Francis Cardinal Arinze Francis Cardinal Arinze
Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Roman Curia
Cardinal Priest of S Giovanni della Pigna
Nov 01, 1932
May 25, 1985
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English The Translation of the New Missal into English
Sept 12, 2004
Translation of the new Missal into English from the Latin text is the fruit of a long and bitter struggle – one that mirrors the battle over authority in the Church.

(The Tablet, 17 January 2004) Convinced that the vernacular Missals of the 1970s were too sharp an interruption in the organic development of liturgy, in the late 1990s Rome caused a sharp interruption of its own when it wrested control of translations, leading to an ugly stand-off. But now the new men at the head of ICEL, the mixed commission responsible for English translations, faithfully reflect the Vatican’s new priorities. Work on the new Missal is again under way; Catholics could be speaking the new words in as little as two years. But what will they sound like?

The depth of feeling against Rome’s takeover was on view at a series of conferences before Christmas to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium , the first – and key – document of the council. At one of them, held at the Benedictine College of Sant’Anselmo in Rome, Fr Ignacio Calabuig captured the mood of many liturgists. Departing from his text, the Catalan turned to Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Nigerian head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW), and in a trembling voice said (in Italian): “I feel I must tell the Prefect that the devastating impression the Congregation seems to be spreading, that people of great culture in their own lands are not capable of translating liturgical texts into their own mother tongue, is causing great discontent and concern in the Church.” The entire audience of 600 people clapped for so long that Cardinal Arinze felt compelled to join in. In his 39 years in Rome, wrote the veteran Jesuit liturgist Fr Robert Taft in a Christmas letter: “I never saw anything like it before.”
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