WASHINGTON (March 11, 1997) -- A Working Group composed of representatives of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and representatives of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has met at the Vatican for the purpose of completing a final review of the revised New American Bible edition of the Lectionary for Mass.
The suggestion to establish a Working Group was developed in a meeting last year of the seven active Cardinals of the United States with heads of the Congregations. The Working Group representatives appointed by NCCB President Bishop Anthony Pilla were Archbishop Jerome Hanus of Dubuque, Chairman of the NCCB Committee on the Liturgy, Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco and Archbishop Justin Rigali of St. Louis. To begin the process Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Jorge Medina Estevez, heads of the two Congregations, met with the participants to discuss the scope of the review. The meetings were chaired by Archbishop J. Francis Stafford, a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The Working Group studied the history of the project and then undertook a detailed review of the Lectionary texts. A primary consideration was the pastoral urgency of making the first volume of the Lectionary for Mass available for liturgical use in a timely fashion.
At the end of the sessions, all participants expressed satisfaction with the results achieved. Assurances were received that the revised draft would in principle be acceptable to the Holy See. The presentation of a detailed report to the NCCB Administrative Committee by Archbishop Hanus will take place next week.