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US bishops adjust liturgical translation following concern of CDW

February 8, 2021 CNA Daily News 9

Denver Newsroom, Feb 8, 2021 / 08:01 pm (CNA).- The US bishops’ conference last week decreed that in the translation of the conclusion of collects in the Roman Missal, “one” is to be omitted before “God”. The conclusions will now read “God, for ever and ever”.

The decision follows a letter sent in May 2020 to Anglophone episcopal conferences by Robert Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, addressing a concern about the English translation.

A Feb. 4 note from the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship said the correction will take effect in the dioceses of the US from Feb. 17, Ash Wednesday.

Until now, in the conclusions to collects the Latin words “Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum” had been rendered in English as “one God, for ever and ever”.

The committee’s note said that Cardinal Sarah had observed that “there is no mention of ‘one’ in the Latin, and ‘Deus’ in the Latin text refers to Christ … The Cardinal Prefect has pointed out the importance of affirming this Christological truth amid the religious pluralism of today’s world.”

The note added that English hand missals that preceded Vatican II “reflected the corrected translation … however, when the post-conciliar texts were published in English, the word ‘one’ was added.”

The English-Latin Sacramentary, a missal published in 1966 during the period of transition from the Traditional Latin Mass to the Novus Ordo, omitted the word ‘one’ in the conclusion of collects. The English translation found in The English-Latin Sacramentary was copyrighted by P. J. Kennedy & Sons, and had been approved by the National Conference of Bishops Sept. 3, 1965.

The USCCB committee wrote in its Feb. 4 note that it “should be noted that when the translation of the Missal currently in use was in progress, ICEL pointed out the discrepancy to the Congregation in Rome, but was told to retain the use of ‘one God’ in the new translation.”

The note said that the Latin rite bishops of the US have voted to amend the country’s version of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal to reflect the change, and that it has been confirmed by the CDW.

The most common formula, used when a collect is addressed to the Father, will read: “Through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.”

The change is in harmony with the bishops’ conferences of England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, as well other English-speaking territories.

The same change was effected by the English and Welsh bishops, beginning Nov. 29, 2020.

The decree of the English and Welsh bishops’ conference said that “The addition of ‘one’ before ‘God’ in the conclusion of the Collects could be construed as mistaken and problematic. ‘Deus’ here refers to the earlier mention of ‘the Son’ and is a Christological, anti-Arian affirmation, and not directly Trinitarian in this context.”

The addition of “one” before “God” “could serve to undermine the statement of the unique dignity of the Son within the Trinity”, or “could be interpreted as saying that Jesus is ‘one God,’” an explanatory note to the English and Welsh decree stated.

“Either or both of these interpretations is injurious to the faith of the Church.”

Continuing, the note said that “one” “risks suggesting that Jesus became a god independent of the Blessed Trinity and is one god among many … what we pray needs to express what the Church believes, requiring that, in liturgical formulae, we uphold the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity.”

The Trinitarian doxology that concludes the collects “emphasises the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who as the Incarnate Son, intercedes on our behalf to the Father … thus, the Son’s role of priestly mediation is made clear.”

The explanatory note says the phrase was adopted in the fourth century “as a means to combat the Arian heresy,” which held that Jesus Christ became God, rather than having been God eternally.

Moreover, the note adds, “one” is not used in the translations of the conclusion in French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese: “The English translation has, therefore, diverged from those of other major language groups.”

The English and Welsh bishops’ explanatory note said that “since the addition of the word ‘one’” could obscure prayer and thus belief, the Congregation for Divine Worship “has ruled it should no longer be used in the translation of these texts into English.”

The USCCB has been approving new translations of components of the Liturgy of the Hours, a new translation of the Roman Missal having been adopted in 2011.

At its 2019 fall general assembly, the conference voted overwhelmingly to approve the ICEL grey book translation of the hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours.


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U.S. bishops: COVID relief should protect the vulnerable, including the unborn

February 3, 2021 CNA Daily News 0

Washington D.C., Feb 3, 2021 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- U.S. bishops are asking that the next COVID relief bill include “life-affirming policies” and reject abortion funding.


In a letter to members of Congress on Wednesday, several bishops advocated for the next COVID relief bill to include certain emergency aid policies while excluding funding of abortions.


The relief package “should promote the dignity and value of all human life and protect poor and vulnerable people who are most at risk,” the bishops stated.


“Accordingly, we urge you in the strongest possible terms to use the money and policies in these bills to fund and promote life-affirming policies and not to advance the destruction of innocent unborn human life,” they added in their letter.


