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March 10, 2005


The Vox Clara Committee met for the seventh time from March 8-10, 2005 in the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from Episcopal Conferences throughout 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 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-OÂÂ’Connor, Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary; Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA); Archbishop Alfred Hughes, New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Kumasi (Ghana); Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Castries (Saint Lucia), Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Halifax (Canada); and Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland).  Another member of the Committee, though not present at the meeting, is 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). 

At the request of the Congregation, the Committee was provided a copy of the latest revision of ICELÂÂ’s translation of a selection of prayers from the Proper of Seasons in the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia.  The members of the Vox Clara Committee noted the impressive improvements in the most recent ICEL texts. The members also anticipate the significant assistance which the forthcoming Ratio Translationis will bring to ICELÂÂ’s collaborators.

The timely completion of an English-language edition of the Missale Romanum remains the highest priority and the members urged that all possible resources should be devoted to the expeditious completion of a vernacular edition which is at once precise in its rendering of the Latin texts and appropriate for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in English.  In this regard, the Committee welcomed a recommendation from ICEL, suggesting means by which the Congregation might facilitate a closer coordination between the work of Vox Clara and the mixed commission.

The members of the Vox Clara Committee were gratified to learn of the progress made in initiatives by which the revised ICEL translation of those liturgical texts presently held in common could be discussed with other Churches and ecclesial communities.  The renewal and restructuring of the processes by which Conferences of Bishops and ecumenical bodies might collaborate in such endeavors was seen as highly desirable in the light of the instruction Liturgiam authenticam.

The Committee continued to examine style guides and other supplementary material for the Ratio Translationis.  An extended consideration of such materials is scheduled for the next meeting of the Committee.

The members of the Vox Clara Committee expressed their gratitude to Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation, who met with the members and advisors of the Committee on the second day of the meeting.  In particular, the Committee was grateful for the work of the recent plenary meeting of the Congregation and the reaffirmation by its members of the indispensable role of the recognitio in the effective implementation of the instruction Liturgiam authenticam.

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