Motu proprio “Magnum Principium”—a translation

This should have been posted prior to Father Hugh’s previous post. My apologies.

Dominus mihi adjutor

Herewith my hasty and rough translation of the pope’s new motu proprio, Magnum Principium. Comments to follow in due course.


The great principle, confirmed by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer, as adapted to their comprehension, should be understood by the people, required the grave duty be entrusted to the Bishops for introducing the vernacular into the liturgy, and to prepare and approve the [vernacular] versions of liturgical books.

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About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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One Response to Motu proprio “Magnum Principium”—a translation

  1. JabbaPapa says:

    It’s interesting in :

    The liturgical text, since it is a ritual sign, is a means of oral communication. But for the believers who celebrate the sacred rites, the word is still a mystery. When in fact the words are spoken, especially in the reading of Sacred Scripture, God speaks to men, Christ himself in the Gospel speaks to his people who, on their own behalf or through the celebrant, respond in prayer to the Lord in the Holy Spirit.

    The purpose of the translations of liturgical texts and biblical texts, in the liturgy of the word, is to announce to the faithful the word of salvation in obedience to the faith and to express the prayer of the Church to the Lord. To this end, it is necessary to communicate faithfully to a particular people, by means of their own language, that which the Church intended to communicate to another people by means of the Latin language.

    … that the Motu Proprio is declaring that the purpose of translations of Liturgical texts into vernacular is for addressing and instructing the people of God — which leaves completely open the possibility of keeping in (or reverting to) Latin those sections of the Liturgy where the Celebrant is praying to God.

    De Facto, Magnum Principium has opened the door to a so-called “Reform of the Reform” that was previously closed, given that previously the local Churches had not the power to establish any such mixed Latin-Vernacular norms locally.

    This Canon will also make easier the work on Liturgical Bible translations for use during the Mass, such as the magnificent French Liturgical Bible ( https://www.aelf.org/bible — IMO *the* Best modern translation of the Bible ever made ), which for its own part necessitated a complex cooperation between all francophone or partially francophone Bishops Conferences.

    The new norms may also be addressing a difficulty encountered in the general propagation of the Third Edition of the Missal.

    Of course, we can all imagine the worst that could come out of this, particularly for those living in regions governed by overly liberal Bishops Conferences … but good too can be found in the Motu Proprio, and as always it is the Virtues and Vices of local churchmen will determine local Fidelity to the Spirit of the Holy Mass.

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