Bible Association to Curia Group: 'Tell Us Why.' (Catholic Bible Association of America Seeks Clarification of Rejected Bible Translations)

National Catholic Reporter, July 28, 1995 | Go to article overview

Bible Association to Curia Group: 'Tell Us Why.' (Catholic Bible Association of America Seeks Clarification of Rejected Bible Translations)


WASHINGTON--The executive board of the Catholic Biblical Association of America has asked the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to give a public accounting of its rejection of two English Bible translations approved by the U.S. bishops for liturgical use.

The board also asked the congregation to explain publicly why a third text--a new lectionary for Mass approved by the bishops--has sat in Rome for three years awaiting Vatican confirmation or rejection.

All three texts conform to principles adopted by the U.S. bishops for inclusive language in scripture texts proposed for liturgical use in the United States. Doctrinal congregation objections reportedly centered on inclusive-language issues.

The biblical association's 12-member board made its request in a letter June 27 to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the doctrinal congregation. It released the letter to Catholic News Service in July.

It specifically asked the doctrinal congregation:

* To "make public the criteria on which its judgments concerning the suit, ability of biblical translations are based, including those designed for use in the liturgy."

* To submit any such criteria "to the Pontifical Biblical Commission for (assessment of) their conformity with Roman Catholic church directives over the last five decades," especially the biblical commission's 1993 document, "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church."

Pope Paul VI's 1971 decree regulating the Pontifical Biblical Commission places the commission under the authority of the doctrinal congregation. But it states that 'the commission must be consulted before the issuance of new norms on biblical matters."

That decree also says that Catholic universities or biblical societies around the world may propose topics for consideration by the biblical commission. …

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