URGENT! Make a gift that will be doubled. We have $9,931 left to match by December 1st.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

one word missing

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 11, 2007

Shortly after arriving in Brazil on board the papal plane, John Allen of NCR helpfully posted a full transcript of the Pope's remarks to journalists, in his own unofficial translation. Here's one crucial snippet:

[Question]...Do you agree with the excommunication given to legislators in Mexico City on the question of abortion?

Pope Benedict XVI: Yes, this excommunication is not something arbitrary, but it’s part of the Code [of Canon Law].....

That was Allen's own translation. By the following day the Vatican had produced the official transcript, and the Pope's answer to the question was rendered:

Excommunication is not something arbitrary, but is foreseen by the Code [of Canon Law.]...

Not much difference, really. Except for that one little word: "Yes."

The best explanation for this discrepancy in translation is:

A) The Pope was clearing his throat, and Allen mistakenly thought he had formed a word.

B) Vatican officials "clarified" the Pope's statement, in line with the principles of translation put forward in James 5:12.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($63,989 to go):
$150,000.00 $86,011.12
43% 57%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - May. 11, 2007 4:26 PM ET USA

    If I want to know what His Holiness really said, I know I can go to http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/ where I can then click on: audiences, apostolic exhortations, apostolic letters, encyclicals, homilies, letters, Motu Proprio, messages, speeches, or airplane statements.

  • Posted by: - May. 11, 2007 2:01 PM ET USA

    One of the shortest, and sweetest, of Uncle Di's posts!

  • Posted by: - May. 11, 2007 12:47 PM ET USA

    Is there a transcript of what the Mexican bishops said?

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Art and theology, beauty and truth, work together in the New Evangelization November 21
Anatomy of Conversion November 21
Anatomy of Conversion November 21
It is a failure of mercy to deny sin November 20
Yesterday's news, tomorrow November 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days