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Liturgical words.

Pope Francis' return of responsibility for liturgical texts--translations --to bishops' conferences (NCR, Sept. 22-Oct. 4) should occasion a national sigh of relief that we may now be freed from missal translations that disrespect the first law of English translation--to use Anglo-Saxon vocabulary when it is available.

There are certainly many tone-deaf bishops and priests unbothered by the present missal, which scuttled a fine 1998 translation the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), the English-speaking bishops' organization mandated by Vatican II directives. I have noted more than one celebrant rephrasing the Collect to overcome contorted syntax. Many, risking complaints to Rome by self-appointed liturgy police, boldly refuse to use inappropriate Latinate words and substitute gender-neutral pronouns.

The obvious response to Francis' act of liberation is for English-speaking bishops' conferences to quickly adopt the fine 1998 translations.


Portland, Maine

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Author:Slavick, William H.
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Nov 3, 2017
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