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Online Edition: August 2009
Vol. XV, No. 5

USCCB June Meeting
Bishops Discuss, Vote on Missal Texts -- More to Come

The new translation of the Roman Missal once again dominated the agenda at the June 17-19 meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in San Antonio.

Part of the meeting was held in “executive session” (not open to the press), where among the topics discussed was the honor given to President Barack Obama by Notre Dame University on May 17. This event had elicited an unprecedented public response from more than 80 bishops who opposed Notre Dame’s decision to honor a pro-abortion politician. During their closed-door session the bishops agreed on a brief statement in “appreciation and support” of Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who had opposed and boycotted the event. The bishops said, in part, “We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd”.

The first liturgy action item on the bishops’ agenda drew overwhelming support: a Mass in Thanksgiving for Human Life, in English and Spanish versions. First proposed by the late Cardinal John O’Connor and approved by the bishops in 1992, this special Mass would be celebrated on January 22, the anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s permissive abortion decision, Roe v. Wade. It now awaits Vatican approval.

The last liturgy item to be considered, a Spanish translation of the Lectionary, received almost unanimous support.

Debate and vote at this meeting centered principally on four segments of the Missal translated by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL): 1) Order of Mass II; 2) Ritual Masses; 3) Masses for Various Needs and Intentions; and 4) Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead. The final ICEL “Gray Books” of these segments had been sent to the bishops in March. Very few amendments to these segments were submitted by the bishops. (Initial drafts are “Green Books”.)

Though a strong majority of the bishops present voted in favor of the Missal texts presented at this meeting, all texts fell short of the required 2/3-majority vote of the Latin-rite bishops, some very narrowly. Thus absentee ballots were sent to more than 50 bishops who did not attend the June meeting. The results of the absentee votes were published July 17. All four segments were approved. (See page 11 for final ballot results.)

At their November meeting the bishops will vote on the final segments of the English translation of the Roman Missal “third typical edition”, first released in 2000.

Only two of the thirteen segments of the new Missal have been approved by the US bishops to date: the Order of Mass I (the main Mass texts); and the Proper of Seasons (prayers for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and “ordinary time”). The USCCB approved the Order of Mass I in 2006 and it received recognitio (final approval) from the Holy See in June 2008. The Proper of Seasons was approved by the US bishops last November, after it failed to receive the required 2/3 vote at the June 2008 meeting.

Last December, the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) advised all ICEL-member conferences, including the United States, to approve and submit for recognitio all the remaining texts of the Missal by the end of November 2009. The projected date for the new Missal to be used in parishes is December 2010. (About a year will be needed for producing the new books and preparing for their use.)

The CDW is aided in reviewing the English-language liturgical translations by Vox Clara, an international group organized in 2002, consisting of twelve bishops from nine countries (four from the US: Cardinal Francis George, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop Alfred Hughes, and Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb) and a panel of five consultants. Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, the new CDW Secretary from the United States, will also play a major role.

The liturgy action items were presented to the body of bishops by Bishop Arthur Serratelli, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW), and the US representative to ICEL.

Helen Hull Hitchcock and Susan Benofy attended all sessions open to the press. The liturgy discussions were transcribed by Susan Benofy. (A word about the transcription: the words of the bishops are unedited. Incomplete sentences are indicated by a dash. The speaker’s own emphasis is indicated by italics. Explanatory comments by Adoremus are also in italics.) — Editor


Wednesday Afternoon, June 17

Bishop John Wester presented a report on the work of the National Advisory Council (NAC), a group of 45 religious, deacons, laity, priests and bishops who are intended to be representative of Catholics in the US. They review the agenda items for the bishops’ meetings and report on their view on them. Following is an excerpt from his report, the NAC’s views on the liturgy items.

Bishop John Wester (Salt Lake City, chairman, National Advisory Council): ...Much of our agenda in this meeting will consist of the liturgical texts referred to as the ICEL Gray Books. Although this is a large amount of material to address in one session, the principles of Liturgiam authenticam and Ratio translationis for the English language have not changed, and the material has already been under review for some time. NAC was anxious for these actions to be on the agenda so as not to further delay the process. The acceptance of the translations will lead to a speedier path to the necessary recognitio and the eventual catechesis of the faithful.

The Leccionario also received strong support from NAC because it will be a crucial part of liturgical life for Catholics, especially with the burgeoning Hispanic population in our country.…

NAC expressed strong support for including on the agenda of this meeting the Mass of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life as a US adaptation of the Roman Missal. This would be consistent with the Conference reaffirming and supporting the adoption of Life and Dignity of the Human Person as one of its priorities.… [NAC] affirms that celebrating the proposed Mass of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life on January 22 and the special observance of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is an important marker for the Catholic Church’s pro-life teaching.

NAC recommended to the Administrative Committee that the new translation of the Roman Missal be embraced as a wide-ranging and profound opportunity to educate, rekindle and communicate the rich spirit of our Catholic history and tradition. The translation is a catechetical moment for the Church in the United States. NAC believes it could provide Catholics with a renewed sense of sacredness and a clearer understanding of the uniqueness expressed in the language of our Catholic tradition.

NAC recommends strategic catechesis to go along with this translation, including utilizing existing USCCB resources to foster a more comprehensive understanding of our faith and thus reducing any possible confusion the translations may provoke.

Without such catechesis there is a risk that the new translation will actually alienate and separate some Catholics from the sacraments. With such catechesis the new translation will strengthen the bonds of Catholics to the Church’s form of worship.

This catechesis can also renew an appreciation for our faith language that connects us with the belief and worship that comes to us from our history and tradition. Words and phrases such as “consubstantial”, “and with your spirit”, “for you and for many”, “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” link us with this rich tradition. NAC recommends developing resources for clergy to assure their ability to proclaim most effectively the new Mass texts, noting that such training would benefit parishioners as well.

Preliminary Presentation of Liturgy Action Items
Action Item 1, the Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life

Bishop Arthur Serratelli (Paterson, Chairman Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship): Bishops, you have before you Action Item 1, the Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life, both in English and in Spanish, and Action Item 1A, the accompanying change to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Just a little background:

In the spring of 1990, at the request of the late John Cardinal O’Connor, the Committee on the Liturgy prepared a Mass formula entitled Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life. This was for inclusion in the Roman Missal in the section Masses for Various Needs and Occasions. After consultation with the pro-life committee, the text was approved by the Committee on the Liturgy and the body of bishops in 1992, and then submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for recognitio in early 1993. In June of that same year, the response from the Holy See indicated an interest in the subject matter. The subject matter was said to be “a matter of universal concern” requiring “further study and examination”.

No further response on the subject was ever received from the Congregation for Divine Worship, and no such formula appears in the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia.

Therefore, in response to the request made as well as the perceived need for such a Mass, the Committee on Divine Worship suggested introducing the text again for inclusion in the third edition of the Roman Missal as an adaptation for the dioceses of the United States.

The staff of the Secretariat retrieved the text from the earlier work of the Committee on the Liturgy and the body of bishops. The text has been adapted to match the composition and style of the language of the Missale Romanum, third edition, in the light of Liturgiam authenticam. The final text of the Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life is now presented for your consideration. The final text of the Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life along with several modifications were submitted and reviewed by the Committee on Divine Worship.

One last point on this item — on the second part of it. The members of the committee note that the US Adaptations of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal include particular mention of the special observance of January 22, Roe v. Wade. If January 22 falls on a Sunday, then it is moved to January 23. This is listed as a particular day of prayer and penance. The committee proposes a revision of paragraph 373 to allow for the use of this Mass on January 22.

If approved, the proposed text will be submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship as a US Adaptation to the Roman Missal, to be included in the US edition in the section of Masses for Various Needs and Intentions.

This action will require approval by 2/3 of the Latin Church members of the USCCB with subsequent confirmation by the Holy See.

Are there any questions of clarification at this time?

Cardinal Francis George (Chicago, President of the USCCB): Seeing none, would you move on to the next Action Item, number 2, the Order of Mass II?

Bishop Serratelli: The next four items are related to the English translation of the Roman Missal. I would like briefly to recall to our collective memory the communication that we received earlier this year regarding the timeline for the completion of the English translation of the Missal.

Cardinal Cañizares, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, expressed a desire to complete the work on the Missal and the publication of the text by the end of 2010. To that end he asked that all votes, comments and modifications be submitted no later than November of this year. Four sections of the Missal are now being presented for your consideration this week; three additional sections will be presented in November, in order to meet the requests of the Holy See.

I would like to also add that while several English-speaking episcopal conferences have already completed their reviews and votes, the Holy See is eager to receive any comments and suggestions that our Conference might offer. The Committee on Divine Worship is also developing plans for the formal catechetical process to prepare for the introduction of the new text of the Roman Missal.

Okay, can I move now to each of the action items? Bishops you have before you Action Item 2, the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Order of Mass II. Even though it has a green cover on it, it is the ICEL Gray Book.

Order of Mass II contains the Prefaces, Solemn Blessings, Prayers over the People and additional Eucharistic Prayers. It was first presented by ICEL for consultation as a Green Book draft in the year 2006.

