Saturday, May 28, 2016

Squabbles over the French language missal translation

Unlike the English speaking bishops' conferences which gave in to pressure from Rome, most European linguistic groups are resisting adopting stilted non-natural language in an attempt to mirror the Latin text.

Pray Tell
May 27, 2016

It seems there is a fight about liturgical translations in French-speaking countries, according to La Croix.

The newly translated French language Missal was scheduled for Lent 2017, but could be delayed until Advent 2017. This is because of a fight between the Francophone bishops and the Congregation for Divine Worship, which for now is refusing to approve the French text. Rome refused a first re-translation in 2007.

The bishops of France approved another text this past March, allowing for adjustments to be made by a mixed commission involving other Francophone countries. Opposition to the endeavor is said to be stronger in French-speaking Switzerland, Canada, and Belgium. An example of a contested point is the opposition in Canda to a change in the Eucharistic Prayer from “coupe” to “calice.”

The outgoing president of the bishops’ conference in France, Archbishop Bernard-Nicolas Aubertin of Tours, did not want to leave unfinished business to his successor, and he has strived for agreement with Rome. On April 7, Aubertin was to take up the matter with the pope. But CDW prefect Cardinal Sara is entrenched in his position, and he told the weekly Famille chrétienne, “In the audience he granted me on Saturday, April 2, the pope confirmed to me that new translations of the Roman Missal must respect the Latin text.”

La Croix notes that in Germany the bishops opposed “a liturgical language which is not the language of the people” and in 2013 rejected the work of a commission imposed by Benedict XVI. The Spanish translation is stalled, and the Italian bishops are dragging their feet.

La Croix also notes that since the beginning of the year, Il Sismografo, which is close to Vatican Radio, has published long articles by Andrea Grillo, liturgy professor at Sant’ Anselmo, which are highly critical of the 2001 Roman translation document Liturgiam authenticam.

One French bishop had this comment: “It is most surprising that, at a time when the pope insists on inculturation and synodality, a text voted on by 120 French bishops is blocked by one lone cardinal.”

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