John Allen has a fascinating report of what happened at the USCCB meeting in Orlando when the new translation for the Propers of the Mass were put forward for voting. Thought to be a laid down mazaire, it turned out to be a hung vote:
After all that the bishops were unable to reach a decision, largely because of the electoral math.
The rules of the conference require that the text be approved by two-thirds of its members, not just those physically present. Since there are 250 Latin Rite bishops in the United States, 166 “yes” votes are required to approve it, while 83 “no” votes are necessary to reject it.
As it turns out, the Orlando meeting was sparsely attended – one headcount yesterday found just 178 voting members. As a result, this morning’s ballot failed to get enough “yes” votes to approve the text, or enough “no” votes to block it.
As a result, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the conference, announced that bishops who were not present will receive ballots in the mail in order to settle things one way or the other.
The Propers have, of course, been passed in Australia and the other three Bishops Conferences who will be adopting the English translation. If the US bishops vote differently, that means they would dissent from the rest of the English speaking Catholic world on this matter.
I have some sympathy with the position presented by Bishop Galeone, although my own main criticism of the texts is largely a single stylistic one involving the strict translation of the Latin second person singular relative “who” clauses (a form that is very common in the latin texts but which reads very awkwardly in English). It is not surprising that Bishop Trautman should use Bishop Galeone’s criticisms as the chance to put in his own two bob’s (or is that “two dime’s”?) worth, and it goes without question that I have no sympathy with his opinions.
Anyway, there is little doubt that the postal vote will get the required support eventually. But it is just one more hold up for the Americans. And if they do get a different version, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a number of Australian priests who will use the American version rather than our local version.