Pope orders review of liturgical translations

Some liturgists favor a more creative interpretation of the language of the Mass

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has ordered a new review of the principles that guide translations of the liturgy, America magazine has confirmed.

The Pope reportedly formed a commission to review Liturgiam Authenticam, the document issued by the Vatican in 2001 that called for liturgical translations that adhered closely to the Latin of the Roman Missal. That document, which led to a new and more accurate English translation of liturgy, has continued to draw criticism from liturgists who favor a more “creative” interpretation of the language of the Mass.

The Pope’s decision to launch such a review has been widely rumored, but never officially announced. The commission has not yet met, America reports, nor has the list of its members been made public. However, it will be chaired by Archbishop Arthur Roche, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship—rather than by that congregation’s prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah, who is known to favor a more conservative approach.

From Catholic Culture.


  1. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    Before this gets out of hand —- and you know it will…

    Having gone through a couple hundred comments on the America facebook page —-

    We have different views of liturgy. Despite that, each side can have value to add to the conversation.

    There is something to those who believe that liturgy should rigorously hold to the Latin. Other people believe it is more important for people to understand what they are praying. Both are valuable POVs. let’s get some middle ground that works for everyone?

    • Ann Malley says:

      What I find interesting is this massive push to decentralize the delivery of the Deposit of the Faith, that is the fullness of Catholic Faith and Morals, juxtaposed against the push to dismantle sovereign nations in lieu of one world government.

      One ring to rule them all, no?

      As for the importance for people to understand what they are praying, that is the precisely the point in maintaining the Latin liturgy. To retain the integrity of “what” is being prayed (and believed) and to subsequently teach the global flock what that means, not devolve into treating those with both intellect and free will that they cannot learn, but rather must dumb down everything into what is most easily digestible.

      Do we change mathematics from…

      • Ann Malley says:

        … country to country? Do we teach the concept of date/time, etc differently in from country to country? Is an hour not understood to mean the same thing from one diocese to another, one state to another, one country to another?


      • Your argument falls flat AMalley: Who said anything about dumbing down everything? Jumping into conclusions do not help your POV

        • Ann Malley says:

          You flatter me with your attention, jon ;^)

          Even so, lets not pretend that people today are less capable of learning the meaning of the Latin verbiage at mass, not when little children learn a new commercial jingle in a matter of moments.

          I understand that effort is the new anathema, but really, if you try, you can understand the Latin, too! Especially if you read the vernacular translation right there in your missal. An excellent means to obtain focus instead of being distracted by the temptation to chat with one’s neighbor at mass.

          Again, you may want to focus on lifting your head above ground.

          • I firmly believe that it is YOU who should lift your head above ground. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council have been moved by the Holy Spirit to make the Eucharistic liturgy available in the native language of the people, and that is an achievement. You should surrender your war against the Council, for every major respectable prelate and cardinal and bishop worth his salt uphold the Council. Straight up.

          • Linda Maria says:

            Regarding Latin, and other foreign languages– Americans are unique, in that they often know and use only one language, English. In many other countries, people grow up knowing and using several foreign languages, or at least, several dialects, of their mother tongue. Little altar boys used to be very proud, to learn their Latin! And Catholic lay men and women who had maybe only a year or two of formal education, were well-trained in their Catholic Faith, and transmitted it well, to their children!

          • Linda Maria says:

            The prelates who attended the Second Vatican Council, all were bound by obedience to the Pope’s wishes, in their jobs. Whether they agreed or not with certain issues– they had to obey. After the Council, many tried to cope as best they could, with the changes in the Church. Some welcomed the changes, and some did not agree— but adjusted to the changes, as best they could. Yet, over 200,000 clergy (priests and prelates) worldwide– resigned, after the Council! Many could not, in good conscience, go on with their jobs, for Christ, as they felt it to be wrong, to accept the Council, and New Mass.

          • Linda Maria says:

            Even today, it is normal to find a wide variation in views, regarding the ecclesiastical changes of the Second Vatican Council, and its New Mass. Each priest and prelate, has his own views. They are not all the same. Pope (emeritis) Benedict and Pope Francis each have different views. Yet many prelates, regardless of their views– try to do their jobs for Christ, as best they can. And of course– there are some who are in rejection of Christ, sadly.

