John Lilburne's journal about the Pope's letter on the Vox Clara committee and the importance of him saying that he authorized the publication of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal in 2001.


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Report on the Vox Clara letter on 23 April 2002

2002 Roman Missal - description and differences


1231 K Thu 2 May 2002

Today I found the Pope's letter of 20 April 2002 about the Vox Clara committee on

I had seen news reports of the letter and had written about it. Seeing the actual text, I think the most important sentence is:

... In a special way, I wish to commend to the Pastors of the Church the important task of making available to the faithful, as quickly as possible, the vernacular translations of the editio tertia of the Missale Romanum, the publication of which I authorized last year. ...

A news report I saw,, had the headline "Pope says he hopes Roman Missal translation completed quickly". But this is not the real news in the sentence. The real news is in the words: "the publication of which I authorized last year." Last year means 2001.

The Third Edition of the Roman Missal was published with the decree of 2000. But the General Instruction had been changed since 2000. When I received the 2002 Roman Missal on 4 April 2002 I knew this and wrote about it. But the Pope's letter of 20 April 2002 is the only Vatican document that I have understood to say that something happened to the General Instruction in 2001.

Its a relief to have found it. Because until this letter it was not clear who had authorized the changes to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal that were made between 2000 and 2002. The letter means that the Pope did.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 2 May 2002.

Other sites:

Vox Clara letter at