About John Lilburne



One approved blessing

It seems that Australia has one approved blessing for one archdiocese that can be celebrated in English.

In 1984 the Vatican published De Benedictionibus. In 1989 they approved a translation for the United States of America, entitled "Book of Blessings". But in 19 years there has not been a translation approved for Australia. Without an approved translation these blessings should be done in Latin.

According to Catholic Weekly:

"... The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr George Pell, has announced the promulgation of a new official Order of Blessing of Couples Imploring the Gift of Children, approved for use in the archdiocese by the Congregation for Divine Worship. ..."

I find it confusing that a blessing should be approved for one archdiocese. According to Canon 838.3 of the Code of Canon Law:

"It pertains to the conferences of bishops to prepare translations of the liturgical books into the vernacular languages, with the appropriate adaptations within the limits defined in the liturgical books themselves, and to publish they with the prior review by the Holy See."

Was this new blessing decided upon by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference? If it was, it is unusual that the Conference did not announce it. If not, it is unusual that approval is being given for a rite of blessing of an individual archbishop.

A possible explanation is that Australia's bishops want different blessings. They have not agreed on an adaptation of the Book of Blessings in 19 years. So to resolve the issue the Vatican will approve a different Book of Blessings for each archdiocese.

Just my speculation. It seems an extreme solution. But it is consistent with today's report.

By J.R. Lilburne, 7 August 2003. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain. Canon Law translation is from Code of Canon Law Latin-English Edition, Canon Law Society of America, 1983.

Other sites:

Catholic Weekly "Blessing for the infertile"

Cathtelecom.com report 7 August 2003