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Italian translation of youth catechism pulled over contraception error

Catholic World News - April 13, 2011

The publisher of the Italian translation of a Vatican-sponsored youth catechism has removed the translation from the market because it erroneously implies that the Church approves of contraceptive methods.

Nuova Citta, the Italian publisher of YouCat has suspended publication in order to correct the error. The publisher had already printed 45,000 copies of the book, and sold 15,000 copies. The book will be returned to the market with a correction.

The Italian edition contained another translation error in its treatment of end-of-life treatment. While the German original said that a family may accept the inevitability of death of a loved one, the Italian translation used a term meaning "passive euthanasia," thus appearing to provide justification for the removal of food and water from a dying patient--a practice that the Church condemns.

The errors that appear in the Italian edition are not found in other translations of YouCat--although Paolo Rodari of Il Foglio reports that there has been some criticism of the French translation in its treatment of Vatican II teachings on ecumenism.

“The English translation of YouCat, published by Ignatius Press, does not, of course, endorse contraception but clearly affirms the Church's teaching that contraception is evil,” said Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press. “The German text upon which we based our translation does not endorse contraception but clearly affirms the Church's teaching that contraception is evil.”

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, who supervised the production of YouCat, said that each translation was produced under the aegis of another prelate. The Italian translation was guided by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: cincinnatus - Apr. 14, 2011 5:22 AM ET USA

    According to Paolo Rodari yesterday, the order to pull the Italian version of the book has been countermended. It will continue to be offered, but with a corrective insert.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 13, 2011 2:37 PM ET USA

    This is a good thing. Bad translations are a serious problem in the Church. If they had done the same thing to the original ICEL translations of the Mass forty years ago, think of the trouble it would have saved.

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