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Giving bishops final word on Mass translations would ‘destroy’ Church unity: Cardinal Muller

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

November 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- The unity of the Church would be “destroyed” if bishops’ conferences, not the Vatican, had the final word over translations of liturgical texts, said Cardinal Gerhard Müller in a recent interview. 

The former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith expressed reservations in an interview with Passauer Neue Presse published Wednesday about Pope Francis’s recent liturgical reform that allowed bishops to oversee and approve translations.

“The ultimate authority in the case of doubt cannot lie with the Episcopal Conferences, which would destroy the unity of the Catholic Church in faith, confession and prayer,” the cardinal said, as reported by Catholic Herald.

Muller made the comment despite Pope Francis having publicly corrected Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Vatican’s liturgy chief, for making a similar statement last month. 

Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, had claimed in an article that the pope's new directives on the liturgy did not allow bishops’ conferences, but the Vatican, to have the final word on Mass translations. He was simply reading the Pope’s directives through the lens of a 2001 instruction titled Liturgiam Authenticam

But the Pope told Sarah that those norms had been abrogated and that the Cardinal had misunderstood the Pope’s directives. 

Muller said in the interview that he has “often experienced that the translators used by the bishops have watered down the biblical and liturgical texts on the pretext of better comprehension.”

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