Pope Francis Shifts Power From Rome With ‘Hugely Important’ Liturgical Reform
It also came just weeks after the pope — not one to invoke his magisterial authority — did just
that when he announced that the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council was “irreversible.” Progressive interpretations of those reforms in the 1960s provoked a backlash, and a “reform of the reform” movement, which ultimately had advocates at the top of the church during the reigns of John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
With “Magnum Principium,” a papal Motu Proprio — or a document issued under the pope’s own legal authority – Francis altered a key 2001 instruction by Pope John Paul II
that empowered Vatican officials in Rome to ensure local translations adhered to the standard Latin.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, who has used his absolute authority in the Vatican to decentralize power from Rome, made a widespread change Saturday to the ways,
and words, in which Roman Catholics worship by amending Vatican law to give national bishop conferences greater authority in translating liturgical language.
A hero to Vatican conservatives — and for many, a desired candidate in the next conclave to choose a new pope — Cardinal Sarah has been
undermined by partisans of Francis who have worked on a committee to loosen the Guinean cardinal’s cherished Latin literalism.
Conservative opponents favored the Latin Mass, or at least more faithful translations to it in the local language,
and they wanted the church hierarchy in Rome to ensure global universality and unity by making all of those translations uniform.
In 2001, the Vatican issued the Liturgiam Authenticam, or Authentic Liturgy, instructing
that translations from Latin needed to be “in the most exact manner, without omissions or additions in terms of their content.” That same year, the Vatican established Vox Clara, or Clear Voice, a committee to scrutinize English-language translations of the texts and prayers included in the Roman Missal.