MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II
TO THE PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION
FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND
THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS
To my Venerable Brother
Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
and the Discipline of the Sacraments
In the peace of Christ, our eternal High Priest (cf. Heb 5:10), I greet you and the members and advisors of the Vox Clara Committee which has been established to assist and advise the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to the English translations of liturgical texts. Representing the different continents as it does, the committee reflects the international character of the English language. This makes available to the Holy See the great wealth of pastoral experience drawn from different cultures.
In my Apostolic Letter Vicesimus Quintus Annus, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium, I spoke of the pastoral promotion of the Liturgy and the need for a "permanent commitment to draw ever more abundantly from the riches of the Liturgy that vital force which spreads from Christ to the members of his body, which is the Church" (No. 10). Undoubtedly, the use of the vernacular has been an important means of enabling the faithful to participate more deeply in the encounter with God in Christ.
Since the lex orandi conforms to the lex credendi, fidelity to the rites and texts of the Liturgy is of paramount importance for the Church and the Christian life. In that light, I wish to offer every encouragement to the Vox Clara Committee in its task of assisting the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in ensuring that the texts of the Roman Rite are accurately translated in accordance with the norms of the Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam.
In a special way, I wish to commend to the Pastors of the Church the important task of making available to the faithful, as quickly as possible, the vernacular translations of the editio tertia of the Missale Romanum, the publication of which I authorized last year. I am pleased to learn that the members of the Vox Clara Committee have generously pledged to assist the Holy See in expediting the revision and recognitio of these translations by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Invoking the light of the Holy Spirit upon the Committee and the Congregation, and entrusting your work to the loving care of Mary, Mother of the Church, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace in the Risen Saviour.
From the Vatican, 20 April 2002
IOANNES PAULUS II
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