May 15, 2003


Online Edition – Vol. IX, No. 3: May 2003


Cardinal Arinze to Address FDLC Meeting; Bishop Trautman to Receive Award Holy See’s reasons "trifling, insufficient""God is a Village"Translation Problems in Germany, France

Cardinal Arinze to Address FDLC Meeting; Bishop Trautman to Receive Award

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, will deliver "the first major address" at the national meeting of the FDLC (Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions) to be held October 7-11 in San Antonio.

The announcement was made by Father John H. Burton, chairman of the FDLC, in the February-March 2003 FDLC Newsletter.

Cardinal Arinze’s address will focus on highlights of the liturgical renewal initiated by Sacrosanctum Concilium.

"Winds of Change, Fires of Hope: The 40th Anniversary of the Constitution of the Liturgy", is the title of the meeting as it appears on the FDLC web site (the title did not appear in the FDLC Newsletter.)

Bishop Donald Trautman, bishop of Erie since 1990, will receive the FDLC’s McManus Award this year, Father Burton reported.

"I congratulate Bishop Trautman. He has been a champion for the liturgical reform from his chairing of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy (BCL) to his faithful and thorough scholarship", Father Burton said.

Bishop Trautman, was chairman of the BCL 1993-96, during the thick of the bishops’ debates on the revised Lectionary translation and International Commission on English in the Liturgy’s (ICEL’s) proposed "Sacramentary". He is currently chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine and a member of the BCL. Bishop Trautman has been openly critical of Liturgiam authenticam.

The McManus Award honors Monsignor Frederick McManus, a founding officer of ICEL, professor emeritus of canon law at Catholic University, and perpetual consultor to the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy. The FDLC was organized while Monsignor McManus was executive director of the BCL.

[Correction: In a news item in AB May 2003 issue we incorrectly identified Erie Bishop Donald Trautman as a member of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy (BCL). He has not been a member of that committee since November. Chicago Cardinal Francis George became chairman of the BCL in November, and chairmen appoint the committee members and advisers.

The correct list of current BCL members appeared in the February 2003 AB, page one and can be read here. We regret our error.]


Holy See’s reasons "trifling, insufficient"

Dominican Father Frank C. Quinn, who teaches liturgical theology at the Aquinas Institute in St. Louis, complains of an "unintelligible reaction against the work of ICEL" and "trifling" reasons of the Congregation for Divine Worship for rejecting translated liturgy texts.

Father Quinn described his frustrations with recent developments in the liturgy in a personal reminiscence, "Lord, to Whom Shall We Go? Why I am, why I remain, and why I love being a Roman Catholic", in AIM (Summer 2003, formerly titled Aids in Ministry) published by Paluch/World Library, a company that produces liturgical music and "worship aids".

Father Quinn was a member of the advisory committee of ICEL from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s. He said he found ICEL meetings frustrating, because of the "difficulty of getting the second edition of the rites approved by Rome" and Rome’s "demand for superficial and rather meaningless changes".

"But worse was to come", he said. "During the 1990s not a single revised, second-generation rite was approved. … But perhaps worst of all, the [ICEL] Roman Sacramentary, revised over a period of twelve years…was turned down by the Congregation [for Divine Worship]. The reasons seem trifiling and totally insufficient", writes Father Quinn.

"This splendid version of the Roman Missal, with its careful organization, its fine Scripture-based prayers, its superb translations, and its musical organization (which was accomplished by the music subcommittee, of which I was eventually chair) is in danger of never seeing the light of day", he laments, and states that the current translations of the Catechism and the Lectionary "demonstrate a minimal concern for not only beautiful and expressive, but sometimes even correct English".

The rejection of the ICEL Psalter was "another major blow" Father Quinn says. "I was intimately involved in its production and use. It seems to me that no sufficient reason was given for [the Holy See’s] turning down the imprimatur. However, one does hear code words, such as ‘feminism’ that are really too embarrassing to pay much attention to".

Despite these frustrations, he continues to teach liturgical theology, "hoping to form liturgical ministers, both ordained and non-ordained".

Father Quinn was a presenter at the Gateway Liturgical Conference in St. Louis in February, co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the St. Louis chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.


"God is a Village"

Ruminating on the state of Catholic belief and worship forty years after the Constitution on the Liturgy appeared, liturgist Nathan D. Mitchell says "we need better to examine God’s life in and as a community of persons.

"God (so to speak) is a village, a community — or to put it more accurately, God is personhood forever in a condition of giving itself to others. God is a community of persons outpoured for each another and for us. God is personhood as bestowal, as mutual given-ness. Thus, to be ‘created in the image and likeness of God’ is to be created for community, for partnership, for life with others, for an existence that enacts and embodies itself as surrender, as ‘life bestowed for the sake of others’. For in fact the most Godlike thing we can do is to create personal — interpersonal — community. At the beginning, the book of Genesis tells us, God created community by creating difference. God created communion by creating diversity".

Mitchell, a former Benedictine priest and columnist for Worship magazine, is associate director for research at the Center for Pastoral Liturgy and professor in the Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame.

Mitchell will present the keynote address, "Celebrating the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy", at the national convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians to be held July 14-18 in Cincinnati.

Sources: Nathan D. Mitchell,
"Reforming our Rites", Today’s Liturgy,
Oregon Catholic Press,
Ordinary Time I, 2003, p. 16;
Pastoral Music, April-May 2003


Translation Problems in Germany, France

Problems with liturgical translations are not unique to English-speaking conferences. The Church in Germany and France will also need to revise the existing translations of liturgical books, according to reports by John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.

The Internationale Arbeitgemeinschaft der Liturgischen Kommissionem in deutschen Sprachgebeit [IAG], the translation body for German-speaking nations, a body similar to ICEL (International Commission on English in the Liturgy) for the English-speaking Church, has also followed the "dynamic equivalence" approach to translating texts for Catholic worship.

The IAG will now be required to revise its approach in accordance with the translation principles in Liturgiam authenticam, issued by the Holy See in 2001. IAG is based at the Deutsches Liturgisches Institut in Trier.

The German-speaking national Churches include Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein. As with ICEL, the IAG German language editions of liturgical texts are used as base texts for the translations of other, smaller countries.

The orders to revise the IAG’s translation methods followed a meeting of Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, chairman of the German bishops’ liturgy committee, with the Congregation for Divine Worship, according to Allen.

The French bishops have also been told to re-translate liturgical texts in a letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship sent last fall, Allen reported, citing unnamed sources who told him that the CDW rejected a revised translation of the marriage rite produced by the French bishops’ conference.

Source: John Allen, "Word from Rome",
National Catholic Reporter, Feb. 7 and Feb. 14, 2003



The Editors