Jan 14, 2018

U.S. Bishops Approve Revised Translation of Baptism Rite for Children

The U.S. Bishops approved the use of a new translation of the baptism rite for children. The approval came on November 14 during the bishops’ annual fall assembly (Nov. 13-14) in Baltimre.

In a November 15 article for the Catholic News Service, Carol Zimmerman reports that it was the first time in 40 years that the bishops approved of an update in the rite’s translation.

“In discussing the topic, the bishops made it clear it was not something they took lightly,” Zimmerman writes.

According to Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit, the bishops took their time because the rite plays a central role in the life of faith.

“We need to think about these things,” the archbishop said, quoted by Zimmerman. “It’s not just the pope or the Holy See that protects revelation, but us.”

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta acknowledged that the changes were minor, Zimmerman reports, but “he said they were a response to the Vatican’s call that they were part of something bigger and addressed the Vatican’s request to translate liturgical texts into modern languages.”

The translation of the Order of Baptism of Children passed, Zimmerman writes, with 200 bishops voting in favor of approving the revisions to the International Committee on English in the Liturgy’s Gray Book translation. It will next be sent to Rome for approval.

The vote comes, Zimmerman writes, a few weeks after Pope Francis’s September 9 motu proprio Magnum Principium, which called for a “simpler process of translating liturgical texts.”

The text for the revised rite also reflects principles of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments’ Liturgicam Authenticam, Zimmerman writes.

A transcript of the bishops’ discussion of Magnum Principium and their deliberations over the Order of Baptism of Children begins on page 3 of this issue of Adoremus.

The Editors