At that time over 800 particular comments and suggestions were submitted by the members of this body, and were then forwarded to ICEL along with an analysis and the recommendation of the Committee on the Liturgy. ICEL reviewed the comments from the USCCB and its other member conferences, and then ICEL provided a copy of the Gray Book for the Order of Mass II along with a letter of transmittal, November 1, 2007. This letter is included in your texts.

The Committee on Divine Worship studied the new draft, and is very happy to report that ICEL addressed many of the concerns highlighted during the Green Book consultation. Just a few simple examples:

In many cases, the formula for the prefaces has been modified to alleviate the confusion of extended subordination and to clarify the antecedent. That was the question with the qui clauses in Latin.

Some odd sentence structures and vocabulary have been changed to aid comprehension and proclamation.

In some cases poorly translated or untranslated words have been corrected.

And lastly, in terms of the Solemn Blessings, many particular comments from the bishops focused on the awkward translation of the subjunctive in the Solemn Blessings. In most cases, more extensive use of the word “may” has improved the texts.

The present text before you has undergone thorough study and revision, and the committee has accepted more than 50 modifications to the text. Any additional serious concerns you might have can be submitted as amendments, which are due by 5 p.m. this afternoon. This action requires approval by 2/3 of the Latin members of the USCCB with subsequent confirmation by the Hoy See.

Are there any questions of clarification at this time?

Cardinal George: Mansell first, and then Trautman.

Archbishop Henry Mansell (Hartford): Just a question on the use of the relative pronouns.

You talk about subordination, but when the words “who” or “in whom” or “whose” begin a clause that’s a subordinate clause, but throughout the text it’s treated like a complete sentence. The same thing with the word “for” in the sense of “because”. That is in 95% of the prefaces presented here, and it’s presented as a full sentence where it’s a subordinate clause. “For” is capitalized, and there’s a period that follows. It seems to be the basic rules of English syntax that are problematic here.

And the situation is resolved felicitously, if I may say, later on with the formula for consecration on page 153, where (line 31) “Who, the” is struck and then “The day before He was to suffer, on the night of the Last Supper, He…” So they adjust that here, and it works. These are complete sentences.

And again the following page: “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood…” Those are full sentences. But when you take — Just go on the first page, for example: The Preface for the Baptism of the Lord, line 19. This is on page 1.

The second paragraph begins: “For in the waters of the Jordan...” That runs for eight lines, but it’s not a complete sentence. And yet it’s punctuated as a complete sentence, with the capitalization of “For” and the period following the last word, “poor”.

And similarly the next page, page 2, line 20: “Who by fasting forty days from earthly food established…” That goes on for six lines, but it’s not a complete sentence. It could easily be resolved by saying: “By fasting for forty days from earthly food, He established.…”

But this goes on — that “For” problem — it’s a problem in 95 — at least 95% — of these prefaces. So it’s the question of complete sentences and subordinate clauses. I wonder where the committee is on that.

Bishop Serratelli: I think that question certainly is a good observation, and I think the text will go through a final editorial review by ICEL, in which that can be brought up.

Archbishop Mansell: Thank you very much.

Cardinal George: Bishop Trautman, followed by Bishop Boyea.

Bishop Donald Trautman (Erie; chairman, Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy 1993-96, 2004-07, chairman Committee on Doctrine 2000-03, former member Ad Hoc Committee for Review of Scripture Translations 1990s): Thank you very much. My question deals with the timetable. Four hundred and six pages were given to us of English texts, four hundred and six pages of Latin texts: a total of eight hundred and twelve pages to review. The material was given out around Holy Week, Easter Week, Confirmation season. In reality I judge we had two and a half weeks to review eight hundred and twelve pages.

Only five bishops out of this body have submitted amendments. In truth, I believe most bishops have not had the opportunity to review these translated texts. We should give our best consideration to what will become a new Missal, and be the prayer of our Church for decades and decades. We owe our people and the Vatican our best review of these texts. To follow an imposed timetable that does not allow adequate review is counterproductive. I cite only three examples why these texts are really not ready to move forward.

Cardinal George: Bishop, could you bring this into the discussion tomorrow, early? It’s not a clarification.

Bishop Trautman: Well, it deals with the timetable for each one of these ICEL texts. When is the best time to do that?

Cardinal George: This is a reason not to vote for the texts, I believe — because it’s not mature, if I understood. This is not a clarification, and this is the time for clarification.

Bishop Trautman: Well, I guess my question was: Is there a possibility of adjusting the timetable? That’s my question.

Bishop Serratelli: My understanding is the Holy See wants all our comments in by November, and that’s the timetable they’ve given us. Also the texts did go out in March. So we had them. Right after the Admin[istrative Committee meeting], the texts were sent out electronically to the bishops.

The Administrative Committee directs the work of the USCCB between plenary sessions. It is comprised of 49 bishops, including committee chairmen and representatives of the 14 USCCB regions.

Cardinal George: Bishop Boyea.

Bishop Earl Boyea (Lansing): Just a question regarding timing again. Is there an opportunity for us to deal with the American adaptations before the new Missal comes out? Like the “Christ has died, Christ is risen…” We’ve never really dealt with that. When does that happen?

Bishop Serratelli: The first example that you have given, “Christ has died…”, has already been presented to the Holy See so it’s there. The other adaptations will be presented in November.

Cardinal George: Bishop Perry; Cardinal DiNardo.

Bishop Joseph Perry (aux. Chicago): Just curious regarding the prefaces. Are these texts here reconciled with musical notation? Or will the musicians see this afterward?

Bishop Serratelli: The musicians are working on them now.

Bishop Perry: Okay.

Cardinal George: Cardinal DiNardo, followed by Bishop Bruskewitz.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (Galveston-Houston): That was actually my question, with a follow-up. Are the ICEL people aware of the sentence structure in putting these to music?

Bishop Serratelli: Yes. Very much so. ICEL has been working with musicians for some time already.

Cardinal George: Bishop Bruskewitz.

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (Lincoln): My question has to do — I’m not sure if it’s in order — with the publication. When all this is finished, who decides the artwork that goes into the Missal? The reason I say that is because the Sacramentaries we have now have some childish stick men and silliness in there. And the old Missals had some beautiful woodcuts and other sorts of things.

Is it the committee or the body of bishops? Who decides the artwork that’s going to go into the ultimate publication? I don’t know if that question is in order.

Bishop Serratelli: My understanding is that the publishers decide that. [Some groaning and laughter]

Cardinal George: Are there other observations to the Order of Mass II, the Action Item 2, about clarification? Well then, let’s move on, Bishop Serratelli, please, to the next —

Bishop Serratelli: Also to that same question: the [Divine Worship] Secretariat can have some input into that, Bishop Bruskewitz.

Cardinal George: Action Item 3 please.

Bishop Serratelli: Okay. Bishops you have before you Action Item 3, the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions. Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions is one of the sections of the Missale Romanum containing many new texts. It was first presented by ICEL for consultation as a Green Book in draft form in 2007.

At that time more than fifty particular comments and suggestions were submitted by the members of this body. They were forwarded to ICEL along with the analysis and recommendation of the Committee on the Liturgy.

ICEL reviewed the comments from the USCCB and its other member conferences. Then ICEL provided a copy of the Gray Book for Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions in October 2008.

The Committee on Divine Worship noticed that ICEL addressed many of the concerns highlighted during the Green Book consultation. The present text has undergone thorough study and revision and the committee has accepted a number of modifications to the text. Any additional serious concerns you may have can be submitted as amendments, which are due at 5 p.m. this afternoon. This section again requires 2/3 of the Latin Church members of the USCCB with subsequent confirmation by the Holy See. Are there any questions of clarification at this time?

Cardinal George: Yes, Bishop Finn?

Bishop Robert Finn (Kansas City-St. Joseph): I notice that there are a lot of blanks in some of the Masses for Mass prayers. So I was just wondering what that — what the conclusion is there. Well, for example, where there are Entrance Antiphons and there are no Communion Antiphons. I think it was one for Holy Angels, I believe, and it had no texts there. Perhaps it’s only my copy.

Bishop Serratelli: There’s a reason for why they’re not there. The antiphons are being prepared by Holy See. They want to help us move the process.

Cardinal George: Bishop Coakley.

Bishop Paul Coakley (Salina): I understand about the antiphons, but there are also whole Masses that don’t have any prayers: For Ministers of the Church, page 20, for example.

Bishop Serratelli: My mind is as empty as the page on that one. I’d have to find out why and get back to you.

Cardinal George: Any other requests for clarification about the text? Archbishop Hughes.

Archbishop Alfred Hughes (emeritus, New Orleans, member Vox Clara): If I’m not mistaken, Bishop Serratelli, those prayers have already been approved, already been processed. So it would be repetition.

Cardinal George: Any final requests for clarification?

Bishop Serratelli: Monsignor Sherman just confirmed that. That when the ICEL texts have already been approved they leave a blank [in the printed books].

Following a coffee break, the discussion resumed.

Cardinal George: Okay, Bishop Serratelli, would you please present Action Items 4 and 5.

Bishop Serratelli: Bishops you have before you Action Item 4, the ICEL Gray Book translation of Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead.

Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead is another section of the Missale Romanum containing a number of new texts. It was first presented by ICEL for consultation as a Green Book draft in 2007.

At that time more than 35 particular comments and suggestions were submitted by the members of this body. They were forwarded to ICEL along with the analysis and recommendation of the Committee on the Liturgy. ICEL reviewed the comments from the USCCB and its other conference members, and provided a Gray Book for Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead in October of 2008. The Committee on Divine Worship observed that ICEL addressed many of the concerns highlighted during the Green Book consultation. In fact, more than 80% of the suggested modifications were incorporated into the text.

The present text has undergone thorough study and revision and the committee has accepted a number of modifications to the text. Any additional serious concerns you may have can be submitted as amendments, which are due at 5 p.m. this afternoon.

This action requires approval by 2/3 of the Latin Church members of the USCCB with subsequent confirmation by the Holy See. Are there any questions of clarification at this time?

Cardinal George: All right, if there are no questions of clarification, Bishop Serratelli, would you please present Action Item 5.

Bishop Serratelli: Bishops you have before you Action Item 5, the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Ritual Masses. The collection of Ritual Masses was first presented by ICEL for consultation as a Green Book draft in 2007.

At that time, 55 particular comments and suggestions were submitted by the members of this body. They were forwarded to ICEL along with the analysis and recommendation of the Committee on the Liturgy. ICEL reviewed the comments from our conference and other member conferences. Then ICEL provided a copy of the Gray Book for Ritual Masses in February of 2008. The Committee on Divine Worship observed that ICEL addressed many of the concerns highlighted during the consultation.

... Again, this action requires 2/3 of the Latin Church members of the USCCB with subsequent confirmation by the Holy See. At this time are there any questions of clarification?

Cardinal George: Bishop Boyea.

Bishop Boyea: Do you know when we will ever be doing the texts for lector and acolyte?

Bishop Serratelli: No. [Laughter]

Cardinal George: Are there other questions of clarification? [More laughter] Thank you for being so clear. It seems as if there is nothing else to be clarified. The amendments are due by 5 p.m. this evening. And Bishop Serratelli do you have anything else?

Bishop Serratelli: No, that’s fine.

Cardinal George: OK, thank you very much. [Applause]

Press conference
At the press conference following the Wednesday afternoon session, two questions concerned the liturgy action items.

Helen Hull Hitchcock: My question, I think, is addressed to Bishop Serratelli, but also to Archbishop Kurtz and maybe the others.

As we approach the end of a years-long process of obtaining new, accurate texts for the liturgy — the Mass and the related Sacraments — the catechetical need to get this across to people…. Do you think that the new translations will make the message more transparent, A; and B, as far as preparing people to receive the new texts and new approaches, is that something that we ought to be looking at catechetically and if so how and what can guys like us do to help?

Bishop Serratelli: Thank you very much for the questions; they’re both very good. I always say they’re good if I have an answer for them.

In terms of the second point: work is already being done in terms of preparing a proper catechesis. There is a need to do both a remote catechesis as well as a proximate catechesis. So some work has already been done on that, and there is work continuing to be done.

The USCCB web site has some information on there that certainly could be helpful already to lay people, to clergy. The Leeds Group is doing some serious preparation for the reception of the new text, and also the FDLC.

[The “Leeds Group” is an unofficial international group headed by Bishop Arthur Roche, of Leeds, England, president of ICEL. The FDLC is the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions in the United States.]

So there is a lot of work because there is a very strong recognition among all that this is a very important moment in the Church’s life: not just to produce these new texts, but to have them received in the best possible way.

Secondly, getting to your first question. I think the texts are more accurate in the sense — [that] the texts are certainly very well-suited for passing on the Faith. And with the proper catechesis people can deepen their understanding of the Catholic Faith, claiming some words in liturgy that we haven’t used, but will make the passing on of the Faith much easier: words like Incarnation.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas (Tuscon; vice-president of the USCCB): If I may just add to Bishop Serratelli’s fine response, Helen. Among the priorities of the Conference are faith formation and sacramental practice, and one of the major activities under that goal and objective is the preparation and catechesis for the revised Roman Missal. So it’s very much on the minds of the bishops.

Archbishop George Niederauer (San Francisco; USCCB Committee on Communications chairman; Committee on Divine Worship member): I think, too, it’s good to reflect where the basis of all of this work lies. The challenge is in working with living languages in terms of being true to the editio typica of the Latin text. We are working under the aegis of ICEL, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. We’re working with many different English-language groups around the entire world.

And I would imagine the people who work on the Portuguese text find that the Brazilians have some misgivings about what the Portuguese — how they may express it, and vice versa. I think it’s true from our own Latino bishops saying that Spanish is not exactly the same in every land. So that it has taken a long time, but you can get back to that saying, “Do you want it right, or do you want it Thursday?” And I think we have pretty much gone for wanting it right.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz (Louisville; Committee on Budget and Finance chairman; Subcommittee on Marriage and Family chairman): Helen, I would also like to add from the perspective of your question about its being in readiness to receive the text. I can speak only for the Archdiocese of Louisville. I think we’ve looked very carefully, and I think well, at the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

And I’ve tried to use the example of my golf game and taking golf instructions. And that even though I don’t often like to take instructions, I should take them more frequently. When I do, it not only improves my game, but it makes me enjoy the game more. And I think in this sense, I believe there is the potential for people being readied by saying this is not just a burden to be received, but actually the possibility for us to please God more, first of all, which is the intent of liturgy. And so to be more engaged and inspired.

Pat Zapor (CNS): This kind of follows up on Archbishop Neiderauer’s point about “Do you want it right, or do you want it Thursday?” Bishop Trautman raised the point of 812 pages that not many people have commented on. Is there really a chance that there might be an opportunity to just delay a little longer so they can comment?

Archbishop Niederauer: Didn’t Bishop Serratelli add that it was made available electronically in March?

Bishop Serratelli: It was made available electronically in March, and there was more than enough time to review it. In fact, with these books that have recently come out, more time was given to these books than to previous Gray Books.

Thursday Morning, June 18

An electronic voting system profiled the attendance, and revealed that there were 184 Latin-rite bishops eligible to vote on the liturgical texts at the meeting.

Debate and Vote on Liturgy Action Items
Action Item I - Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life

Bishop Serratelli: Bishops, I present to you Action Item 1, The Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life in English and in Spanish, and Action Item 1A, the accompanying change in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Passage of these items requires a 2/3 vote of the Latin Church members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. You have at your places Group I Amendments, those accepted by the Committee on Divine Worship.…

A very brief discussion ensued, including a statement of strong support by Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe before the vote was taken.

Cardinal George: Thank you, Archbishop. Are there any other comments that someone wants to make? If you’re ready to vote, then, would you please press 1 if you’re voting “yes” for this Mass. The requirement is that 2/3 of the Latin Church members pass this, and then we’ll go to the Holy See for the subsequent recognitio as Archbishop Sheehan urged us to do. If you don’t want to pass this then it is “no”, but only the Latin-rite bishops vote for this. So 2/3 of the Latin-rite bishops, ordinaries and auxiliaries, which means 163 are needed to pass. So please vote 1, “yes”; 2, “no”. [Pause for voting]

We’re going to close the vote. I hope everyone has voted. The vote is now closed. 183 have voted “yes” and 2 “no” and there are 3 who have abstained, which means that it’s passed. [Applause]

Bishop Serratelli: The next item to vote on is the modification of §373 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, putting this Mass in the General Instruction for either January 22 or January 23 if it falls on a Sunday.…

I now move that the Latin Church members of the USCCB approve the modification of §373 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

Cardinal George: Will you please vote now: 1, yes; 2, no; 3, abstain. Thank you. [Pause for voting] The voting is closed. Required for approval is 2/3 of the Latin Church members and then we go to the Holy See for the recognitio. So 179 have voted “yes”, one has voted “no” and one has abstained. So obviously it’s passed. Thank you very much.

Cardinal George clarified that, assuming Vatican approval, the intention is to include this Mass in the Missal for the United States.

Action Item III - Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions

Bishop Serratelli: Bishops, I present to you Action Item 3, the ICEL Gray Book translation of Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions. Passage of these items requires a 2/3 vote of the Latin Church members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. You have at your places Group I amendments, those accepted by the Committee on Divine Worship.

Cardinal George: The committee recommends that all the amendments in Group I be adopted. If any member desires a separate consideration of any of the amendments in Group I will he please raise his hand and call out just the identifying numbers of those amendments? [No response]

Without objection, then, all of the amendments in Group I are adopted. Will you please proceed?

Bishop Serratelli: There are no amendments that have been rejected.

Cardinal George: Since no amendments have been rejected then we are ready to discuss this text as a whole. The floor is open for those who want to speak to this issue. Bishop Trautman.

Bishop Trautman: Thank you very much. Our liturgy committee has done yeoman work, truly exemplary work, in processing the new translation. My argument is not with the committee, but with ICEL.

I say “yes” to a more accurate Latin translation, “yes” to a more transcendent tone, “yes” to a more elevated tone.

But a resounding “no” to incomplete sentences, to two and three clauses in one sentence. “No” to thirteen lines in one sentence as found in this Action Item. “No” to archaic phrases. “No” to texts that are not proclaimable, intelligible or pastorally sensitive to our people.

I believe the text before us is not ready for approval, not ready for the liturgical prayer life of our Church in the United States.

Cardinal George: Thank you, Bishop. Are there other comments to be made at this time? Then if you’re ready we will —

Bishop Serratelli: There being no further discussion or amendments —

Cardinal George: Do you want to say something to that at all?

Bishop Serratelli: No, that’s his personal opinion, I think.

Cardinal George: No, no. I mean it’s clear; it’s well thought out. So, then —

Bishop Serratelli: There being no further discussion or amendments, I now move that the Latin Church members of the USCCB approve the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions for use in the dioceses of the United States of America.

Cardinal George: Again 2/3 of the Latin- rite members of the hierarchy are required in order to pass this, after which it goes to the Holy See for recognitio. All those in favor, please press 1; those opposed, press 2; those abstaining, press 3. [Pause for voting]

With your permission we’ll close the vote. If it is not conclusive, then we will go to mail in order to do it. [Pause for tabulating electronic votes]

It is not conclusive, and so therefore we will have to have a vote by mail as we have done in the past.

Yes, Bishop Bruskewitz?

A discussion of the conference procedures when a vote is inconclusive followed.

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (Lincoln): Once again — I’ve done this for 18 years. When these things happen, I don’t understand why the body of bishops cannot know the result of this vote. Staff members are allowed to know this, but we’re excluded from this knowledge because we’re not trustworthy or something. I really think that it should be known to us what the vote was, even if it’s inconclusive. I know it’s a custom to do something else. But I’ve brought this up every time, and I’m sure it will be futile this time as well. But I just thought — [Laughter]

Monsignor David Malloy (USCCB General Secretary): This is the long-standing practice. And my understanding is that it is an effort to protect the integrity of the elective process. If the numbers were to become known, the lobbying on one side or the other, knowing how close or how far, you change — at least this is the theory — the dynamic of the elective process. So the effort here is simply an effort to keep the fairest ground as adopted by the bishops. The only other consolation I can give is that to my knowledge there has never been a breach by our staff on the question.

Bishop Bruskewitz: The staff is trustworthy, but why aren’t we trustworthy? If this is so secret, why can’t we do it in executive session then? Once again, I don’t want to argue it any further, I just thought I’d bring the matter up again.

Cardinal George: Okay to this issue, Bishop Wester and then Archbishop Vlazny. You have not made a motion, Bishop Bruskewitz.

Bishop John Wester (Salt Lake City): Just a question: the bishops that receive the vote by mail, do they get a summary of what came right before this vote, or do they just get the mere proposal? What do they get in the mail?

Monsignor Malloy: They get the documentation that you have to this point. So they get the most up-to-date version and the Group I, Group II information that you have.

Bishop Wester: I realize it was very brief, but Bishop Trautman made an intervention. Will that be included in the mail?

Monsignor Malloy: The practice has not been to provide the verbatim of the minutes. You get the documentation when it goes out. It has not, to this point, included the minutes of what accompanied the discussion or the vote.

Bishop Wester: Again, it would seem to me that some kind of a summary, especially if it was a longer, protracted discussion, would be helpful for those bishops who were not privy to this conversation.

Cardinal George: Yes, Archbishop Vlazny, please, and then Bishop Galeone.

Archbishop John Vlazny (Portland, Oregon, consultant BCDW): I would speak to the same point that Bishop Wester brought up, but I would just like to point this out. One of the problems is that last year, for example, people did receive in the mail an explanation of why you should vote “no”, and there was no explanation of why you should vote “yes”. So when you’re not at the meeting, you’re not present for the dynamic.

Unless the committee does send something out and explain why the committee supports it, it leaves someone at home thinking: “Well, there is no argument in favor of it” and it does weight it, then, negatively. So I think the committee should say something about why it supports it.

Cardinal George: Bishop Galeone, please. Bishop Rosazza is after this.

Bishop Victor Galeone (St. Augustine): My question is for Bishop Art Serratelli. Some six months or so ago, maybe seven, an article appeared in the London Tablet that pointed out that through a misunderstanding of a letter that was sent by then still-functioning Cardinal Arinze as head of the Congregation of Worship, that the archbishop there in South Africa actually thought that they were supposed to inaugurate, initiate the texts that had been approved up to that point. Which they did.

And the first Sunday that those texts were proclaimed in the churches of that archdiocese the priests, the people went up in arms, and said: “This is unintelligible. This is unacceptable.”

They called Rome; Rome said: “Oh, no, no, you misunderstood it. This is not to be initiated until the whole series of translations has been approved.”

My question, Bishop, were you aware of that article in the London Tablet?

Bishop Serratelli: I was aware of the fact. I didn’t read the article.

Bishop Galeone: I see. I have a copy. I left it home unfortunately. But it’s very interesting, very enlightening. Because I fear that what occurred there in South Africa could well happen in 2010, ’11 or ’12, whenever we initiate these new texts here in the United States. Our people are going to say: “What happened? This doesn’t sound like proper English.” Just my own comment. Thank you.

Cardinal George: Bishop Rosazza, and then Archbishop Lipscomb after Rosazza.

Bishop Peter Rosazza (aux. Hartford): Just for the record, there was one amendment not accepted by the committee. It was mine. Just for the record. [Laughter]

Cardinal George: Sorry about that. Got too many papers up here. Archbishop Lipscomb.

Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb (emeritus Mobile, Vox Clara member): Thank you. I’m a little bit mystified at the process right now. We’re not debating a motion, we’re debating a part of the process, evidently, that presents this to the body of bishops. Generally the practice has been, for a long time, that once a presentation was made, before the vote took place, the committee chair, or someone from the committee, made a final presentation in favor of the motion presented by the committee. This did not happen last November, and it seems not to be happening now. And I think this is a mistake, because there’s ample — We’ve been at this for eight years, and there have been revisions after revisions, and Rome has deferred.

I think we’re to a point now where Rome has tired of our hunting for reasons to delay this. And it is doing its best to insist on catechesis. We cannot do the proper catechesis until the texts are in place. Once the catechesis happens, there should probably not be the kind of exercise that took place in South Africa. Wherever those erupt — that’s our problem.

But we really, it seems to me, are kind of skewing the process when we vote electronically without the kinds of pros and cons that influence votes at the last minute, which seem to be a part of this process. And I just speak because it distresses me, and I don’t think it’s right, and I don’t think it will bring the outcome that I think the bishops deserve, and the people deserve.

Cardinal George: I thank you. I share that concern myself. However, we’re still — We’re not voting on anything or discussing anything to vote right now. We’re discussing, without a motion, whether or not we should tell everybody what the results of the last vote might have been — or were. So we don’t have anything before us right now. But, Bishop Serratelli, did you indicate that you want to say something?

Bishop Serratelli: Well, I agree with Archbishop Lipscomb. Some of the remarks I made in presenting the agenda the other day were hopefully to do that, but if it’s necessary to repeat it before every one [of the texts] —

I think it’s important to keep in mind all the work that has gone into each of these different texts that we are presenting today, between the Green Book, the adaptations that ICEL made and result of that, the Gray Book.

And it’s also important to keep in mind that if we reject these texts now they will come back to us in November along with three other texts, and if we reject them then, then we will have no say after that. So considering all the tremendous work that has gone into it, the many, many, many, many, many modifications that have been reviewed and accepted not only by our committee, but by ICEL, and the fact that other episcopal conferences have already accepted this, and considering the fact that Rome is open to the amendments that we offer now, to me it seems best to pass these, or we lose our opportunity to in any way influence the translations.

Cardinal George: Archbishop Pilarczyck, before I say something, but you will clarify, I am sure, the situation. So if you would please speak. And Archbishop Vigneron wants to speak as well.

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk (Cincinnati, former president of ICEL and of the US bishops’ conference): You’re very kind, Mr. President, and very optimistic. [Laughter] I have three points to make. First of all, voting by mail is second best. I think we all acknowledge that. You should be here, you should hear the discussion, and then you should vote well-informed. The mail vote, I think, is an attempt to satisfy Canon Law, and it’s the best way we know how to do it. It’s a second best.

Secondly, I would speak against any attempt to send out a résumé of what was said with the voting material because you might have a very eloquent — as indeed we have — chairman of the worship committee who could be very persuasive, but then on the other side what are you going to send? When one person has spoken, it’s fine. But if ten people had spoken are we going to send out résumés of what all ten said. I would not — That opens the door to many abuses, it seems to me.

Finally, I wish to say that I agree with — I think Bishop Bruskewitz has a point. [Laughter and applause] Namely, that knowing the numbers might be a little bit of information that would influence people’s voting for other items on this same slate.

For example, if this item didn’t get the requisite number, by how many? What’s the sentiment of the supposedly absent bishops? It seems to me that this might be something that the Administrative Committee might want to discuss and change the practice. But in any case I think there are problems.

Cardinal George: What I was going to suggest in relation to your last remark was that someone make a motion — which I think would be permitted without our going to the Administrative Committee — that the body would like to know the results of the election. And if they vote positively, then we’ll announce now the results of the last election. Somebody has to make that motion.

Archbishop Pilarczyck: So moved.

Cardinal George: Cardinal Rigali, are you going to —

Cardinal Rigali: So moved.

Cardinal George: He seconds it. Okay. The motion, then, is that we simply let you know what just appeared on the screen here, and should appear up there. Archbishop Vigneron.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron (Detroit, Member BCDW): Thank you, Cardinal. I appreciate that you called for a motion. I think that really helps sharpen our discussion.

And then, I want to speak against the motion. I think we’ve come into the process with a sense of what it is. And I’m not in favor of changing the process in the middle. I think if this is a wise course it would be better to be a policy decision we make after long — after at least wise — consideration, instead of on the spur of the moment.

The second is, even were we to have that long conversation, or if it does go through, and I presume it will, I would oppose it. I think we come in here entering into a process, and I think to give a vote to the body, really somehow brings a kind of conclusion and sets the mail vote in a very different situation. So I’m opposed to the motion, and I’m opposed especially to trying to make policy on the fly like this simply in response to an ad hoc situation.

Cardinal George: Bishop Kicanas.

Bishop Kicanas: Just a point of clarification: Is the proposal that it would be for this specific vote that would be revealed even though it’s inconclusive? Or is it to change the standing procedures of the Conference, that any inconclusive votes would be made public?

Cardinal George: Archbishop Pilarczyck, it’s your motion....

Archbishop Pilarczyck: My intent would be to change the practice.

Bishop Kicanas: Change the practice, so, generally. Thank you.

Cardinal George: Bishop Cupich, followed by Archbishop Rodi.

Bishop Blase Cupich (Rapid City): I speak against it, too, because I think that the objectivity that we have in not knowing how the vote’s going to be, and to give that to those who are going to vote by mail, would be an advantage over those of us who voted here.

And that’s why I am also in favor of what Bishop Wester said: namely, that a summary, or at least the minutes of the discussion, including the intervention prior to the vote that was given yesterday, be included when the vote is sent out to everyone. I think we should try — while it is not perfect, and Archbishop Pilarczyck is right — we should try to replicate as much as possible the objectivity that was present in this session when that vote goes out. But I rise to speak against the motion, because I think it violates that objectivity.

Cardinal George: There is a possibility that hasn’t been discussed. That would be that if a vote fails, it not be resolved by a mail vote when people aren’t here to have heard the discussion, and then they would vote also with information that the people who originally voted don’t have, and that is we simply defer a failed vote to the next General Assembly in November. Nobody has made that motion, but that’s a possibility.

Archbishop Rodi?

Archbishop Thomas Rodi (Mobile): I would rise to speak in favor of the motion. I believe that any action of the body should be shared with the body, even if the action is inconclusive. I think the body should be informed. But I rise really to ask a question. Since we are governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, is there anything in Robert’s Rules of Order that would already address this? And I don’t know the answer to that question.

Monsignor Malloy: [consults Mr. Robert] The answer seems to be that there is nothing definitive in Robert’s Rules of Order. It can be argued different ways.

Cardinal George: Bishop Pfeifer, then Cardinal Mahony.

Bishop Michael Pfeifer (San Angelo): I favor recommending to send out an objective résumé of what happened here, because the fact is we all have telephones, e-mail. We’re going to be talking to these other bishops, and depending on which bishop they listen to they’re going to be persuaded one way or the other. So they’re going to know something, the ones who are not here. That’s a fact.

Cardinal George: Cardinal Mahony, please.

Cardinal Roger Mahony (Los Angeles, consultant to BCDW): I have three auxiliary bishops who are not here. And I know that when we get home they would be greatly helped in their decision by knowing what happened fully; that is, the count and our discussion. So I am in favor of the motion.

Cardinal George: The question of a summary is a separate issue and it’s not before us. What is before us is simply Archbishop Pilarczyck’s resolution, seconded by Cardinal Rigali, initiated by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, that we tell everyone right now what the results of the last voting were. Even the question about whether it should become constant policy is — but that’s your intention. However — is that clear? Is that a clear statement? It’s a change in procedures — starting with this vote.

All those in favor — well should we use the — ? [Laughter]

All those in favor of the motion to make public the results of the last vote — we only need a majority. Just Latin-rite? Because it’s procedures everybody should vote on this, huh? It’s procedures, so everybody in the assembly can vote on this. So the whole assembly votes, please, to change a procedural point. And if the vote is “yes” we will publish the results of the last vote on this Latin text.

All those in favor please signify by saying 1 — by writing — by pushing 1, and those who are opposed, push 2 please.

Everyone seems to have voted, we’ll close the vote. Please publish the results.

[The vote on the motion was shown on the screen]: Yes–122; No–65.

All right, would the staff please put up the results of the last election — the last voting.

The results of the vote on the Gray Book translation of the Masses for Various Needs and Intentions were shown on the screen. Results: Yes–134; No–47; Abstain–5.

We can return, then, to the voting on the issues before us. Bishop Kicanas?

Bishop Kicanas: Bishop Serratelli, if this vote were deferred to November, would that be a problem, or not?

Bishop Serratelli: Well, I’d like to address that, and I’m glad you asked the question. Any of the — the vote on the —If it’s negative, it’s the work you mean, correct? Any of the texts that we do not accept, then, will go to November and will be added to the other three texts we have to look at, so the work will get greater.

And secondly, if we reject it then, then our chance to have anything to say about it will end. Because Cardinal Cañizares’s letter clearly indicated that the Holy See would like us to have our input in by the end of this year. All the other episcopal conferences — I think mostly all of them — have already given their approbation to the text. And considering the tremendous amount of work that has gone in, and the fact that the modifications or amendments that have been given now are not that substantial in terms of number or in terms of their style, I would suggest that rejecting these texts would eventually mean that we would have little say in what will be given to us as a final product.

Cardinal George: Are you moving that suggestion, that we not do a mail vote now?

Bishop Serratelli: No, no, I’m not moving that.

Cardinal George: On the defeated texts.

Bishop Serratelli: No. I think we should do a mail vote. I’m just answering the question if it were to be rejected, what would happen in terms of our November meeting.

Bishop Kicanas: Actually, my question, Bishop Serratelli, was would it be the suggestion of the committee that we wait till we are present in November to vote? It sounds like you’re saying “no”.

Bishop Serratelli: On this particular — ?

Bishop Kicanas: Yes.

Bishop Serratelli: The procedure has been to use a mail vote, and so I think we should.

Cardinal George: Archbishop Vigneron?

Archbishop Vigneron: I’d like a clarification. Will the mail vote go only to those people who are entitled to vote as of today? For example, if the Holy See were to name a Latin-rite bishop next week, would the mail vote go to that person?

Cardinal George: Only those who are bishops now would be entitled to vote. The point is that they are part of the assembly, but are not present. And so they remain the assembly for this vote.

Bishop Paprocki?

Bishop Thomas Paprocki (aux. Chicago): In light of having just changed the practice, whereby the whole body now knows what the outcome of an inconclusive vote is, I’m wondering does that open a possibility? In light of what the chairman has just said about the timing of all this, would it ever be possible to do a revote at the same meeting? So the alternatives seem to be right now that we send out the ballot to those who are not here, or we defer it to November, but on a vote — Let’s say that we know that we’re one or two votes short of something, would it ever be possible to do a revote at the same meeting on that same issue?

Cardinal George: Archbishop Pilarczyck, would you care to —

Archbishop Pilarczyck: It’s my opinion, Mr. President, that that practice would be a catastrophe. Because you would be going around looking for these two or three guys. I don’t think that’s fair.

Cardinal George: I think the vote stands for what it is, and that it’s concluded. According to the present policies of the USCCB we will now move by mail to contact those who are part of the assembly but not present physically here.

They will vote, as we’ve done in the past, and then we’ll tell you what the final vote is. There are all the difficulties that have been mentioned about the lack of discussion, and there hasn’t been an enormous discussion on the issue as such. So I don’t know that our not sending that information is particularly pejorative to the outcome.

So I think we just follow the policy as it is. We have moved from the policy to allow everyone to know what the inconclusive vote is. But other than that we should follow it, and we will, unless somebody wants to protest that.

Yes, Archbishop Lipscomb?

Archbishop Lipscomb: This is in reference to past practice, and I think it’s covered by Robert’s Rules of Order. But in the debate — the very contentious debate — for the pastoral on war and peace in Chicago, in which there were about three minutes offered to each amendment, and then we voted. And Cardinal Stafford — Archbishop Stafford — raised the question that he had voted one way. And debate showed it was unacceptable to him. And since he had caused a part of the vote on the outcome, he wanted to change his vote, having admitted that. And he was permitted to change his vote. I distinctly recall it because I was part of that discourse at the same time. I would ask Mr. Robert: Is there some way in which, if a person has voted and desires to change his vote, can he ask, by Robert’s Rules of Order, that the rules be brought into play so that he can change his vote?

