CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP
VOX CLARA COMMITTEE
December 5, 2006
The Vox Clara Committee met for the twelfth time from December 4-5, 2006 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 formed by the Congregation on July 19, 2001 in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language liturgical books 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, Bombay (India), who serves as Second Vice-Chairman; Cardinal Justin Rigali, Philadelphia (USA), who serves as Treasurer; Archbishop Alfred Hughes, New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Halifax (Canada); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Kumasi (Ghana); and Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Castries (Saint Lucia). Bishop David McGough was present as a pro-tempore representative ofCardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary. Also members of the Committee, though not present at the meeting, were Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA) and Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland).
The members were assisted in their work 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). Administrative support was provided by Reverend Robert Keighron (USA). The customary support and assistance of officials of the Congregation was also appreciated by the members.
The Committee’s work at this meeting consisted primarily of a review of the most recent ICEL Green Book translation of the first half of the Proper of the Saints. The members of the Committee were again grateful for the quality of the work and noted the significant progress which the mixed commission continues to make in the translation of the Roman Missal. At the same time, a number of suggestions were offered to the Congregation concerning ways in which the translation could be improved.
At the request of the Congregation, the Committee continues its review of the approvals of the Order of Mass which have been submitted by various Conferences of Bishops. In the light of the Congregation’s intention to proceed to the recognitio of this first “white book” of the Roman Missal in a timely fashion, the Committee hopes to complete its review of this text at its next meeting.
During the meeting, the members and advisors met with Cardinal Francis Arinze and Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Prefect and Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The Cardinal Prefect once again expressed the gratitude of the Congregation and renewed the expression of his hope that the progress of the work will result in a fulfillment of the Holy Father’s desire for a timely completion of the Roman Missal.
Cardinal Arinze also recalled the most recent decision of Pope Benedict XVI that a more precise translation of pro multis be included in the translation of the Order of Mass. He emphasized the importance of a common English-language rendering of this text, noting that it remains to be seen whether the translation will eventually be formulated as “for many” or “for the many.”
Finally, the members heard a report on recent initiatives by several Conferences of Bishops to develop formational materials to assist Bishops in introducing the new Roman Missal. The members were gratified by this development.
The Committee will meet again in March, 2007 at the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome.