If “pro multis”, then why not also…

… "consubstantialem Patri"?

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28 Responses to If “pro multis”, then why not also…

  1. Christopher says:

    Exactly. And perhaps it will make it into the Creed. As I understand it,
    ‘consubstantial’ was approved by the other English-speaking conferences, only
    the U.S. bishops voted against it. Having read the minutes of that meeting, I
    notice that Cardinal George and Archbishop Lipscomb, both members of the
    Vox Clara Committee, spoke in its favor, as did as the English bishop, whose
    name escapes me, who spoke to all the U.S. bishops before the vote. Vox Clara
    and the Holy See could easily ignore the U.S. vote.

    And I hope they do. What I am really happy about is that once again it will
    be ‘I believe,’ not ‘We believe.’ Although I am no theologian, I see a connection
    here with ‘pro multis.’ It takes an act of the individual will to believe just
    as it takes actions on the part of an individual to be counted among the ‘many.’

  2. Ioannes says:

    Father,
    What effect does the mistranslation have in regards to Pius V’s De Defectibus ?

    “Defects on the part of the form may arise if anything is missing from the complete wording required for the act of consecrating. Now the words of the Consecration, which are the form of this Sacrament, are: Hoc est enim Corpus meum, and Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. If the priest were to shorten or change the form of the consecration of the Body and the Blood, so that in the change of wording the words did not mean the same thing, he would not be achieving a valid Sacrament. If, on the other hand, he were to add or take away anything which did not change the meaning, the Sacrament would be valid, but he would be committing a grave sin”.

  3. Ioannes: Without question, a validly ordained priest with the proper intention and proper elements using the present translation validly consecrates the Eucharist.

  4. Diane says:

    Christopher, if I recall, there were far more bishops who spoke in favor of the “consubstantial”, but Bishop Trautman kept sidelining the discussion and it then ended. But not before a good many US Bishops spoke their mind on it.

  5. Petellius says:

    I think one of the most amusing/absurd arguments of the anti-”consubstantial” camp is that the Latin texts of the Mass would have been immediately accessible to the Latin-speaking Christians of the Late Empire. Thus, it is argued, we also should desire a similarly colloqial, easily accessible translation for the modern man on the street. I have heard this argument dozens of times (albeit generally from less well-versed liturgists).

    It is, of course, nonsense. Even if we accept the major argument (that the Mass should be accessible to us in the same way as it was to the ancient Christians), the facts are wrong. “consubstantialis” – an obvious calque on the Greek – was a word which was made up by the early Fathers of the Church (I think it first occurs in Tertullian), and which is not attested anywhere outside of theological texts. Thus, it is likely that the average Latin-speaking Christians of the time never heard this word outside of the context of Mass, and would not have really understood it without proper catechesis. (For a rather more ridiculous parallel, think of all the jargon that tends to color academic writing these days: “the postmodern hermeneutic of metaliterary reception” anyone?)

    Why, then, should we care if we have a non-colloqial translation of a word that was never colloquial to begin with?

    (Not that I need to tell you this, Father. Just venting a little.)

  6. Ben D. says:

    I’m as thrilled as anyone to hear about these developments; that said, do they foreshadow further delays in the use of the new English translation here in the States?

    The revised Ordinary is currently awaiting recognitio, right? But Rome isn’t going to give recognitio if it says “for all” (which it does, unless I’m mistaken). So then what happens? Does it go back to the USCCB, and thence back to ICEL, and then to the USCCB, and finally to Rome again for recognitio? Or can Rome override the USCCB’s amendments, on a case-by-case basis (Again, if I’m not mistaken, ICEL actually presented “for many” to the USCCB, which then amended it to “for all”)?

  7. Diane says:

    With an infrequently used term like “consubstantial”, it would drive people to learn what it means. Priests and bishops should be explaining it. Catechesis is the key with all of these things.

  8. michigancatholic says:

    I believe that the way this is being presented means they could simply insert the Holy Father’s choice of words. After all, there is no recognitio required on this choice of Benedict XVI (and there should not be!)

  9. David says:

    In the end it all comes down to whether the Church is prepared to acknowledge the importance of catechisation or not. Just because something isn’t immediately understandable doesn’t mean that it should not be taught.

  10. David, your point is good. We must be willing to catechize about things that are difficult to understand, as well as those which are easy. This applies also to things which are easy or difficult to accept as well. However, I don’t think there is anything very difficult in explaining how Christ died for all, but not all would accept that gift. Some would refuse it. That is not very hard. What might be harder… a lot harder… is getting people to figure out that they may be actually in the state of refusal of the saving gift of Christ’s Sacrifice.

  11. RBrown says:

    What effect does the mistranslation have in regards to Pius V’s De Defectibus ?

    “Defects on the part of the form may arise if anything is missing from the complete wording required for the act of consecrating. Now the words of the Consecration, which are the form of this Sacrament, are: Hoc est enim Corpus meum, and Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. If the priest were to shorten or change the form of the consecration of the Body and the Blood, so that in the change of wording the words did not mean the same thing, he would not be achieving a valid Sacrament. If, on the other hand, he were to add or take away anything which did not change the meaning, the Sacrament would be valid, but he would be committing a grave sin”.

    Pius V was speaking about the Sacramental Form.

    Consubstantialiem is not part of the Sacramental Form.

