Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 1, 2003
Canadians discuss Lectionary in Rome
By CINDY WOODEN
Catholic News Service
During a weeklong visit to the Vatican, top officers of the Canadian bishops' conference continued their discussions with Vatican officials about revisions to the book of Scriptures they use at Mass.
The meetings, said Archbishop Brendan O'Brien of St. John's, Nfld., conference president, included continuing discussion of revisions to the Canadian Lectionary of liturgical readings, which are based on the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
In 1994, the Vatican's doctrinal congregation told the U.S. bishops the NRSV translation was not appropriate for liturgical use, but the Canadian bishops had been using it since 1992 with the approval of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
Since 1994, the Canadian bishops have been working on revisions to passages the Vatican felt were problematic.
The NRSV translation uses gender-inclusive language, for example, changing references to "men" to "men and women."
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments "has no objection to us using the New Revised Standard Version, but they want us to make revisions to keep the translation in harmony with Catholic tradition," O'Brien said.
For example, he said, in the Book of Psalms certain references to the just or faithful man traditionally have been interpreted as referring to Christ; using inclusive language would make the reference difficult to see.
"We have had extensive discussions" with the congregation "about inclusive language and have come up with some rules" for revising the translation, he said.
"The meetings are very cordial," he said. "I don't think there are a lot of hot issues where we are far apart. The benefit is that if little questions arise, it is easier to deal with them face to face rather than through letters."
O'Brien said the Canadian bishops also had discussions with several Vatican offices about the challenges and Catholic responses to public policy issues, particularly same-sex unions and new reproductive technologies.
The meetings with Vatican congregations also included Archbishop Andre Gaumond of Sherbrooke, Quebec, conference vice president, and the two general secretaries: Msgr. Mario Paquette and Msgr. Peter Schonenbach.