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 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinMay 21, 2004 Issue 

Take time on new translation

Getting Mass prayers right matters the most

Tony Staley
Compass Editor

Anyone hoping a new English translation of Mass prayers will be ready soon should prepare to be disappointed. Last week, Card. Roger Mahony of Los Angeles told Catholic News Service that he and many other bishops believe a draft now in circulation needs major work.

The episcopal board of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy approved the new translation in January and sent it for review to Latin-rite bishops in English-speaking countries.

So far, bishops of England and Wales have complained of its "lengthy sentences, poor syntax and archaic language," reported The Tablet, a London-based Catholic weekly. Australian bishops had similar objections.

As for Card. Mahony, he noted a few improvements, "but the effort to translate every Latin word into English has not been successful."

"Is the more important value to have a more precise translation of Latin into English," he asked, "or is it more important to have a translation that helps people's prayer be nourished and deepened? That, to me, is the more important question."

"I think that if we are going to make a change to have a Roman Missal that will be with us for generations, let's take our time; let's do it well," Card. Mahony said. "Let's make sure that it really is an improvement."

Amen. We should expect, and accept, no less.

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