WASHINGTON (April 20, 2000) -- A meeting of presidents of English-speaking Episcopal Conferences will take place in Washington, D.C. on April 25, 2000, to discuss the revision of the constitution of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). The meeting will be held in executive session.
Galveston-Houston Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U. S. Catholic Conference, approved the issuance of the following statement:
"The International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) is revising its constitution, in part, on account of a request from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. ICEL is a mixed commission founded by 11 Episcopal Conferences, representing English-speaking populations from around the world. It is governed by an Episcopal Board made up of one Bishop from each of the 11 Conferences, appointed according to each Conference's procedures. The current U.S. representative on the ICEL Episcopal Board is Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago.
"ICEL's purpose is to provide English translations of the Church's official Latin liturgical texts for use by all Conferences with English-speaking populations. The process involves the actual translation of texts by specialists which are then submitted to the ICEL Episcopal Board for approval. After Board approval, each Conference must give its own approval of the translations and submit them the Holy See for final confirmation or recognitio before the texts can be published for use in the liturgy.
"As part of the consultation process for the revision of the constitution, Galveston-Houston Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference, invited the presidents of the 11 member-Conferences to meet in Washington on April 25 at the headquarters of the U.S. Bishops' conference. The meeting, which is to be held in executive session, is designed to assist the ICEL Episcopal Board in the revision process and to assist the individual member Conferences in their consideration of the revision. The revised constitution will be submitted for approval to each member Conference and, if approved, sent to the Holy See for the recognitio.
"Eight Conferences will be represented at the meeting. In addition to Bishop Fiorenza, those attending will be Cardinal Edward Bede Clancy, Australia; Cardinal Thomas Joseph Winning, Scotland; Archbishop Wilfred F. Napier, OFM, Southern Africa; Archbishop Sean B. Brady, Ireland; Archbishop Peter James Cullinane, New Zealand; Bishop Michael Bowen, England and Wales; and Bishop Gerald Wiesner, OMI, Canada.
"ICEL was created in 1963 as a joint enterprise by the Bishops' conferences of Australia, Canada, England and Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Phillippines, Scotland, and Southern Africa, as well the U.S. Bishops' conference, to provide English translations of the revised texts which resulted from the liturgical reform of the Roman Rite called for by the Second Vatican Council. ICEL's headquarters are in Washington, D.C."