Vatican publishes Magnum Principium giving bishops’ conferences greater control over liturgical translations

Bishops' conferences will have main responsibility for translations, with the Holy See approving them

Sep 11, 2017

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has published a motu proprio Magnum Principium granting bishops’ conferences greater control over the translation of liturgical texts.

Until now, Canon 838 has stated that “The direction of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church which resides in the Apostolic See and, according to the norm of law, the diocesan bishop.

The second paragraph said it was “for the Apostolic See to order the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, publish liturgical books and review their translations in vernacular languages, and exercise vigilance that liturgical regulations are observed faithfully everywhere”.

According to the new formulation, the Apostolic See has the task of “reviewing the approved adaptations under the law of the Episcopal Conference, as well as of ensuring that liturgical norms are observed everywhere faithfully”.

In other words, the power of the Curia is reduced from authorising to revising translations of the texts approved by episcopal conferences.

The motu proprio calls for episcopal conferences to “faithfully” prepare liturgical books in the local language, which must be “appropriately adapted within the defined limits” and published “after the confirmation of the Holy See”.--Catholic Herald

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