Vatican II Mission Bishops & Vernacular

Did bishops of missionary regions present at Vatican II want the liturgy to remain in Latin? Thanks

According to the documents, yes, wherever possible.

ProVobis is correct. The bishops in mission countries wanted to keep the Latin, where possible. The use of the vernacular was not a big issue in the developing nations as it was in Europe, North America, Australia and some parts of Africa. The reason being that some of these countries had permission to use the local language.

In some countries, they used Latin and the indigenous languages, depending on the situation. For these countries, this was a non-question. There were strong political and cultural reasons for using the indigenous languages in some parts of the world. The Europeans and anything European was not welcome. The Church had to divorce herself from Europe while preserving her identity. This was very challenging. One way to do it was to allow the use of indigenous language and music alongside the European Latin and music. You see this a lot in South America, parts of Africa and Japan. One community used Latin and the other did not. It was usually an indult given to bishops in certain regions.

There would be no need for these bishops to think about this question, because it had already been addressed for them. In a letter to the friars written from Japan, St. Maximilian Kolbe mentions the prayers of the mass and the scriptures in Japanese. He does not go into detail. I’m not sure how much Japanese was being used. He just mentions that if a friar is a priest, it would be helpful to learn the mass prayers in Japanese and to read the scriptures in Japanese. We do know that Japanese Catholics have always had a blend of the European with the local culture in their liturgy, especially in music.

Again, my impression is that these bishops were not too concerned with this question. They had an answer that worked for their people.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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