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Cardinal Pell commends new English translation of Missal
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Cardinal Pell
Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, commended the new English translation of the Roman Missal now formally approved by the Holy See that is to replace the present English Missal at the start of the new Church Year that will begin on the First Sunday of Advent, 27 November 2011.

"Doubters will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the translation of the new Roman Missal," said Cardinal Pell, Chairman of the Vox Clara Committee, a commission set up in 2001 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to advise it about the work being done on the new translation.

"The translation, the fruit of many years’ work, is a bit different from what we are used to, although the people’s parts are not much changed," said Cardinal Pell during an exclusive interview at the Pontifical North American College in Rome on Thursday 29 April, where two hours earlier the 19th and final meeting of the Commission completed its work.

"There is a fullness of theological teaching which will be enriching over the years. It is not a literal word for word translation of the Latin. It is sophisticated, accurate and often beautiful and powerful,” said Cardinal Pell.

Asked how older Catholics would react, people who struggled to come to terms with the Mass in English following the Second Vatican Council, the 68-year-old Archbishop of Sydney paused for a moment and replied: “I think older Catholics will find the new translation quite reassuring.”

Regarding the translation's impact on young people, Cardinal Pell, who hosted World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, said:  “I hope that it will cause the young people to stop and ponder.”

“The Bishops' Conferences in the countries involved will be involved in a year or more of preparation to explain the new missal to both priests and lay people. Also, a special DVD is being prepared to help explain the background to the new translation," said Cardinal Pell.

The Bishops Conferences involved include those of England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, the USA, and New Zealand.

Great Britain was represented on the Vox Clara committee by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster, and Abbot Cuthbert Johnson OSB, Chaplain at the Benedictine Abbey of St Mary at Oulton near Stone in Staffordshire.

A press release issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments after the two-day meeting stated: "Following careful consideration of the advice provided over the past eight years by the members of the Vox Clara Committee, a final text was arrived at by the Congregation, confirmed by a decree dated 25 March 2010 (Prot. 269/10/L) and signed by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect, and Archbishop J Augustine DiNoia, OP, Secretary to the Congregation."

Pope Benedict XVI attended a lunch given by Vox Clara in the Vatican's Casina Pio IV, following his General Audience on Wednesday 28 April. Afterwards, speaking in English, Pope Benedict XVI said: "I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication."

He said: "Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped."

The Pope added: "I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world".

Pope Benedict XVI explained the origin of the name vox clara. He said: "Saint Augustine spoke beautifully of the relationship between John the Baptist, the vox clara that resounded on the banks of the Jordan, and the Word that he spoke. A voice, he said, serves to share with the listener the message that is already in the speaker’s heart. Once the word has been spoken, it is present in the hearts of both, and so the voice, its task
having been completed, can fade away."

A press release said: "The meeting opened with the announcement that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments had completed its work of reviewing the English language edition of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia.

"Following careful consideration of the advice provided over the past eight years by the members of the Vox Clara Committee, a final text was arrived at by the Congregation, confirmed by a decree dated 25 March 2010 (Prot. 269/10/L) and signed by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect, and Archbishop J Augustine DiNoia, OP, Secretary to the Congregation."

The Vox Clara Committee was formed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on 19 July 2001 in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language liturgical books.

At the end of the meeting on 29 April 2010, the Prefect, Cardinal Cañizares announced the intention of the Congregation to continue the work of the Vox Clara Committee. The Prefect also expressed his gratitude to Cardinal George Pell for his willingness to continue as Chairman of the Committee.

 


 




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