          • Linda Maria says:

            We have been told by very faithful, good Catholic priests and prelates, many times, since the problematic Council– do not worry about it, just try to lead a good life, and be a faithful, practicing Catholic, living in loving obedience to Christ. Don’t worry about the rest. I think that is the best advice. Someday, all of these modern-day issues will fall by the wayside, and will be forgotten. But Christ’s true teachings are eternal.

          • Linda Maria says:

            St. Padre Pio did not agree with the Second Vatican Council, and was granted permission by the Vatican, to only say the old Tridentine Latin Mass, to his life’s end. He also did not like the reforms of his religious order, due to the Council! He had to make his peace, and adapt to these reforms, as best he could. And to his life’s end, he always said to everyone– “Pray, hope, and don’t worry!” Famous quote, and I think it’s great!

          • Ann Malley says:

            jon, the Holy Ghost doesn’t work against himself. Human beings do, even those gathered at the Second Vatican II have that ability to tell God – NO. It is the Devil’s business to scatter and relegating the liturgy to local interpretation does exactly that.

            But, as always, I’ll exercise patience with you. For you’ve been inured to believe that sand is the sky and that smoke is fresh air. That malformation, however, can be laid directly at the feet of those council “fathers” who did not do their due diligence by their children.

  2. it looks like those who wanted to continue the battle of ‘winning’ vatican ii have asked for an received another go at their opponents.. they felt as though liturgiam authenticam gave a technical knock-out to the dumber, weaker side.. they were embarassed among the elite as the he-she-they language war was put aside in a kind of peace treaty. the referee,the holy see, felt that the culture- gender wars needed to be put aside during mass. the elite didn’t mind that the theological heights and beauty of the roman missal had been muted and dulled, denied sometimes, in the their translation of the mass. they
    bent over backwards to be multicultural but would not…

  3. ” liturgical translations that adhered closely to the Latin of the Roman Missal” Which version of the Latin Mass? Doubtful the Tridentine Latin Mass before 1962. There have been more than one! The subsequent versions are not purely latin to English or other vernacular language translations. These subsequent versions have big revisions in paragraphs, sentences, and words; consequently prayers have been completely changed in meaning, and many prayers completely removed. The Novus Ordo differs greatly from the Tridentine Latin Mass in many many ways. Bottom-line this new action can be all summed us as smoke and mirrors.

  4. This should not surprise anyone coming from this man. Why not have a Vatican 3 and implement more and more stupidity that so called Liberal Catholics wants. The church of nice is already allowing remarried Catholics to receive our Lord, why not Protestants. Get rid of the Tridentine Mass that most Bishops prefer not to be around so of course give them the back the power to say no. Pope Benedict must be wondering what is going on and not saying a word with being the Humble/Holy man he is unlike Francis and others from the Vatican with these arrogant ideas. This topic shouldn’t even be mentioned. How much more Heavenly Father. We must speak up and continue to pray for Holy Mother Church.

  5. Linda Maria says:

    I just read an interesting interview, published on the website 1Peter5, with Bishop Fellay, of the SSPX. He stated, among other things, that last summer, he was informed by the Pope, that his SSPX priests could not only licitly hear Confessions, the SSPX also could licitly ordain priests, without the need for approval, of the local (Vatican II) bishop. And the Superior of the SSPX now also has Rome’s permission, for complete control over his group and its priests. Very interesting! My prayers have daily been with the SSPX, for their complete success with the Church, if it be God’s Will– since the day they were formed!

  6. Linda Maria says:

    Too bad that the great Churchman and liturgical expert, Cardinal Sarah, could not lead this endeavor! For one thing– would he officially recommend that at Mass, the priest should face ad orientem??

  7. ” However, it will be chaired by Archbishop Arthur Roche, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship—rather than by that congregation’s prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah, who is known to favor a more conservative approach.”
    A further undoing of Benedict XVI’s legacy. What will be left of it once the wrecking ball had done its work?

  8. Make the Church chaotic again.

  9. So Linda Marie, are V2 members now permitted to receive the 7 Holy Sacraments in the SSPX? If so, I wonder why this hasn’t been better published in the media?

