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going, gone

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Mar 11, 2005

The bishops invest, cautiously, in Studebaker.

Msgr. James P. Moroney, secretary of the U.S. bishops' liturgy office and a consultant to "Vox Clara," said the bishops send a representative to the twice-yearly meetings of the U.S. ecumenical Consultation on Common Texts. Through the consultation, the U.S. bishops participate in the work of the English Language Liturgical Consultation, the international body responsible for the development of common liturgical and devotional texts.

It's no secret that the work of Vox Clara is controversial, based as it is on implementing the norms of the controversial instruction Liturgiam authenticam. Its strictures against paraphrase, PC euphemism, and inclusive language caused establishment liturdroids to react as if sprinkled with battery acid. To pinch Tom Wolfe's phrase, "They shrieked like weenies over an open fire."

All the more ironic that the ecumenical ELLC project is still breathing on life-support. The idea was to get anglophone Catholics and mainline Protestant bodies to agree on common versions of standard prayers such as the Our Father and the Gloria. But this was a long-shot at the best of times, and presently the mainstream Protestant bodies are in a process of uncontrolled fission, to the extent that their internal unity is little more than a useful legal fiction. The Anglican and Lutheran delegates to ELLC must feel like the Yugoslavian UN rep around 1991, never sure between one meal and the next whether his homeland still existed or what peoples it might include. It's hard to make policy in those circumstances.

I'm not gloating. If many Protestant clergy have snapped the chain and run free, many Catholic bishops as well are straining at the leash with all their force. They differ not in their appetites, but in the strength of the chain. For now.

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