Monsignor Malloy: Mr. Robert indicates that we can change his vote until the final definitive result has been announced.

Archbishop Lipscomb: Well we don’t have a definitive result if we’re deferring it for that reason. [Laughter]

Cardinal George: If that is the desire, it would seem to me that one way to meet your concern would be to have everyone vote by mail, even those who are here now. But other than that I don’t see how that could be accommodated in the present rules. Cardinal Mahony?

Cardinal Mahony: Cardinal George, could you refresh the number again? What is the magic number?

Cardinal George: We need 163 members of the Latin rite in the hierarchy.

Cardinal Mahony: One hundred and fifty-three?

Cardinal George: Sixty-three

Cardinal Mahony: One six three?

Cardinal George: One six three is two-thirds.... I think we should move along to the next action item.

Cardinal Mahony: How many are here?

Cardinal George: There are 189 Latin-rite members of the hierarchy here right now, out of 244. I think, with your permission, we’ll move along to the next item.

Action Item 4 – Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead

Bishop Serratelli: Bishops, I present to you Action Item 4, the ICEL Gray Book translation of Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead. Passage of this item requires a 2/3 vote of the Latin Church members of the United States Catholic Conference. You have at your places the Group I amendments, those accepted by the Committee on Divine Worship.

Cardinal George: The committee recommends that all of the amendments in Group I be adopted. If any member desires a separate consideration of any of the amendments in Group I will he please raise his hand and call out just the identifying numbers of those amendments?

Without objection, then, all of the amendments in Group I are — Oh, I’m sorry. Bishop Trautman. Just the number please, Bishop.

Bishop Trautman: I just wanted to be clear. Are we talking about Action Item 4?

Bishop Serratelli: Yes.

Bishop Trautman: Okay. Divine Worship. That’s my motion, I believe, that the committee suggested improved wording.

Cardinal George: So what’s the number, please?

Bishop Trautman: Well, it’s the only one; it’s number 1. And the text is — the recommended version submitted by the committee is as follows: “May the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Lord, cleanse our hearts, and make them fruitful within by the sprinkling of His dew.”

I do not believe that is an intelligible or proclaimable translation. So I’m speaking against the very motion that I had submitted. I appreciate what the committee has done, but I think that’s a good illustration of why this text, this whole segment, is not worthy to go forward. That is not a text to be prayed by our people. Can you tell me what it means? “By the sprinkling of His dew”. What does that mean?

Cardinal George: What are we discussing now? [Laughter]

Bishop Serratelli: The committee partially accepted Bishop Trautman’s amendment, but now he’s spoken against the whole prayer, even with the amendment.

Cardinal George: But we can only, at this point, admit for discussion by everyone amendments. Are we — ? There’s only one amendment, so let’s — go ahead.

Monsignor Malloy: I think if I understand it correctly, the body would have to decide whether we accept the fact that — Bishop Trautman’s suggestion was that this phrase be struck from the text. The committee did not strike it from the text, they just modified it. So I think we’d have to accept consideration of this amendment by the body. And then decide whether Bishop Trautman’s modification is acceptable or not. I think we’d first have to decide whether his amendment should be considered.

Cardinal George: Do you move that?

Bishop Serratelli: I so move that.

Cardinal George: All those in favor please signify — Does everybody understand what we’re voting on now?
[Many voices: No]

Monsignor Malloy: I think what we’re voting on is whether to discuss and vote against the committee on striking the phrase “inner sprinkling of His dew”, which was the modification. So we have to decide whether or not to accept Bishop Trautman’s bringing this back to the body because the committee did not change it in the way he is suggesting.

Cardinal George: Cardinal Rigali.

Cardinal Rigali: If we are back to discussing this terminology, “the inner sprinkling of His dew”, I would like to speak against that, in favor of what the committee did. The committee says: “May the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Lord, cleanse our hearts, and make them fruitful within by the sprinkling of His dew.” Well, I would suggest that this is quite acceptable for our people. It can be read very nicely.

But the real question is the biblical image of dew. And just because we think that “dew” might not be the ordinary word, we have to be careful about eliminating biblical concepts and restricting our liturgical usage. And this is not only biblical, I think it’s also mystical. It’s been held in the tradition of the Church. And I believe it is something that reads very, very well, and that our people can meditate on. And these two petitions: “cleanse our hearts and make them fruitful by” the dew of the Spirit. That word is in Canon II, and it had difficulty there, but it’s part of our terminology, it’s part of our Scripture, it’s part of our tradition. So I think we should be very careful in eliminating it.

Cardinal George: May I first have — Thank you, Cardinal Rigali. Do we want to open up this discussion or not? That is, should we consider this phrase? And then it would seem to me, if you want to consider it, then there would be people who — This is what’s not clear, Bishop Trautman. You don’t have a suggestion; you just want to reject the committee’s suggestion. We can debate the committee’s suggestion because they have given us something positive to discuss. But —

Bishop Trautman: I think the committee was trying to be helpful. It really has not solved the issue. I would suggest we reject what the committee has recommended, and we reject this entire text. Reject the entire segment.

Cardinal George: Yes but we have to — There’s nothing to vote on if we reject the committee’s work.

Bishop William Murphy (Rockville Centre): I apologize if I confuse, which I suspect I probably will. But if I’m not mistaken, what has happened here is that the committee has presented a change that they have accepted as a committee. And so the question now is: Does the body agree with the committee? And say “yes” or “no” to that. And Bishop Trautman says “no”, and he has every right to say that. But it seems to me that the first question is: Does the body accept what the committee recommends? And then if that were to be rejected, the second thing would be for Bishop Trautman to present his suggestion of a better way to handle that particular piece of translation. [Applause]

Cardinal George: So the first indication is do you want to consider this phrase, this question at all? [Voices: Yes]

Okay. If that’s accepted then, let’s talk about the committee’s suggested phrase. And if that’s rejected, then we’ll have to see what we do next. We’d ask for something else on the whole text. So the floor is open to discuss the committee’s comment on this translation, their suggested translation. Is that right, Bishop Serratelli?

Bishop Serratelli: Yes.

Cardinal George: Anyone want to speak in favor or against? Okay, all those who are in favor of accepting the committee’s translation as given in the Group I amendment please vote 1; all those who want to reject it, please vote 2. [Pause for voting]

Has everyone voted? Again, this is just the Latin-rite bishops. This is a simple majority. Cardinal Rigali, point of order?

Cardinal Rigali: That was my question.

Cardinal George: Okay. Close the vote, please. [The vote is shown on the screen]: Yes–137; No–46.

So it passes. The committee’s version is accepted, and now we have to move to the amendments in Group —

Bishop Serratelli: There are no amendments in Group II.

Cardinal George: So therefore you call the question, please.

Bishop Serratelli: Just a reminder before I call the question. If we do not accept this now, it will come back to us in November. Therefore, being no further discussion or amendments, I move that the Latin Church members of the USCCB approve the ICEL Gray Book translation of Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

Cardinal George: 2/3 of the Latin-rite bishops have to vote for this. If you want to accept the whole text, vote 1; if you want to reject the whole text, please vote 2. [Pause for voting] May we close the vote please?

In the light of the last discussion I presume that it is the will of the body, in fact we have changed the procedure, that this vote be published. So would you please put it up on the screen? [The vote:] Yes–150; No–30; Abstain–3.

So the text is not acceptable. Would you go on to the next text please? Archbishop Myers?

Archbishop John Myers: It’s inconclusive.

Cardinal George: I’m sorry I should have said that differently. It’s an inconclusive vote, and it will go out in the mail as the others have.

Action Item 5 - Ritual Masses

Bishop Serratelli: Bishops, I present to you Action Item 5, the ICEL Gray Book of the Ritual Masses. Passage of this item also requires a 2/3 vote of the Latin Church members of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. There were no amendments.

Cardinal George: Since there are no amendments, would people care to speak to the whole text as it is presented to you? Archbishop Hughes.

Archbishop Hughes: I regret that I did not get up earlier, and I did have my hand raised before the last vote.

Cardinal George: I’m sorry.

Archbishop Hughes: But in light of the discussions that we’ve had and the votes that we’ve experienced, I would just like to acknowledge, first of all, every translation is imperfect and can be continually improved. If we contrast what is being presented to us with what we had before, it’s immensely improved.

We’re guided now by new norms presented to us in Liturgiam authenticam. We are to be not just faithful to the Latin text, but to the doctrinal meaning, the Scriptural references and even patristic references that are present in that text.

And we’re to use sacral language that stretches us. It’s not always the language that we hear in ordinary conversation, but language that is poetic sometimes, and elevates the spirit. And we also are called to be faithful to the basic structure, because the structure also impacts the way in which the meaning of a given prayer is communicated.

And in that context, I would consider the intervention, earlier on, of Archbishop Mansell a very important one for us to pass on to the Congregation, because I think, not only should we avoid having clauses as sentences, but we should be as faithful as possible to the original structure.

