In the current issue of The Tablet (subscription required), there is an incisively-written letter to the editor from Bishop Maurice Taylor. Bishop Taylor was chair of the episcopal (i.e. bishops’) board of the International Commission on the Liturgy (ICEL) during the difficult period when the Holy See did away with ICEL as it then existed, and restructured it as it took over the translation process.

Bishop Taylor expresses concern about

the requirement that the Holy See must approve (grant recognitio to) a translation before it can be lawfully used. Such a requirement is, in fact, not to be found in the relevant document of the Second Vatican Council. … What unfortunately happened was that, within a few weeks of the constitution being promulgated, the Holy See issued a motu proprio which states (wrongly) that the Vatican Council requires the Holy See to approve not only a decision to translate but also the resultant translation. …

He also is concerned that

although translations of the Missal for use in the liturgy need the approval of “the competent local authority” (bishops’ conferences), the English translation which we now use does not seem, after the alterations made by the Congregation for Divine Worship and its advisory group Vox Clara, to have been formally approved by the bishops’ conferences.

Of course we’re all wondering what shape curial reforms will take under Pope Francis, and whether or not the problems raised by Bishop Taylor will be addressed.

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