We have $160,514 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Pontiff tells German bishops that pro multis must be translated literally

Catholic World News - April 30, 2012

The new translation of the Roman Missal into German will include a literal translation of the words pro multis during the consecration of the Precious Blood, Pope Benedict said in a letter to the bishops of Germany.

In opting for a literal translation (“for many”), the Church shows “respect for the word of Jesus” (Mk. 14:14; cf. Mt. 26:28), the Pontiff said in his letter, dated April 14 and released by the the German Episcopal Conference on April 24. On the other hand, rendering pro multis as “for all” is “not a pure translation, but an interpretation, which was and remains very reasonable.”

In 2006, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments announced Pope Benedict had decided that the phrase pro multis would henceforth be rendered literally in new translations of the Roman Missal. Pope Benedict explained to the president of the German bishops’ conference that some bishops in the German-speaking world objected to his decision, leading to the possibility of a divisive difference in translation:

During your visit of 15 March 2012 you let me know that, regarding the translation of the words “pro multis” in the canon of the Mass, there is still no consensus among the bishops of the German language area. There now seems to be the danger that, with the soon to be expected publication of the new release of Gotteslob, some parts of the German language area will keep the translation “for all,” even though the German Bishops’ Conference had agreed to use “for many,” as was desired by the Holy See. I promised you I would express myself in writing about this serious issue to prevent a split in our most inner prayer room.

The Pope asked the bishops to catechize the faithful about the reasons for the more accurate translation and offered an outline of this catechesis.

Noting the papal letter’s “argumentative care,” Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, president of the German bishops’ conference, said that the letter “provides clarification and is the conclusion of a discussion.”

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, president of the Austrian bishops’ conference, welcomed the letter. Stating that he was “very impressed” by its “argumentative clarity and depth,” the prelate said that the new translation of the Roman Missal marks a return to a “greater proximity to the traditional words of Jesus Christ in the Bible.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

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 ($160,514 to go):
$200,000.00 $39,485.72
80% 20%
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 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 01, 2012 10:08 AM ET USA

    This is outrageous. The Holy Father should not have to "walk on eggs" to perserve the unity of the Church. He is, after all, the Holy Father? Beyond a certain point, "democracy" and "dialogue" does not "work" in the Church. Where is the respect here? But I am sure with the support of his (the Holy Father's) Cardinals things will stabalize nicely.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 30, 2012 3:15 PM ET USA

    Do you suppose I could get His Holiness to write a letter to Fr. Paddy telling him to say, for many? I'll send him a copy of the one to the German bishops, but I doubt it will do any good, since he makes so many other changes, too.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Links: Think like a poet, academia's black sheep, Marion Cotillard on feminism 17 hours ago
Adapting Christianity? 17 hours ago
The Synod's choice: change the marketing campaign or change the product? 20 hours ago
The Synod Continues October 9
Why Pope Francis cannot win on sexual abuse October 9

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5