Far more extensive and complex than the corrected translation of the Order of Mass recently introduced with such great success, is the revision of the Lectionary. More extensive it certainly is, simply considering the volumes of the texts involved through the Three Year Cycle. And it is certainly more complex because there is no translation totally satisfactory in itself, to the Church's requirements of accuracy and fidelity, whilst staying fit for proclamation.

In the United States the Bishops Conference (USCCB) dealt separately with the Holy See in developing its new Lectionary based upon a revised version of the New American Bible.It has been in use for a few years now. I have had the opportunity to use it occasionally for personal use only, through " i Missal" an App. on my Android Phone :

I Missal features the American Lectionary

I have to say that I have found the NAB translation unimpressive to say the least, and at times crass and worse. The errors are not those of substance so much as style. I t is as if the text had been composed by an advertising copywriter.

The Revision of the Lectionary for the rest of the English - speaking world has been in the hands of an international committee Chaired by His Grace Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane ( formerly of Canberra - Goulburn) over quite a number of years. The exercise began, rather unhappily, attempting to develop a revision of the abominable NRSV which would expunge its many errors. 

The existing Lectionary is based upon the New Jerusalem Bible( I can still recall attending a Breakfast function which filled the Sydney Trocadero to launch that Translation! Different times!). Now it is generally agreed that the subsequent REVISED STANDARD VERSION -CATHOLIC EDITION is a better translation. But it is certainly inferior for proclamation - that is to say, the structure of the language used cannot be happily read out loud. It was initially said of the NRSV that the underlying translation was better and that it could be better proclaimed, BUT then, before it was published the politically correct fascists got hold of the text and vandalised it to get rid of "He" and " Him" etc. They proceeded with such unrestrained zealotry that in 1992 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith determined that the NRSV was not suitable for liturgical or catechetical purposes. The devastation of the text was so great that the Christological significance of some of the prophetic texts was totally lost.

The Committee struggled with the revision for several years but finally announced that it had been abandoned in favour of a revision of the highly-regarded English Standard Version (ESV) and that project has gone along for more than two years.

However...... The excellent Blogger Dom Hugh O.S.B. at  DOMINUS MIHI ADJUTOR Blog(excellent straight from the shoulder commentary -  well worth regular visiting) has recently reported contact with Archbishop Coleridge who advised him that the ESV Project has had to be abandoned also. No reason has so far been given. However it is not hard to see the manifold sensitivities which might be exposed between the copyright owners with their concern for their text and the Church and its concern for the truth.

Where to from here would seem to be " up in the air" - perhaps fitting for such a 
" heavenly" project.


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