Cardinal George: Thank you, Archbishop Hughes. Are there other comments? Well then, if you are ready to vote, would you please vote electronically, and this is the Action Item — You want to present it again?

Bishop Serratelli: Yes. I now move that the Latin Church members of the USCCB approve the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Ritual Masses for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

Cardinal George: Please vote. [Pause for voting] All right, we’ve closed the vote. Would you please tabulate it, and publish it. [The vote:] Yes–155; No–25; abstain–2.

So we have not the 163 necessary in order to accept the text, and so the text has not passed.

I think the order calls for debate on Order of the Mass II after the coffee break. Is that right? Before the coffee break — I apologize for not being quick enough up here in trying to sort this out. I’ve got too many papers in front of me, and I’m having a hard time with it.

The discussion continued after a coffee break.

Cardinal George: Bishop Serratelli, if you would come to the podium please. The Action Item before us is 2, the debate and vote on the Order of the Mass II. Bishop Serratelli.

Action Item 2 – Order of Mass II

Bishop Serratelli: Bishops, I present to you Action Item 2, the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Order of Mass II. Passage of this item requires a 2/3 vote of the Latin members of the United States Conference of Bishops. You have at your place Group I amendments, those accepted by the Committee on Divine Worship.

Cardinal George: The committee recommends that all the amendments in Group I be adopted. Therefore, if any member desires a separate consideration of any of the amendments in Group I will he please raise his hand and call out just the identifying number of those amendments? [No response]

Seeing none then, without objection all of the amendments in Group I are adopted. Bishop Serratelli?

Bishop Serratelli: You have at your places the Group II amendments, which were reviewed by the Committee on Divine Worship but not accepted.

Cardinal George: The committee recommends that the — there’s only one — amendment in Group II not be adopted. If any member desires a separate consideration of any of the amendments in Group II will he please raise his hand and call out just the number of those amendments. Bishop Rosazza? He’s not here.

Under our rule then, the amendment will not come before the assembly. There is now discussion on Action Item 2, and those who want to speak please signify by raising a card. Bishop Vann?

Bishop Kevin Vann (Fort Worth): I would like to speak in favor of the translations. I should have spoken earlier. We had a meeting with our priests earlier this year. Monsignor Moroney was there. [Monsignor James Moroney is an advisor to Vox Clara, and former director of the BCDW Secretariat.]

These were gone over with the priests. They were well accepted. And I believe with proper catechesis our people will understand and appreciate them, and I would like to speak in favor of the translations.

Cardinal George: Thank you. Archbishop Lipscomb, and then Cardinal Rigali.

Archbishop Lipscomb: I rise to support at least this segment, which is the most extensive in the Ordo Missae, and perhaps if it can at least pass it will lessen the pressures that will come up after the first of the year past November.

The text has been before us for eight years in one way or another in my determination. And we have dealt with it in such a way that ICEL’s recapitulation of changes in the Green Book and suggestions even from the Congregation are embodied in this latest one. It’s not the end product. The Congregation has to receive our work, factor that into what it will respond to in finishing the entire text.

I was not going to mention this, but I understand it’s public knowledge, so I feel I can make it public so there’s a certain urgency in this. ICEL depends upon the Congregation, not the other way around. What we have received is the ICEL text, but that is subject to modification. That’s why Vox Clara exists, because we complained that we didn’t know who was doing the translation and advising the Congregation. Twelve English-speaking bishops from around the world — there are four from this Conference — who have been part of Vox Clara from the beginning. And we have worked very well with the Congregation and with ICEL too.

We have scheduled a meeting that is still on tap for the end of August to deal with the results of this meeting. If this meeting rejects everything, I simply don’t see how we’re going to be able to put it back together. Incidentally, we also scheduled a meeting in January to deal with what happens in November.

We’re always very serious about moving this on and coming to a happy conclusion, and they want our advice. But for us simply to reject this text — despite the examples that have been given, which can be ludicrous and sometimes extreme, it is a very good text compared to what we are using now, and compared to what original versions were.

We have made changes in dispositions, and I think they can be defended and can be changed somewhat still for the future. But we have to have a text to be able to approach it. Simply to hold back and say we will not cooperate runs the risk, as has been said, that the final text will not represent any input from the American bishops. So at least if we pass this one, we will have something to work on. And I think the Ordo Missae is the least damaging, to some minds, of the texts that we have been dealing with. So I encourage its passage.

Cardinal George: Thank you, Archbishop. Cardinal Rigali?

Cardinal Rigali: I would just like to mention the origin of the collaborative effort to turn out a translation in English. Going back to Vatican II, it was the Constitution on Divine Liturgy that foresaw the possibility of having different countries get together and try and put out a common translation. This then became the origin of ICEL. Obviously this is a very difficult job because there are many differences, etc. However, it was judged that the unity involved was still better than having multiple translations of these sacred texts. So that was the origin of it.

Actually, as it’s worked out, it’s gone through a tremendous amount of revision. Different people have looked at the text, the different conferences of bishops, and it’s going to be an international text, which does have a practical consequence. And that practical consequence is it’s really impossible — if we’re going to turn out, according to the thought of Vatican II, a common text — it’s impossible for any particular conference to have everything exactly the way you would want it. However, there’s been an awful lot of collaboration. We’ve been working to make sure it’s acceptable, it’s acceptable to ourselves, the other conferences. And that’s where we are right now. So we can’t have everything — and an individual bishop can’t have everything — that you want.

For example, I’m happy to be on the Vox Clara with Archbishop Lipscomb, Cardinal George and with Archbishop Hughes, and we make suggestions also, and nobody can have his way completely. But I recommend it as the best possible thing that we have, and without this we don’t have anything. And on further examination we’ll see that so many of these things that are presented, when you read them out loud they really do make a great deal of sense.

So I encourage the acceptance of this text. Thank you.

Cardinal George: Bishop Brom, and then Archbishop Mansell.

Bishop Robert Brom (San Diego): I have a question that I can phrase if we refer to page 16 of the document, Action Item 2. I am sensitive to the comments of Archbishop Mansell that at times there are incomplete sentences. But I refer here to the phrase “through Christ Our Lord” as concluding the first paragraph of the Preface.

If it stays that way, whenever we say “through Christ Our Lord” not more than a few in the assembly will say “Amen”. And then we proceed “who, invisible in His own nature….” I think part of the problem of pieces standing on their own — although the sentence would be quite long — is if the clause beginning “who” were connected with “Christ Our Lord”, “Christ Our Lord, who…”, and go from there. It’s just a question.

I looked through how many phrases end “through Christ Our Lord”, how many prefaces have that, and then how that phrase, if it were added to “Lord”, would complete the sentence. So it’s a question.

Cardinal George: It is not a motion, just a question? … And what do you want the committee —

Bishop Brom: Just to take a look at it.

Bishop Serratelli: Well I think it’s certainly a good suggestion, and the committee could certainly pass the observations on to the Holy See in terms of the way the text is printed. I think Archbishop Mansell made a very good point when he spoke yesterday to the same issue.

Cardinal George: Archbishop Mansell?

Archbishop Mansell: In fact that’s another example of what we were speaking of. A very simple way to resolve that — because that paragraph beginning with “who” is nine lines, and it’s not a complete sentence — is saying just: “Invisible in His own nature, He has appeared visibly in ours….”

But I just want to be sure because, while it’s going over, that we can have some confidence that they will look at this matter of the subordinate clauses that are not complete sentences. It’s a pervasive fundamental flaw. It runs through virtually every one. When you take the personal pronouns, the relative pronouns and the question of “for” it’s in virtually every preface that’s suggested. The matter is corrected, as I mentioned yesterday, on page 153 with the formula for Consecration and the subsequent formulas.

We’re talking about the canons of basic English syntax. And for this to go forward could be truly embarrassing. If this comes back with all of these prefaces so fundamentally flawed, it’s a major embarrassment. I would hope that, you know, the bishops from the Conference who are on Vox Clara give a lot of confidence by their very experience and their outlook that this can be done. But I hope that there will be people sitting there on these issues to make sure that we don’t come back with a major problem.

Bishop Serratelli: I’d like to make two comments to that. First of all, in dealing with the comments that came back from the Green Book to ICEL, some of the prefaces have already been changed, and the subordinate clauses have been eliminated. So some work has been done on that. The second point that you bring up is that work could be continued to do that. Or the third point basically is that with proper punctuation some of those difficulties could be alleviated.

Archbishop Mansell: It’s a little more than punctuation. This is virtually a diriment impediment at this point — [Laughter. A “diriment impediment” is an impediment to marriage that invalidates it from the beginning.] But thank you very much for all the understanding.

Cardinal George: And that will be incorporated in your own instructions for the approval whenever it goes to Vox Clara?

Bishop Serratelli: Yes.

Cardinal George: Okay. Is there anyone else who wants to speak to this? [No response]

Well then the question before us is: Do the Latin Church members of the USCCB approve the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Order of Mass II of the Roman Missal for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America? You move that?

Bishop Serratelli: May I make a few comments before I move it, Your Eminence?

Cardinal George: Please do.

Bishop Serratelli: I’d just like to reiterate what we’ve said, but say it again more clearly, that we’re at the end of the process.

