Following the most protracted public debate of their June 17-19 spring meeting, the U.S. bishops were unable to make a final decision about four new translations of texts for the Roman Missal, the collection of prayers for use in the Catholic Mass.
Those texts, a set of Masses and prayers for various needs and intentions, represent the latest stage of more than a decade of struggle known colloquially as the “liturgy wars.”
Those debates pitted one camp favoring a contemporary and accessible translation against another seeking a more “sacred” and traditional text, closer to the Latin originals. In that sense, the “liturgy wars” are related to deeper tensions in the church surrounding Catholic identity.
tIn broad strokes, the camp favoring a more traditional text, with Rome's backing, has had the upper hand since the late 1990s, and the texts considered by the bishops in San Antonio bear that stamp.
The four texts up for consideration today were:
* Masses and prayers for various needs and intentions
* Votive Masses and Masses for the dead
* Ritual Masses
* The Order of Mass II