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Spanish missal, other liturgical texts approved by bishops
Catholic News Service photo
A priest celebrates Sunday Mass in Spanish at a Catholic church in Gaithersburg, Md.
Catholic News Service photo
A priest celebrates Sunday Mass in Spanish at a Catholic church in Gaithersburg, Md.
Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE — The first U.S. edition of the Roman Missal in Spanish moved closer to being available, as the U.S. bishops Nov. 12 approved several steps toward adapting the Mexican Misal Romano for use in this country.

The translation of the missal will have Mass propers for the U.S. calendar, and will be published possibly as soon as fall of 2015.

In other liturgical matters, the bishops approved a translation of the Order of Confirmation and adaptations for the Order of Celebrating Marriage, after a short debate over whether the word "marriage" should be replaced throughout with the word "matrimony."

The Spanish version of the Roman Missal will become the only version authorized for use in the United States. Currently, priests or bishops choose a Spanish edition from among any version approved for use by any country's bishops' conference.

Unlike the system for English liturgical texts, no multinational entity oversees the translations from Latin -- it's just between the individual nations' bishops' conferences and the Vatican.

There was almost no discussion among the bishops about approving the Misal Romano from Mexico as the core text for use in the United States before they voted 193-11 with 4 abstentions to do so.

A bit of discussion ensued about when to use the Spanish translations of U.S. place names in the adaptations to the missal before that item was approved nearly unanimously, by a vote of 200-1 with one abstention.

A more protracted discussion arose over another translation issue, when Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., proposed swapping out the word "matrimony" for "marriage" throughout the English translation of the Order of Celebrating Marriage.

Making the point on the floor of the bishops' annual assembly for the second time in two days, Bishop Paprocki argued that "matrimony" is a better translation of the Latin word "matrimonium." He proposed swapping the words throughout the text, partly in recognition that amid the fast-changing societal support for same-sex marriage, it would be useful in distinguishing the sacrament of matrimony from the secular definition of marriage.

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