- Aug 12, 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak has prompted parishes worldwide to livestream Masses, produce podcasts and upload worship videos. But even in a pandemic, copyright and fair use laws still apply, experts say.
The U.S. bishops voted to approve close to 300 new hymn texts for the Liturgy of the Hours. The Nov. 12 vote was 205-5 with two abstentions.
Although a new document issued by Pope Francis says bishops’ conferences now have control over the process of translating the liturgy, Cardinal Robert Sarah says that Vatican approval “is by no means a formality.” The head of the Congregation for Worship added translations of certain words and phrases may still be “imposed” to ensure conformity with the Latin original before a liturgical translation can be used.
While Pope Francis was in Colombia on Saturday, the Vatican issued a new legal document in his name that transfers the lion’s share of the control over translation of texts for use in Catholic worship to local bishops’ conferences and away from the Vatican. In effect, it was the clearest signal to date of where Francis stands in debates about what went wrong after Vatican II, especially on the issue of collegiality.
In a move the English-speaking Catholic world is likely to find especially significant, Pope Francis on Saturday took steps towards realizing his calls for “healthy decentralization,” at least when it comes to the translation of texts for use in worship. From here on out, the pontiff decreed, the major responsibility for those texts will lie with bishops’ conferences, with Rome only saying “yes” or “no” at the end.