ANY QUESTIONS still remain about the recent papal decree (Traditionis Custodes). In particular, there is a section that says: In these celebrations the readings are proclaimed in the vernacular language, using translations of the Sacred Scripture approved for liturgical use by the respective Episcopal Conferences. It’s not clear whether that only refers to the so-called “diocesan EF Mass” that bishops are supposed to establish at some point in the future. Furthermore, it’s doubtful what this statement could possibly mean in light of the 20 November 2012 statement by the USCCB (see below).
A Legal Problem: It must be remembered that the Scripture translations used in the Novus Ordo are a major source of revenue for the USCCB. Even though the Mass is an indulgenced prayer—meaning its texts aren’t supposed to be sold—the USCCB has been selling those texts for decades. Moreover, the various readings (Gospels, Antiphons, Psalms, etc.) are copyrighted under various “shell” organizations, making it harder to know how much money they take in each month. 1 Even when you receive permission, they reserve the right to change their policy at any time. So if you broadcast 1,000 Masses on YouTube, remember that—at any moment—they can force you take down all those videos.
Poor Parishes Lacking Funds: Locations which celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass tend to be the marginalized groups, given “leftovers” that nobody else wants. It’s highly doubtful such parishes can afford the high rates associated with the USCCB readings. Remember, the USCCB does not allow anyone to reproduce or transmit electronically by any means any part of “their” Bible without permission. Sometimes they charge money, sometimes not. It can take months to receive permission from their office—and I speak from personal experience here. It would be risky to even use a loudspeaker or microphone system at Mass, since that “transmits electronically” the USCCB copyrighted readings.
Constantly Changing: There is no “physical Bible” you can purchase which contains the USCCB approved readings. They are constantly making small changes here and there. (I have tons of examples, if anyone cares.) You cannot simply copy the readings from the USCCB website—that’s not the official version although it’s quite similar to it. If you don’t observe these small changes, they threaten you with legal action. Does all this sound absurd? That is one of the reasons people had been flocking to the Traditional Latin Mass: The EF Mass texts are not for sale.
They Don’t Match: The USCCB readings and antiphons don’t match the Traditional Latin Mass. Therefore, priests must create some sort of “hybrid” lectionary. The following were approved for liturgical use by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November of 1966 (and confirmed again in March of 1967):
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Bible
Monsignor Ronald Knox Bible
Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition) Bible
Other Approvals: The following were approved for liturgical use by the USCCB (Secretariat for the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy) by a communication dated 20 November 2012:
The Bible readings in the Fulton J. Sheen Missal
The Bible readings in the Saint Andrew Missal
The Bible readings in the Father Lasance Missal
That remarkable 20 November 2012 statement by the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship—the whole business of “tacit” permission—was confirmed by 80+ snail-mail letters sent to bishops on that committee. This is important, because the Secretariat is supposed to act in the name of the bishops on the committee.
Actions Have Consequences: Because of this USCCB statement (dated 20 November 2012), everything you see at an Ordinary Form Mass—and here I’m speaking of the bad stuff, not the good stuff—is technically “approved,” in spite of what the GIRM says. It has “tacit” approval from the local bishop, according to the USCCB. Here is something I find very troubling:
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 Until recently, everyone who purchased the USCCB Psalms was inadvertently making a very small monetary donation to David Haas. More on this at a later date.