Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Pope's Motu Proprio on Liturgical Translations: Tell the Modernists its Nothing Really New!!

So I just read Francis' motu proprio Magnum Principium, which the internet and blogosphere is a buzz about this weekend.  Its a short read on The Vatican website.  The modernists are pretending it is further decentralizing power away from Rome to Episcopal Conferences in the area of liturgical translation. Traditionalists are reacting to this interpretation as one more sign the Church, under the current Pontificate, is reversing the traditional liturgical restorations of BXVI.

Whatever the interpretation might pretend to be, being a canonical decree, in my opinion it's pretty plain, direct, and clear.  It stands on its own without any need for interpretation.

It doesn't create anything really, substantially new.  As it says, it is simply codifying as canon law what was already the constant practice since Vatican II.

Incidentally, Archbishop Lefebvre, as explained by his biographer Bishop Tissier de Malleries, did think some use of the vernacular was appropriate, especially in the Epistle and Gospel.

Which brings me to the strengths in this document, which traditionalists should point out to the liturgical innovators.

1. It upholds Latin as the traditional language still part of the Roman rite.

2. It insists all national translations are approved by the Holy See.

3. It insists on accurate translation which is in accord with Church doctrine.

4. It clearly underlined the fact the Holy See itself promulgates liturgical rites.

5. It highlights use of the vernacular for the Epistles and Gospel.


a) No, Bishop's Conferences do not have new, increased power to translate liturgical texts.

b) The motu proprio no where encourages new, more progressive styles of translation, and does not reverse BXVIs insistence on more accurate translations.

c) But no doubt the modernists will falsely misrepresent this new canon law as permission to start translating again like a 1970s liturgical translator on weed.

d) This document per se in itself, from a traditionalist point of view, doesnt really do anything to restore liturgical tradition. But it isn't official permission to keep butchering the sacred language of the Church.

Am I right?  Let me know in the Comm Box Below.

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