The Holy See has clearly indicated by this November — all the work that we need to hand in to have an influence on the translations should be done by this November. If we uselessly delay the process then we will limit our ability to influence the final translations that are finally received.

A lot of work has been done. A lot of work has been done since the Green Books have been received. I myself work on ICEL, and I know that many of the suggestions of the conferences, especially the conference of the United States, have been listened to. If we pass this forward with our comments to the Holy See, then all that work is not lost. But if we do not pass it forward, then that work will not go forward and will not have an influence on the final texts that are given to us.

As Cardinal Rigali mentioned, and I think it’s worth to keep in mind, that we are dealing with a translation that is for all the English-speaking countries, and in terms of that there is a need for some compromise on each of the episcopal conferences — that each one of us will not get everything that we want.

Having said that, the present text that has been proposed to us is a very, very good text. And I know on ICEL and I also know in the Committee on Divine Worship that when we go over the texts we actually pray them out loud. And with the proper breathing, with the proper attention to the words, these texts — even in their present forms, even those that still may have to be changed — can easily and readily be understood and be proclaimed.

So we do not have a perfect text, but we have a text that certainly represents the end result of a long, healthy process that has made some very positive contributions to the sacral language of the liturgy. So I’d like to say that before I move the text forward for approval.

Cardinal George: Thank you, Bishop Serratelli. The motion is before us, and the Latin Rite bishops who are here present are to vote on it. 2/3 are needed in order to approve the text. Please vote now. If you accept the text, 1. If you reject the text, 2. If you just care to abstain, vote 3. [Pause for voting]

Has everyone voted? May we close the voting? Will you please tabulate it and announce the results right away. [The vote is shown on the screen]: Yes–159; No–19; Abstain–5.

Thank you very much. The action item has not yet passed. It will go with the other liturgical texts to the mail vote for all those who are not present from the Latin Church.

Discussion and vote on the Leccionario (the Spanish-language Lectionary for use in the United States) followed. This item passed 182 to 1.

Following this vote, Bishop Serratelli made further remarks on the approval of the Mass texts and the preliminary catechesis, or instruction, that will be needed before the new texts are published and used.

Bishop Serratelli: I’d just like to pass on some information, not only on the need, but what’s available for the ongoing catechesis necessary for the implementation of the new texts that we will be using.

At this point we are basically in a period of remote catechesis for the new Missal. There are many opportunities that we have already to share information and provide a basic catechesis for our priests and for our faithful, even as the texts are being approved. Such catechesis may include basic liturgical formation, background on the history of the Missal, sharing with our people and priests the reasons for the new Missal, the process and the principles of translation, and details regarding the Order of Mass, especially those parts which have received recognitio already.

There is material available, and I encourage everyone to look at our own web site, the USCCB’s web site. The Committee on Divine Worship has material there that already can be used readily for remote catechesis.

That being said, we have to look forward also to a more proximate or immediate catechesis for the implementation of the Missal once the recognitio is finally granted. And it might be wise just to put before you three basic works that are being done in terms of getting us ready us for that proximate catechesis.

An international resource is being developed by the Leeds Group in connection with ICEL, and that will be available later this year. We are negotiating with ICEL to make the resources available to us in this Conference.

[The Leeds Group is an international panel of experts led by Bishop Arthur Roche, of Leeds, president of ICEL.]

Secondly, plans are underway to offer a series of training workshops next year for priests, diocesan liturgical and catechetical leaders in each of the fourteen regions of the country. These workshops will be co-sponsored by our Secretariat of Divine Worship and the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.

And third, the FDLC is preparing resources that can be used in our dioceses and in our parishes. The first of these will be available to our liturgical commissions and offices this summer.

Also it might be good to know that discussion is ongoing in terms of the timeline for the implementation of the Missal. We have been in regular communication with liturgical publishers who will be responsible for producing the Missal, participation aids and musical settings of the parts of the Mass. The exact timeline will depend on when the recognitio is issued and we cannot predict it at this moment. So I thought those thoughts would be helpful.

Also the Hispanic subcommittee is working to prepare a Spanish translation of the Missal for use in the dioceses of the United States. It will contain the same texts, including the US Propers, any US adaptations, along with a collection of proper feasts from Latin American countries. At this time we do not know when that text will be ready for approval, but just to let you know that’s in the works.

Cardinal George: Okay. Thank you, Bishop Serratelli. Thank you for the committee’s work. The texts that have not yet received 2/3 of the total number of Latin Church bishops will be sent in the mail. And as soon as those results are received we will let everybody know, and that will, of course, determine the agenda of the next Vox Clara meeting, as was said. So thank you very much.

Press Conference

Bishop Serratelli was delayed in arriving at the press conference following this session, so questions were directed to the bishops present.

Helen Hull Hitchcock (Adoremus): Even though Bishop Serratelli might be the one to really answer this, all of you [bishops] are involved in this. And we’re talking about the catechetics for the Missal translation. We know, at least as I understand it, these new texts are inevitable, whatever they look like in the end, that it’s not a case of the Americans having a different text from the rest of the world. Is that correct?

Archbishop Niederauer: That’s correct.

Helen Hitchcock: And second, that seems to be why Bishop Serratelli was suggesting to proceed with catechesis, to prepare to receive these new texts, even when it’s not final. Could you, maybe, say how that can be advanced?

Archbishop Niederauer: Well, I’m just one of the merely lowly members of the Divine Worship Committee; but as it was explained to us in our meetings on Monday and Tuesday — because everyone’s interested in the timeline — once we have the texts finally submitted to the Holy See, which we are hopeful we will be able to say at the end of the November meeting, then we will have to wait for the recognitio, the approval by the Vatican.

As soon as we have that we can begin. We’re already in conversation with the publishers. They want to know what they’re going to set in type — what are the actual words. And that’s what we’re going to have after we get back the recognitio from the Holy See, including the recognitio for the items that are going to be voted on in November.

Then what we’re told is that the publishers, from the moment we have that for them, they need a year — a year in which to advertise it, to publish it, to bind it, to distribute it so that it’s off their shelves onto the shelf of the sacristy where it’s going to be used.

So once we have the recognitio we can begin to use the remote catechesis for bishops and priests and deacons and lay ministers, for catechists, for adult education supervisors, DREs and the like. And then they will have their training sessions, and that will vary from diocese to diocese.

There will probably be these regional meetings sponsored by the divine worship committee, something like that, workshops to train the trainers. And then there will be the local training of priests and deacons, lay ministers and catechists, and then bringing this to the people in the pews.

All of that takes — [Bishop Serratelli arrives] — Oh, here he is. I’ve been making things up, do you want to —? I did explain about needing the recognitio, and then a year from that for the publishers. So that’s where we are.

Pat Zapor (Catholic News Service): What is the timeline for getting the ballots from the bishops who were absent? What would you expect —

Bishop Serratelli: I would think within the next two weeks.

Pat Zapor: And if there is not a 2/3 vote supporting the translations, then it comes back for November? What is the expectation?

Bishop Serratelli: I hope we don’t face that possibility. The votes seemed to indicate that most of the bishops were in favor of the translations. So I was kind of glad that the votes were revealed. The translations do have the support of the majority of bishops, it’s just getting the exact number. And I think part of the difficulty is that our numbers are down in the spring meeting. Having said that, if it does not get the proper number of bishops voting to pass it, then it would go to the bishops again in November.


Votes on Missal Texts
June 2009 USCCB Meeting

The table below includes the vote on the Missal texts at the meeting, the separate mail vote and the final totals. The table shows that even the item that barely passed (Action Item 3, Masses for Various Needs and Intentions) received more than three times as many Yes votes as No votes. The ratio for the others was even greater. In the case of the Order of Mass II (Action Item 2) the vote was more than 7 to 1 in favor of the text.

The “Bishops not voting on this item” tally is the difference between the final total, which includes the actual abstention votes cast, and the 244 eligible voters (active Latin-rite bishops). The “not voting” number is added to the number of abstentions to give the total number of bishops that in effect abstained from voting on these texts.


Action Item 3 - Masses for Various Needs and Intentions

Vote at Meeting Mail Ballot Final Result
Yes 134 29 163
No 47 6 53
Abstain 5 5
Total 186 35 221

Bishops not voting on this item: 23 - Missing ballots + abstentions: 28


Action Item 4 - Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead

Vote at Meeting Mail Ballot Final Result
Yes 150 31 181
No 30 2 32
Abstain 2 2
Total 182 33 215

Bishops not voting on this item: 29 - Missing ballots + abstentions: 31


Action Item 5 - Ritual Masses

Vote at Meeting Mail Ballot Final Result
Yes 155 31 186
No 25 7 32
Abstain 2 2
Total 182 38 220

Bishops not voting on this item: 24 - Missing ballots + abstentions: 26


Action Item 2 – Order of Mass II

Vote at Meeting Mail Ballot Final Result
Yes 159 32 191
No 19 6 25
Abstain 5 5
Total 183 38 221

Bishops not voting on this item: 23 - Missing ballots + abstentions: 28

***

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