May 14 · The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS) gives a recognitio to the English translation of hymns for the 2nd edition of the Liturgy of the Hours. Hymns will be published by the USCCB and are authorized for optional use upon publication. The translations of the Psalter and canticles received a recognitio in May 2018 and are already authorized for optional use; these are available for purchase from the USCCB Store for $24.95.

May 18 · The CDWDS issues a decree inscribing the celebration of Saint Maria Faustina (Helena) Kowalska, virgin, in the General Roman Calendar. The decree – issued on behalf of Pope Francis – was promulgated on the same day that the Church marked the one-hundredth anniversary of Karol Wojtyla. The future Pope Saint John Paul II canonized Saint Faustina in the year 2000. Her optional memorial will be celebrated around the world on October 5.

June 20 · Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the CDWDS, issues a letter on the addition of three invocations to the Litany of Loreto: Mother of Mercy, Mother of hope, and Solace of migrants. 

August 6  · The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith publishes the following response to a dubium concerning the baptismal formula:

Whether the Baptism conferred with the formula “We baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” is valid? – Response: Negative [i.e., it is not valid to use this formula] 

Whether those persons for whom baptism was celebrated with this formula must be baptized in forma absoluta? – Response: Affirmative [i.e., such persons must be baptized in forma absoluta] 

This response was accompanied by a doctrinal note, in which the Congregation explained that the erroneous and “deliberate modification of the sacramental formula was apparently introduced to emphasize the communitarian significance of Baptism, in order to express the participation of the family and of those present, and to avoid the idea of the concentration of a sacred power in the priest to the detriment of the parents and the community that the formula in the Roman Ritual might seem to imply.” However, the Congregation noted that, according to Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum concilium, “when one baptizes it is really Christ himself who baptizes… the Lord has the principal role in the event being celebrated(…). When the minister says “I baptize you…” he does not speak as a functionary who carries out a role entrusted to him, but he enacts ministerially this sign-presence of Christ, who acts in his Body to give his grace.”

The Congregation affirmed that “the parents, godparents and the entire community are called to play an active role, a true liturgical office” — nevertheless, “each person, minister or layman, who has an office to perform, should do all of, but only, those parts which pertain to his office by the nature of the rite and the principles of liturgy (Sacrosanctum concilium, 28).” The Congregation’s doctrinal note concluded by noting that arbitrary changes to sacramental formulae inflict a “wound” on the ecclesial community and show a “lack of an understanding of the very nature of the ecclesial ministry that is always at the service of God and His people and not the exercise of a power that goes so far as to manipulate what has been entrusted to the Church in an act that pertains to the Tradition.”