The letter’s signers included Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, the domestic justice chair of the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB); Bishop David Malloy of Rockford, chair of the USCCB’s international justice and peace committee; Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, chair of the USCCB’s education committee; Bishop Shelton Fabre, chair of the USCCB anti-racism committee; Bishop Mario Dorsonville, chair of the USCCB migration committee; and Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chair of the USCCB pro-life committee.


President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. Although he met with Republicans on Tuesday, who presented a $600 billion counter-proposal, Democrats appear poised to pass Biden’s proposal with or without Republican support.


Senate Democrats are reportedly using the parliamentary process of reconciliation to pass the relief measure, thus only requiring 50 votes in the chamber with Vice President Kamala Harris available to break a 50-50 split.


Pro-life groups had expressed concern to CNA earlier this month that COVID relief could open up new federal funding of health care without pro-life protections. On Wednesday, the pro-life group March for Life Action tweeted its concern that the bill could include abortion funding.


The bishops on Wednesday reiterated their stance against abortion funding in the relief bill.


“Any public option for health care, or similar efforts to increase access to health care, must include protections against using taxpayer dollars for elective abortions,” the bishops said.


The bishops asked members to maintain increases to food stamp benefits, fund emergency rental assistance, provide for “testing, vaccination, and treatment for COVID-19 for all,” increase Medicaid resources for states, and provide for protective equipment and paid leave for essential workers.


In addition, they advocated for “equitable access” to emergency aid for non-public schools, “legal status and a pathway to citizenship” for essential workers, Dreamers, and TPS recipients and their families, and an expansion of the above-the-line charitable tax deduction.


House Republican Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) has criticized the use of reconciliation to pass the relief measure, saying that it included a $15-an-hour minimum wage among other policies that Republicans are objecting to.


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U.S. bishops deplore Biden’s ‘grevious’ repeal of pro-life policies

January 28, 2021 CNA Daily News 3

Washington D.C., Jan 28, 2021 / 03:00 pm (CNA).- Leading U.S. bishops decried President Biden’s repeal of pro-life policies on Thursday.


President Joe Biden, a Catholic, issued a presidential memorandum on Thursday afternoon repealing the Mexico City Policy. His act allows for the U.S. to again fund international pro-abortion groups through family planning funding and global health assistance.


The U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) warned that, under Biden’s order, the U.S. would be contributing to abortions and abortion advocacy in the developing world.

“It is grievous that one of President Biden’s first official acts actively promotes the destruction of human lives in developing nations,” Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City and Bishop David Malloy of Rockford stated on Thursday. Archbishop Naumann is the chair of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, and Bishop Malloy is chair of the bishops’ international justice and peace committee.


“This Executive Order is antithetical to reason, violates human dignity, and is incompatible with Catholic teaching,” the bishops said.


In his sweeping order “Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad,” Biden stated his administration’s commitment to promoting women’s “reproductive health.”


The Mexico City Policy, named for the location of the UN population conference where it was first announced in 1984, was instituted by President Reagan. It bars taxpayer funding of foreign NGOs that provide or promote abortion as a method of family planning. Presidents traditionally either repeal it or reinstate it as among their first actions upon entering office.


While the policy originally applied to several hundred million dollars of U.S. international family planning funding, the Trump administration expanded it to apply more than $8 billion in global health assistance.


Biden on Thursday repealed those actions and instructed several federal agencies, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to begin reaching out to global health partners and instructing them that the previous prohibitions on abortion advocacy or referrals no longer apply.


In response, Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Malloy asked Biden to stop funding pro-abortion groups and work with the Church on “integral human development.”


“We urge the President to use his office for good, prioritizing the most vulnerable, including unborn children,” the bishops stated.


“As the largest non-government health care provider in the world, the Catholic Church stands ready to work with him and his administration to promote global women’s health in a manner that furthers integral human development, safeguarding innate human rights and the dignity of every human life, beginning in the womb,” the bishops said.


Through Biden’s order, the administration is also withdrawing from the Geneva Declaration, a statement signed by the U.S. and 31 other countries in October stating that abortion is not an international human right.


Additionally, the administration will once again fund the United Nations’ population fund (UNFPA). The Trump administration had stopped funding the UNFPA because of concerns that it partnered with China on family planning, and thus was complicit in forced abortions and sterilizations.


Pro-life advocates have long warned that China’s one-child policy—now a two-child policy—had resulted in women being forcibly sterilized or having to abort their child if they had too many children.


In a 2011 address at Sichuan University in China, then-Vice President Biden told his audience that “I fully understand” China’s one-child policy and that he was “not second-guessing” it, while also warning of the demographic challenges it posed.

In addition, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently declared that China was committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in the northwest province of Xinjiang; Pompeo cited reports of mass forced sterilizations, birth control, and abortion on Uyghur women in making his genocide determination.