The agenda for this week's meeting includes:
The key topic in this meeting of the Bishops is, of course, the vote concerning the adaptations of the Liturgy and the English translations now before them.
1. a vote to extend the annual appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious beyend the year 2007;
2. a vote on the adaptations of the Order of Mass;
3. a vote on liturgical translations by the Internation Committee on English in the Liturgy; and
4. a vote to begin drafting a document entitled Stewardship and Teenagers
5. various reports will also be given by
a. the work of Priorities and Plans;
b. Catholic Relief Services;
c. the Hurricane Task Force;
d. the Vocations Committee on their DVD, Fishers of Men [which is excellent]; and
e. the task force on Catholic Bishops and Politicians
The Episcopal Conferences of England, Wales, Australia, and Scotland have - as I understand it - all apporoved the translations which the Bishops of the United States will vote on this week.
In order to approve the current translations the Bishops need a two-thirds majority vote; the last poll of the Bishops indicated that they were fairly evenly split.
In fact, the issue of translation has been a dividing issue among many Bishops for several years now. There appear to be two main "camps": those who prefer a close, literal translation of the Latin text (which is the position of the Holy See), and those who prefer simply not to change the text because Catholic Americans do not want to change and would not understand such technical language as "Incarnate." I wish EWTN was broadcasting this meeting because it would be a great show.
If the Bishops do not approve the proposed translation, it is unclear what action the Holy See will take; it has - through the words of Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments - expressed a desire that the Bishops approve the translation.
Pray for our Bishops, that they remain open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the authentic needs of the People of God.