In the speech Pope Benedict XVI gave to the UK bishops yesterday, he referred to “two specific matters that affect your episcopal ministry at this time. One is the imminent publication of the new translation of the Roman Missal. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the contribution you have made, with such painstaking care, to the collegial exercise of reviewing and approving the texts. This has provided an immense service to Catholics throughout the English-speaking world. I encourage you now to seize the opportunity that the new translation offers for in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration.
Today the Vatican Information Service posted an edited version on its website. Note what they cut:
The Holy Father concluded by referring to “two specific matters that affect your episcopal ministry at this time. One is the imminent publication of the new translation of the Roman Missal. … I encourage you now to seize the opportunity that the new translation offers for in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration.”
No more reference to collegial exercise of reviewing and approving texts. Why do you suppose that disappeared? Could it be, perhaps, because there was no such collegial exercise of review by the bishops? Because a few folks in Vox Clara high-jacked the whole thing and put whatever they wanted into the final text, without consulting the bishops’ conferences (or the musicians, but that’s another issue)? Because Vox Clara worked mostly from the Gray Book (i.e., second-last draft) when it began its work last September, thereby largely ignoring the conferences’ work in the preparation of their White Book (i.e., final draft) submitted to Rome late last year? (Note the timing – Vox Clara was already revising by then.)
I hear from two sources this morning that some UK bishops were intent on getting the ear of the Holy Father during his visit. To tell him that this thing simply can’t go forward in its present disastrous state. To plead with him that the text be reviewed, improved, and given to bishops for review.
And now we can only wonder. Did any bishops get through to the pope? Are things being shaken up inside the Vatican? I wouldn’t get my hopes up. But I do wonder – why did VIS cut those lines??