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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.

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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?

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