Wednesday, October 30, 2013


The Vox Clara Committee met from October 29-30, 2013 in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world was formed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on July 19, 2001 in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language liturgical books and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences of Bishops in this regard.

The Vox Clara Committee is chaired by Cardinal George Pell (Sydney). The participants in the meeting were Bishop Thomas Olmsted, First Vice-Chairman (Phoenix), Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Second Vice-Chairman (Bombay), Cardinal Justin Rigali, Treasurer (Philadelphia, Emeritus), Archbishop Alfred Hughes (New Orleans, Emeritus), Archbishop Michael Neary (Tuam), Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J. (Ottawa), and Bishop David McGough (Birmingham, Auxiliary). Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Secretary (Paterson), Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. (Chicago) and Cardinal John Tong Hon (Hong Kong) were unable to be present for this meeting.

Also assisting the meeting were Monsignor James P. Moroney (Executive Secretary), Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B (expert), Reverend Dennis McManus (expert), Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (advisor), Reverend Joseph Briody (special assistant) and Reverend Gerard Byrne (special assistant).  Monsignor Gerard McKay (advisor) was unable to be present.

The representatives of the Holy See included the Delegate to the Vox Clara Committee, Reverend Anthony Ward, S.M., Undersecretary of the Congregation, accompanied by officials of the Congregation.

The Committee heard reports on the reception of the Roman Missal in the English-speaking world, the recent celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy and a variety of practical matters.

The Committee spent the greatest amount of time on a review of the translation of the ICEL Green Book Translations of Exorcisms and Certain Supplications, the Order of the Dedication of a Church and an Altar and a supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours.  The Committee was grateful for the quality of these translations and developed a limited list of recommendations concerning their refinement which it submitted to the Congregation.

Cardinal Antonio CaƱizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was welcomed on the first day of the meeting along with Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary to the Congregation.  The Prefect expressed his gratitude to the Committee for its continuing contribution to the translation of English language liturgical texts, recalling the discourse of the Holy Father to the International Committee on English in the Liturgy on its fiftieth anniversary that this work has “helped to foster the Church’s unity in faith and sacramental communion.” (Pope Francis, To the Members of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 17 October 2013)

This was the twenty-second meeting of the Vox Clara Committee which will continue its work in early 2014 with a review of the ICEL Gray Book translations of  the Ordo Celebrandi Matrimonium and De Confirmationis.