0855 K Thu 1 Aug 2002
On of the most recent translations of an official liturgical book to be published in Australia was in 1987, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. On page vii there is an editorial note:
Many of the paragraphs have two numbers. For example paragraph:
The official paragraph number, 164, is on the right.
The next prayer has the official number 379. Clearly major rearrangements were made.
Today such a translation would not be approved. This has been made clear by Liturgiam Authenticam of 2001 and the April 2002 letter on the translation of the Roman Missal.
The approval of translations is recorded in Notitiae, published by the Vatican. For example in the volume of 1986 it has on page 767 the approval for the translation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Protocol No. 432/86, 20 June, 1986.
The last approval of the Australian translation of a book that I have found is for the Order of Christian Funerals "Ordinis Exsequiarum" of 29 April 1987 (Notitiae 1987, page 1034). Since then there have only been approvals for translations of things like prayers for Mass in honour of Blessed Mark MacKillop.
Lots of liturgical books have been published by the Vatican, but do not have an officially approved translation for Australia:
Why haven't they been translated? There would be many perspectives. I see an important reason as disagreements between bishops. It has not been a high priority for Australian bishops to have them translated. There are other things to do, other areas to spend time and money on.
Will things change? Will these four books be published in Australia by the end of 2003? Physically it would be easy. The Catholic Church in Australia has lots of publications like the Catechism and religious text books. Politically it seems very unlikely. Little has been said by bishops about these liturgical books. Agreement between bishops is required. Enough of them seem to see little incentive for publication.
Here is an extract of what Cardinal George said to the US bishops on 16 June 2000, talking about the constitutions for ICEL who have been doing the English translations:
Posted by J.R. Lilburne, 1 August 2002.