Catholic Bible Scholars Protest Translations

Article excerpt

Recent Vatican guidelines on liturgical translation are in some parts "sufficiently ill-advised as to be the likely occasion of embarrassment to the church," according to board members of the Catholic Biblical Association of America. In a letter dated August 16 and sent to each U.S. bishop, the board warned that the document Liturgiam Authenticam ("The Authentic Liturgy") could impinge on the "reverence and love for as well as study and knowledge of the Bible in the church."

The scholars included a critique of the document, protesting its mandate that scripture translations for liturgical use should be based on the Latin Bible rather than on original texts. They also criticized the document's attempt to limit inclusive language, saying the new guidelines do not allow proper translation of scripture into contemporary English.

Since its release in May, "The Authentic Liturgy" has caused mixed reactions within the Catholic Church. It is the fifth church instruction since the Second Vatican Council implementing liturgical reforms, and it replaces an earlier, less exact teaching on translations. While some church leaders applaud the Holy See's effort to ensure fidelity to Latin liturgical texts, others say it is too centralized and limiting. …