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Catholic World News News Feature

German priests reject Vatican directive on translation June 08, 2007

Priests in Rottenburg, Germany have voted to reject the Vatican translation of the phrase pro multis in the Eucharistic liturgy, the news service reports.

The priests' council of the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese announced that the members had decided by a "democratic vote," to retain the current German translation of pro multis as "for all."

The council dismissed a directive from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship. Cardinal Francis Arinze, the prefect of the Congregation, wrote to the world's bishops last November, announcing that all translations of the liturgy should render pro multis as "for many"-- a translation that is more faithful to the Latin text and to the theological reality that while Christ's redemptive suffering makes salvation available to all, it does not follow that all men are saved.

The Rottenburg priests argued that the use of "for many" would be confusing to the faithful "in this day and age." They added that the original Scriptural text read "for all," citing as their authority a Protestant scholar of the 18th century whose analysis the Catholic Church has rejected.

"The promise of salvation is directed to all people," the German priests said. "This truth of the faith is put most clearly in the 'for all.'"