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Pope clarifies interpretation by the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship


(ONLY VÍDEO) In September, Pope Francis modified the regulations for the translation of liturgical texts. Through the Motu Proprio, Magnum Principium or “The Great Principle” in English, the pope established that from now on the episcopal conferences, and not the Vatican, will approve liturgical translations. The Apostolic See will simply ratify what the local bishops have approved.

However, Cardinal Sarah wrote his understanding of the Motu Proprio in a French Catholic journal and it was picked up by many other sites. He explained that the change did not alter the responsibility of the Holy See or its competence with regard to liturgical translations.

When seeing the distribution of the note, the pope decided to intervene and to make a letter public to clarifies the alterations in the Motu Proprio. Now the episcopal conferences will have greater responsibility to make sure “each language is safeguarded,” and “the sense of the original text is rendered fully and faithfully when approving the translations.” Above all, the pope is trying to eliminate the feeling that Rome is imposing the interpretations, but it is now entrusted to the individual Bishops' Conferences.

Pope Francis asked the cardinal to make this clarification public and send his letter “to all Episcopal Conferences” and to “the members and consultors” of the congregation that he heads in order to avoid any kind of misunderstanding. The pope also sincerely thanked the cardinal for his work.