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January 29, 2010


The Vox Clara Committee met for the eighteenth time from January 26-29, 2010. This meeting was held at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world was formed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments 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, Emeritus Mobile (USA), who serves as First Vice-Chairman; Cardinal Justin Rigali, Philadelphia (USA), who serves as Treasurer; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Bombay (India), who serves as Second Vice-Chairman; Archbishop Alfred Hughes, Emeritus New Orleans (USA); Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Ottawa (Canada); Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Emeritus Kumasi (Ghana); Archbishop Kelvin Felix, Emeritus Castries (Saint Lucia), and Bishop Philip Boyce, O.C.D., Raphoe (Ireland). Members of the Committee, though not present at this meeting, are Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Emeritus Westminster (England), who serves as Secretary and Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Chicago (USA).

The members were assisted in their work by the following advisors: Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. (USA), Reverend Dennis McManus (USA), Monsignor Gerard McKay, Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (England), and Monsignor James P. Moroney (USA), Executive Secretary. Monsignor Robert K. Johnson (USA), provided technical support. The customary assistance of officials of the Congregation, led by Reverend Anthony Ward, S.M., Undersecretary, was also appreciated.

The Committee began its work with a review of two White Book translations of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, recently approved by the Conferences of Bishops. Following their discussion of the ICEL renderings of the Proper of Saints and the Common of Saints, the Committee submitted its recommendations to the Congregation for consideration before the Congregation acts on the definitive confirmation of these texts.

The members also reviewed various reports on the steps being taken for editing, coordination of manuscripts, and reviews for internal consistency of the English-language translation of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia being carried out by the Congregation.

Reports were also heard by the Committee on various initiatives underway for the effective introduction of the new English-language edition of the Roman Missal. Expressing their enthusiasm for the extraordinary pastoral opportunity provided by the publication of a translation characterized by such high literary quality, theological precision, and pastoral utility, the members emphasized the importance of providing pastors and people with the greatest possible support in the effective pastoral reception of this new translation.

Finally, the Committee welcomed Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation. Cardinal Pell expressed his appreciation for the presence and support of His Eminence and presented the members and advisors of the Committee to him. The Cardinal Prefect responded by thanking the members of the Congregation staff and the members and advisors of Vox Clara for their work on the English-language translation of the Missale Romanum. He also expressed his hope that the coming confirmation of the Roman Missal would prove to be of great pastoral advantage to the Church in the English-speaking world.