Ad Limina Apostolorum (Blog) | St. Augustine's Library
Thursday, December 09, 2004

Trautman and the new shape of the Bishops' Committee on Liturgy 

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam gives us an interview with Bishop Trautman of Erie, PA, recently elected as new Chair of the USCCB Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, replacing Cardinal George. Trautman announces his priorities as securing the 'proclaimability' (apparently he means something like inculturation) and ecumenism of the texts.

We have to look not only at the accuracy of those texts but also to the proclaimability of those texts. Are we using expressions readily understood by Catholics today? That's so important. For example, in the lectionary right now, we talk about the kors of wheat. No one knows what that expression means.

The committee wants to be faithful to those principles (in the document Liturgiam Authenticam; principles which govern much of the translation process). They are in possession, they are normative. But we also need to help interpret and apply these principles to the new text coming to us.

We have to ponder also the ecumenical dimensions of liturgical texts. For the last 35 years we, with the Protestant tradition, have used the same liturgical texts. An example would be the Nicene Creed, the Apostle's Creed, the Holy, Holy, Holy, The Lamb of God. We've all used the same texts. Now that is being questioned because some of those texts are not translated according to (the Liturgiam Authenticam) document.

Trautman also gives us his picks for new committee members. Compared with the current committee, we'll have a few changes:

Axed: Archbishop Liscomb of Mobile, Bishop Smith of Trenton, Bishop Vigneron of Oakland (members); Bishop Sevilla of Yakima, Bishop DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, and Bishop Murry of Saint Thomas (consultants).

New: Bishop Braxton of Lake Charles, Bishop Ramirez of Las Cruces, Bishop Wcela of Rockville Centre (members), Bishop Curry of Los Angeles and Bishop Grosz of Buffalo (consultants).

Cardinal George, the former chair, has been downgraded to consultant (probably his request, given his new duties). Trautman does not give us the names of the 'theologians' and 'advisors' he has appointed. The Committee now has two Los Angeles bishops - Mahoney and his auxiliary, Curry - as consultants. Bishop Braxton is an African-American bishop, and speaks frequently on behalf of Black Catholics and the need for inculturation. Bishop Ramirez is obviously Hispanic, and has been a tireless advocate of social justice issues, especially those concerning immigration. Bishop Wcela had worked closely with Trautman before on USCCB Committees, where he helped lobby for an inclusive language version of the Psalms (an issue near and dear to Trautman's heart). Bishop Curry is actually Irish-born, and is known mostly for his scholarly work on Church-State relations. Bishop Grosz has close ties with the Ukrainian and other Eastern-rite churches, and was recently named diocesan administrator of Buffalo.

Related: 2002 piece about Trautman's history with the American liturgical movement.

# posted by Jamie : 10:44 AM


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