The Latin text of the Holy Father’s encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia (EdE) became a battlefield in the pro multis wars being waged in the halls of the Holy See. You might remember what happened.
In that encyclical the late Pope referred to the words of "institution" (that’s "consecration" for me and you). He used, in the English, “for all” rather than “for many.” This also appeared in the unofficial Latin of the encyclical at the time of its release. "ARRRGGH", quoth I. Then I got down to work to figure out what had happened.
In my WDTPRS columns I went through all the Scripture and showed also that, probably in their haste, the people in charge of the release of the encyclical had made mistakes in the Biblical citations. “Mt 14:24” should have been either Matthew 26:28 or Mark 14:24.
Can you believe that? That shot red flags up the pole for me, I can tell you. Something was very very fishy about this whole thing.
If that wasn’t bad enought, the Latin version of the Encyclical, at the time of its first release said: “qui pro vobis funditur et pro omnibus in remissionem peccatorum” which changed the words of Scripture and thus the Mass formula!
Mind you, the citation was clearly a paraphrase of the account and not a direct quote: it was cited with a confer (“cf.” or “cfr”) reference, so they have an out. However, that was in fact, in black on white, the text at the time of the public release of Ecclesia de Eucharistia.
But wait, there’s more. The certified text of any papal document is always promulgated in the official monthly publication of the Holy See called Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS). Very often, after big documents come out with a great bang and splash, some months later the real text is issued, and it is different - and no one knows it because no one reads the Latin anymore.
When you look now at the official AAS text of the EdE 2 wherein the Pope supposedly changed pro multis to pro omnibus we find that a correction has been made (cf. AAS 95 – 7 July 2003 – p. 434). The pro multis is back in its proper place, the errant Scripture citations are cleaned up, and the bad pro omnibus is not to be found.
Someone, God bless him, put the smack down on pro omnibus in EdE 2.
A Polish colleague of mine verifies that on the Vatican’s website, the Polish version of EdE says “za wielu…for many” in the controverted spot.
Draw your conclusions as you will, someone, if not Pope John Paul himself (or a future Pope), had the clout to get this changed. Since this was clearly a DOCTRINAL issue, I wonder who else could have been involved. Hmmmmm…..