I don’t know the answer to that, but there are some indicators that the story is about to break in several places. A Catholic weekly in the US contacted Pray Tell a couple days ago for  the story they’re about to break. An English Catholic weekly contacted us late last week for the story they’re about to run with. A bishop outside the US was alerted to Pray Tell’s reporting on the mess and wrote to a friend last week that he’s going to get to the bottom of this – he had been wondering why they didn’t get their texts from Rome by October 23 as promised. A bishop in the US called, wants to know what is going on, and he is surprised that the US bishops don’t seem to know about the pastoral disaster awaiting them. They will be finding out in coming days and weeks.

ABC – Australian Broadcasting Corporation – is also on the story. There is this at their website:

Even before this interview first went to air, liturgists had reported that, since the English-speaking bishops approved the (Gray Book) text, a substantial number of changes had been made. The figure of 10,000 had been suggested. Reliable sources told the ABC that a senior official in the translation process had acknowledged privately on at least two occasions that the figure of 10,000 changes was fairly accurate. None of these most recent changes came from the expert ICEL translation team, given its authorized work was officially completed, but rather from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship. Effectively, this means that the decisions of the English-speaking Bishops concerning the translation have been superseded by Rome.

As one who has insider knowledge, Fr. Alan Griffiths says he has been comparing the version approved by the Holy See in April 2010 with the ‘Gray Book.’ Fr. Griffiths is concerned about the many differences between the two versions. In his letter to the Tablet published on October 30th, Fr. Griffiths adds significant impetus to rising episcopal and international concern over the new Missal translation. The Blog ‘Pray tell’ has disclosed further details of a leaked internal Report for Episcopal Conference on specific problems with the current state of the translation. With all that is going on behind the scenes, at least another year is likely to pass before the fine editing and printing process is completed and the Missal released.

This program has previously reported on this story here and here. Stephen Crittenden has previously reported on the restructure of the ICEL committee here. Influential U.S. bloggs such as Gotta Sing Gotta Pray and Pray Tell have also tried hard to keep track of what is really going on with the New English Missal Translation.

Here are some uncomfortable questions I expect reporters to pursue with all their might. Most likely the full truth won’t come out right away. It’ll seep out slowly.

What was Vox Clara’s role in this? Did its chair, Cardinal Pell, give the go-ahead for a major undoing of the text the conferences submitted? Was the revision his idea? Did he quasi-commission someone, or a group, to do the deed?

Was the whole Vox Clara committee aware that the missal was being re-written starting last September? Did all the members of Vox Clara see all the proposed revisions? Did they all agree to them?

Did Msgr. Moroney (executive secretary of Vox Clara) mastermind the revisions? Who worked with him? What was their working method? How did the result turn out so badly? Did Msgr. Moroney do the final editing?

How did the Congregation for Divine Worship come to approve the 2010 Received Text? Who at the Congregation was responsible for overseeing the approval – Fr. Anthony Ward? Who advised him? Did Archbishop Di Noia involve himself in the review and approval?

How much did Cardinal Francis George know last August when he approved the text and set Advent 2011 as the official implementation date? Had he seen the Report describing in excruciating detail all the problems with the final text? If so, why did he go ahead and announce the implementation date anyway?

How did the Congregation for Divine Worship come to agree more recently that revisions had to be made to the final version (Received Text)? Who is making these revisions? Do the revisions really address the problems in the text, or do they make a few minimal changes as a last-minute effort to prevent the worst howls of objection?

What will the bishops of the various national conferences do next?


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