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US bishops approve more accurate Mass translations-- with slimmest possible margin

July 20, 2009

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the approval of revised translations of the Masses for Various Needs and Intentions, Votive Masses, Masses for the Dead, Ritual Masses, and the Ordo Missae II, which contains prefaces, solemn blessings, and additional Eucharistic Prayers. The revised translations were prepared in accord with Liturgiam authenticam, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments’ 2001 document that called for more accurate liturgical translations.

The bishops engaged in heated debate over the translations during their June meeting in San Antonio. Each of the revised translations required a two-thirds vote (163 bishops) for approval. None of the them gained the required number of votes in San Antonio, requiring the mailing of ballots to the 55 bishops who were absent from the meeting.

In the end, the revised translation of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Intentions gained the minimum number of votes for approval; it was approved by a 163-53 margin, with five abstentions. The other translations passed by wider margins.


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