US bishop on the missal timeline

This from a U.S. bishop, talking to the clergy of a U.S. diocese last week, in passing: “As we implement the missal starting on the First Sunday of Advent 2011 or 2012…” Nothing more about the missal timeline from him.

Why would a bishop say that publicly, do you suppose? Apparently the bishops are talking among themselves, and they know that something’s up.

What will happen next, do you suppose? Maybe the Congregation for Divine Worship will insist on the 2010 Received Text and the implementation will happen on time as planned – with a highly problematic English text. Or maybe the Congregation will agree to just a few changes – say, to the allegedly heretical parts – but most of the Received Text will be implemented on time. Or maybe the bishops of the English-speaking world will insist on a usable text – requiring far-reaching revisions and more time. This scenario might happen because the Pope responds to the several appeals made directly to him by bishops, over the heads of the CDW. Or maybe the Order of Mass will be implemented as planned, but it will take another year or so to produce a usable translation of the proper texts. Or maybe – this is much less likely – the whole thing collapses in a tailspin of intrigue and discord and ill will.

Then there are the pipe dreams. Maybe the Pope will call for a fundamental reworking of the principles and procedures needed for truly excellent vernacular translation, and everything will start over. Or maybe the 1998 translation will be lightly revised.

Which will it be? I don’t know. No one knows.

Msgr. James Moroney, purported orchestrator of the 10,000+ changes in the Received Text, recently said this in a Pray Tell interview:

I challenge the premise that this has been a “top down and secretive process.” … I would be very surprised if any denomination has ever had the kind of widespread participation in the formation of prayers which the Catholic Church in the United States has just experienced.

As to what will happen next, as to why a bishop would say “2011 or 2012,” we don’t know. The people at the top are keeping it a secret.


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