, the Holy Father expressed his gratitude to the members and advisors of the Committee, noting his confidence that, as a result of this work, "the translation of the Missale Romanum into English will succeed in transmitting the treasures of the faith and the liturgical tradition in the specific context of a devout and reverent Eucharistic celebration."
The Holy Father also wrote: "To this gratitude I add the hope that the translation into English of the latest edition of the Missale Romanum may soon be completed, so that the faithful throughout the English-speaking world may benefit from the use of liturgical texts accurately rendered in accordance with the norms of the Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam."
The members of the Committee expressed their gratitude for the encouraging words of the Holy Father and thanked the Cardinal Prefect for his consistent and generous support of the work of the Vox Clara Committee.
The next meeting of the Vox Clara Committee is scheduled for May, 2006.
To my Venerable Brother
With fraternal affection, I offer you cordial greetings in the Lord, and I ask you to convey my good wishes also the members and advisors of the Vox Clara Committee, established in order to assist the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to the English translations of liturgical texts.
I greatly appreciate the contribution of the Vox Clara Committee to this task, and I am confident that, in consequence, the translation of the Missale Romanum into English will succeed in transmitting the treasures of the faith and the liturgical tradition in the specific context of a devout and reverent Eucharistic celebration.
As my beloved predecessor, Pope John Paul II noted on the occasion of the establishment of the Vox Clara Committee on 20 April, 2002, it reflects the international character of the English language by drawing upon the pastoral experience of senior English-speaking Bishops from territories of divergent cultures in five Continents. For the personal sacrifices of the Members and advisors of the Committee and for their prayerful and faith-filled commitment to their labors I express my sincere thanks.
To this gratitude I add the hope that the translation into English of the latest edition of the Missale Romanum may soon be completed, so that the faithful throughout the English-speaking world may benefit from the use of liturgical texts accurately rendered in accordance with the norms of the Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam. Trusting in the assistance of the Holy Spirit in this great ecclesial enterprise, and invoking the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and to all those involved in this important work.
From the Vatican, 9 November 2005.
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI