What happened on the way to the bishops conference

What happened on the way to the bishops conference

Helen Hull Hitchock of Adoremus provides an close observer’s view of the recent US bishops conference meeting, focusing mainly on the election of Bishop Trautman to head the Liturgy committee as well as Cardinal George’s work when he was the head of the group.

No bishop has been a more vocal proponent of “inclusive language” than Bishop Trautman, who was chairman of the BCL from 1993-1996, a period of great controversy and extended debates over the proposed revisions by ICEL of the “Sacramentary” (Roman Missal), and the revised translation of the Lectionary. The Holy See rejected the ICEL “Sacramentary” in 1998.  Bishop Trautman is on the editorial board of “We Believe!”, a group of progressive liturgists organized in 1994 to oppose “roll backs” in liturgical reform. Even as head of the Doctrine Committee (2000-2003), Bishop Trautman publicly criticized the Holy See for what he terms “interference”  in liturgical matters.

Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop Allen Vigneron were initially nominated for election as chairman-elect to succeed Cardinal George as head of the Liturgy committee, but when George resigned after being elected vice president of the conference, it threw everything into turmoil, which allowed Trautman to sneak in.

With the Vatican’s recent firm hand and sharp eye on liturgical translations, including several documents, the appointment of Cardinal Arinze to head the Congregation for Divine Worship, and the Vox Clara commission’s oversight, it’s not likely that we’re headed right back to the bad, old days of ridiculously politically correct translations. Still, it’s not a sign that getting translations is going to get any easier either.