Two readers write in to say that the entire “Received Text” – the missal translation approved on March 25 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (usually abbreviated CDW) and presented to Pope Benedict XVI on April 28 – is now leaked online.
It’s called the “Moroney Missal” here. Hmmm, not sure about that. However much Msgr. Moroney bears responsibility for orchestrating the Vox Clara revisions presented to CDW , it is only the CDW which approves the final text. We all want to know who commissioned Msgr. Moroney, who worked with him, what their working methods were, why the revisions are so drastic (and so bad). But until the full story comes out, we don’t yet know whether this leak should be called the “Moroney Missal” or the “Ward Missal” or the “Pell Missal.” And not to point too fine a point on it, but in a Church where the entire Roman curia works at the Pope’s delegation and thereby shares in his universal jurisdiction, it is not entirely inaccurate to refer to it as the “Pope Benedict English Missal.” And this, not because the Pope has involved himself personally in any of the details of this saga – I’m quite sure he hasn’t – but because he appoints all the people involved.
At first glance it seems that the first and second files at WikiSpooks duplicate each other, but nothing is missing because the third file continues on seamlessly.
What follows will be obvious to those who have been following this story, but let me re-state the significance of this leak.
* We now have a clearer insight into the workings of the CDW, because we know what sort of text they are prepared to approve.
* We now have at least some context for the claim that the CDW drew on the suggestions of national bishops’ conferences in approving the final version, at least to the extent that we can surmise whether these changes are likely to have been suggested by any conference. (BTW, the suggestion from conferences which drew the most press was that “Christ has died” be retained – the CDW denied the request.)
* We now have all the documentation we need for the references in the leaked internal report “Areas of Difficulty in the Received Text of the Missal.”
* Most importantly, when the final text of the Missal appears, we have everything we need to check how much this Received Text was corrected and improved. Whatever the case, it is difficult to see how the CDW could come away looking very good. Either the CDW made few changes, and we’re stuck for the most part with this dreadful text. Or the CDW made lots of changes, which only shows how much their earlier work had to be undone.