Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

O tempora! O mores!

By Jeff (articles ) | Mar 25, 2003

The quality of the ICEL translations of the Latin liturgical texts has been widely discussed. Today is the eighth anniversary of the Holy Father's encyclical Evangelium Vitae, a circumstance that calls to mind the less widely known infelicities in the official translations of papal documents.

In the judgment of this classics major, the translators of the papal documents do a far better job than the ICEL translators; but James Likoudis notes (scroll down halfway) that a key passage in Evangelium Vitae is, to say the least, infelicitously rendered. The official translation of n. 99 reads in part, "I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion.... You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord."

There's one problem: the translator invented the latter sentence out of thin air. Likoudis observes, "For those eager to rely on the above words of the Pope as further proof that unbaptized children are assured of Heaven in the Church's present teaching, the above last sentence is absent from the official Latin text of the encyclical. In place of the last sentence quoted above is read: 'You can entrust your infant [with hope] to the same Father and to His mercy' ('Infantem autem vestrum potestis Eidem Patri Eiusque misericordiae cum spe committere')."

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!

Progress toward our September expenses ($33,441 to go):
$35,000.00 $1,559.25
96% 4%
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!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Liberal visions of Catholicism: Kickstarter and the world's largest NGO 5 hours ago
The Blessed Book of Beasts August 30
Weekend reading August 29
Frustrating the Moral Law August 29
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam August 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8