    • Linda Maria says:

      Tom, you can go to any Catholic parish, to receive the Sacraments. You can attend either the New Mass, the “Novus Ordo Missae” — or the ancient, 1500+-years-old, Tridentine Latin Mass. Of course! Tom, there is no such thing, as a “V2 member!” That is silly! We are all just Catholics! The Vatican has recently given the SSPX priests permission to licitly hear Confessions, as you probably already know. The SSPX is still having discussions with Rome, and are taking certain steps towards unification with Rome, as you can see. If you follow the Catholic news media that is interested in the subject, you will find news reports on the SSPX. The Catholic media all vary, in their interests.

      • Linda Maria says:

        Tom, the SSPX has not yet been given permission by the Vatican, for saying Mass licitly, as they are not yet in union with Rome. However their bishops have been granted permission to ordain priests, without needing to contact the local (Vatican II) bishop, regarding ordinations. You can go to many parishes today, in which the Latin Tridentine Mass is offered, by priests in union with Rome.

        • Linda Maria says:

          P.S. SSPX Masses are VALID, yes– but no, they are not “legal,” or “licit,” yet, as the SSPX is not legally in communion yet, with Rome.

  10. You do have a choice you know! You can continue following along turning your cheek the other way and complaining under your breath, or you can get down on your knees and pray to the Blessed Trinity that they will show you what to do. God is the Alpha and the Omega. He doesn’t change. When Christ said the 1st Holy Mass and perhaps several others before His Ascension into Heaven, He taught His Apostles exactly how to do it for love and reverence of Almighty God. No changes in the Canon like what have been done in V2 by arrogant liberals who were so bold they thought they could improve on Christ’s Masterpiece! Seek and you shall find! Bet they’ll lead you back to a Roman Catholic parish that strictly practices tradition!

  11. St. Christopher says:

    Francis despises Catholic Tradition, particularly the uniformity it demands. Instead, he worships “making a mess,” leaving much up to each person and to each episcopacy to decide what is right. In this, the Pope is much more Lutheran than Catholic, which can be seen in many other ways.

    As Benedict, and centuries of Catholics, understand, the language of how we worship is critically important. We need to adhere to the Bible and to the Catechism in our worship. Saying “pro multis” is vitally important in that a good number of people choose not to accept Christ’s sacrifice; they are not saved, and we should all understand our choice and the nature of what Christ did.

  12. Very pleased to read this article. Hopefully the revisions will include replacement of “consubstantial” with “one in being” and “incarnate” with “born of” in the Creed.

  13. No Linda Marie, we are not all Catholics. Being a Catholic means we all agree to the teachings of Holy Mother the Church but “cafeteria types” don’t. With all the controversy and disagreement on these website blogs alone it only makes my point. In the current imploding environment of old Christian denominations (catholic and protestant), Christians today aren’t what their parents or grandparents were yesteryear. After V2 reformed the Catholic Church, other denominations followed suit! The RCC was the great bastion holding back the reins on liberalism before V2, after V2 all that changed. Millions have lost their faith. V2 = Reformation = Protestantism.

    • Linda Maria says:

      Tom, you need further study in our Faith. What I tried to say, is that the Vatican accepts both the New Mass and the old Latin Tridentine Mass, and you can go to both, as a practicing Catholic. That is all I said. And I also tried to tell you, that the Tridentine Latin Masses of the SSPX priests are VALID, but not yet “legal,” with Rome, as the SSPX is having discussions with the Pope, and they all hope for complete communion with Rome, someday. Try to see, that this is all I tried to say! As for the “cafeteria Catholics,” like the immoral, liberal, feminist, abortion, contraception, and gay “marriage” promoter, Rep. Nancy Pelosi– tragically, there are many “cafeteria Catholics” in today’s Church, just like her!

      • Linda Maria says:

        P.S. Tom, I sympathize with your views, on the pre-Conciliar Church, yet try my best, in the “mess” that we have, today. To me– our centuries-old Church, with her ETERNAL TRUTHS– is of God, immortal, unchangeable.

        • Linda Maria says:

          I believe that the Church must transmit Christ’s holy teachings correctly, with maturity, respect, and Christian Love. That is what I believe.

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