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c. 838: Modification of the norms hitherto in force, regarding authorization of vernacular translations of liturgical texts and books [1]

The interpretation of the modified canon 838 is not clear; this suggests some uncertainty as regards its application in practice.
As it stands, the canon appears to indicate three levels or moments of "authorization". Moreover, two separate interventions of the Holy See seem clearly to be legislated for; one the "Recognition" ["recognoscere"] of drafts prepared by an Episcopal Conference; the other "Confirmation" - which appears as required before publication ["edere"] by the Episcopal Conference.
The difficulty arises in paragraph §3, especially when read in the light of paragraph §2. Let us look at both. [I append below my own provisional vernacular translation to English.]
838 - §3: "Ad Episcoporum Conferentias spectat versiones librorum liturgicorum in linguas vernaculas fideliter et convenienter intra limites definitos accommodatas parare et approbare atque libros liturgicos, pro regionibus ad quas pertinent, post confirmationem Apostolicae Sedis, edere."
I have highlighted here the atque ["and"] - since what precedes this particle and what follows seem to indicate two moments or levels of "authorization". The first part of the text (before the "atque") refers to the preparation and approval of a vernacular translation: this pertains to the Ep. Conference ["fideliter et convenienter intra limites definitos accommodatas parare et approbare"]. Here one must look also at 838, §2 which indicates that the Holy See intervenes at this stage too, "recognizing" or "reviewing" the text approved by the Ep. Conference ["Apostolicae Sedis est... aptationes, ad normam iuris a Conferentia Episcoporum approbatas, recognoscere"...] [2]
In the second part of 838,§3 - after the "atque" - a quite distinct and separate stage in the overall process of "authorization" appears. According to the text it [also] pertains to the Ep. Conference to publish these [vernacular] liturgical texts after confirmation by the Holy See ["atque libros liturgicos, pro regionibus ad quas pertinent, post confirmationem Apostolicae Sedis, edere."
So, as worded at present, canon 838,§3 indicates three moments and degrees of "authorization" of vernacular texts. This also appears from the three different terms that are used regarding these moments: A) "Approval" by the Ep. Conferences; B) "Recognition" by the Holy See; C) "Confirmation" by the Holy See. Each term would seem to involve a different stage and a different degree or level of authorization. Moreover two moments in effect pertain to the Ep. Conference, while two pertain to the Apostolic See.
The two acts pertaining to the Holy See seem to be of different weight. The first is simple "recognition" of a translation already approved by the Ep. See]. The second, before publication by the Conference, is "confirmation".
As the canon stands, it does appear that publication of the vernacular version of a liturgical text - already approved by the Ep. Conference, and recognized by the Holy See - is only properly done after the (further) confirmation by the Holy See.

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NOTES
[1] I use "authorization" - rather than "approval" - precisely because the term "approval" is used in the canon to designate one particular stage in an overall process. This is part of the difficulty facing interpretation
[2] Nothing is indicated as to what may happen if the Holy See does not recognize a text that the Conference has approved. Nevertheless if this recognition or reviewing is not to be a mere rubber-stamping, the possibility remains. Presumably further dialog between the two would then take place.

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Text, and translation:
Latin
Can. 838 - § 1. Sacrae liturgiae moderatio ab Ecclesiae auctoritate unice pendet: quae quidem est penes Apostolicam Sedem et, ad normam iuris, penes Episcopum dioecesanum.
§ 2. Apostolicae Sedis est sacram liturgiam Ecclesiae universae ordinare, libros liturgicos edere, aptationes, ad normam iuris a Conferentia Episcoporum approbatas, recognoscere, necnon advigilare ut ordinationes liturgicae ubique fideliter observentur.
§ 3. Ad Episcoporum Conferentias spectat versiones librorum liturgicorum in linguas vernaculas fideliter et convenienter intra limites definitos accommodatas parare et approbare atque libros liturgicos, pro regionibus ad quas pertinent, post confirmationem Apostolicae Sedis, edere.
§ 4. Ad Episcopum dioecesanum in Ecclesia sibi commissa pertinet, intra limites suae competentiae, normas de re liturgica dare, quibus omnes tenentur.
[English] (emphasis added)
Can. 838 - § 1. The ordering of the sacred liturgy depends solely upon the authority of the Church, namely that of the Apostolic See and, as provided by law, that of the diocesan Bishop.
can. 838 - § 2. It pertains to the Apostolic See to regulate the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, to publish ["edere"] liturgical books, to review ["recognoscere"] adaptations approved by an Episcopal Conference in accordance with the law, and to be watchful that the liturgical regulations are everywhere faithfully observed.
can. 838 - § 3. It pertains to the Episcopal Conferences, each for its respective region, faithfully and properly - adapted within defined limits - to prepare and approve vernacular translations of liturgical books and, after the confirmation of the Apostolic See, to publish the liturgical books for the region to which they belong.
can. 838 - § 4. Within the limits of his competence, it pertains to the diocesan Bishop to lay down in the Church entrusted to him liturgical regulations which are binding on all.

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