  12. John Spangler says:

    I believe the comment about “De defectibus” was directed at the “interpretative translation” (Cardinal Arizne’s diplomatic phrasing) for “pro multis.”

    My recollection is that the Holy See issued a statement that in dealing with the vernacular translations, the Latin original was controlling and indicative of the mind of the Church, not whatever vernacular words might be used. Father Z will know when and where that was published, I am sure.

    It is truly a great day for all who love the Church and her Sacred Liturgy!

  13. RBrown says:

    OK

    “Defects on the part of the form may arise if anything is missing from the complete wording required for the act of consecrating. Now the words of the Consecration, which are the form of this Sacrament, are: Hoc est enim Corpus meum, and Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. If the priest were to shorten or change the form of the consecration of the Body and the Blood, so that in the change of wording the words did not mean the same thing, he would not be achieving a valid Sacrament. If, on the other hand, he were to add or take away anything which did not change the meaning, the Sacrament would be valid, but he would be committing a grave sin”.

    The mistranslation of pro multis into for all does not change the meaning of the consecretory words, which are the words that signify the matter–Hic est calix sanguinis mei (that which signifies) and wine (the matter which is to be signified).

    NB: In the account of the institution of the Eucharist found in Luke and St Paul (1st Cor), there is no mention in the consecration of Blood of pro anyone. Are we to say that Luke and Paul were saying invalid masses?

  14. Maureen says:

    Besides, if it’s an approved translation, any defects are covered by the “what is bound on earth is bound in heaven” aspect of the bishops’ keys. So the Mass and the priest are covered, and both licit and valid.

    The bishops who approved the translation would be the ones who’d have to worry.

  15. Guy Power says:

    …With an infrequently used term like “consubstantial”, it would drive people to learn what it means. …

    Perhaps US bishops think Americans are too ill-educated to figure out what consubstantial means! But, if the average-educated American can understand concelebration, confraternal, confluxand conclave, then why not “consubstantiation”?

    Heck, most Americans know what transmogrification is (errr …that is, if they are readers of the comic strip “Calvin & Hobbes”)

    http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/5990/transmogrification8ap.gif
    http://www.tf.uni-kiel.de/matwis/amat/def_en/kap_5/illustr/transmogrification.gif

  16. Anonymous says:

    “The mistranslation of pro multis into for all does not change the meaning of the consecretory words, which are the words that signify the matter—Hic est calix sanguinis mei (that which signifies) and wine (the matter which is to be signified).

    NB: In the account of the institution of the Eucharist found in Luke and St Paul (1st Cor), there is no mention in the consecration of Blood of pro anyone. Are we to say that Luke and Paul were saying invalid masses?”

    St. Thomas Aquinas in his Catechism taught:
    The form of this Sacrament is the very words of Christ, “This is My Body,” and “This is the chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal testament; the mystery of faith; which shall be shed for you and for many, to the remission of sins.” According to St. Thomas, the consecration includes the mistranslated words.

    St. Paul and St. Luke have pro vobis (“for you”). But neither claims to be providing a missal. They do not claim to be providing a complete transcript of our Lord’s words at the Last Supper, either. They do include some of His words, and pro universis is not among them, so neither provides justification for putting the words “for all” into our Lord’s mouth at the consecration.

  17. RBrown says:

    St. Thomas Aquinas in his Catechism taught:
    The form of this Sacrament is the very words of Christ, “This is My Body,” and “This is the chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal testament; the mystery of faith; which shall be shed for you and for many, to the remission of sins.” According to St. Thomas, the consecration includes the mistranslated words.

    Incorrect.

    The argument I used above is taken from St Thomas (ST, III, 78, 3, Resp)

    Consequently it must be said that all the aforesaid words belong to the substance of the form; but that by the first words, “This is the chalice of My blood,” the change of the wine into blood is denoted (Latin: significatur), as explained above (Article [2]) in the form for the consecration of the bread; but by the words which come after is shown the power of the blood shed in the Passion, which power works in this sacrament . . .

    St. Paul and St. Luke have pro vobis (“for you”). But neither claims to be providing a missal. They do not claim to be providing a complete transcript of our Lord’s words at the Last Supper, either. They do include some of His words, and pro universis is not among them, so neither provides justification for putting the words “for all” into our Lord’s mouth at the consecration.
    1. The writings of Paul and Luke are part of Revelation, from which any missal is composed.
    2. I never justified the use of “for all”. In fact, in an earlier thread I gave the basis for pro multis by referring to the Greek as well as various other passages of Scripture. Evidently, you missed it.

  18. Michael says:

    RBrown, Are you saying that I have inaccurately quoted the Catechism of St. Thomas? I provided a link to a translation, and quoted from the first paragraph, where St. Thomas teaches that the form for the consecration of the wine is “This is the chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal testament; the mystery of faith; which shall be shed for you and for many, to the remission of sins.”

    He teaches exactly the same in the article from the Summa which you quoted. Just before the part you quoted, St. Thomas writes:
    Some have maintained that the words “This is the chalice of My blood” alone belong to the substance of this form, but not those words which follow. Now this seems incorrect, because the words which follow them are determinations of the predicate, that is, of Christ’s blood. consequently they belong to the integrity of the expression.

    And on this account others say more accurately that all the words which follow are of the substance of the form down to the words, “As often as ye shall do this,” …

    Consequently it must be said that all the aforesaid words belong to the substance of the form…

    St. Thomas then describes the purpose of of the various words which together constitute the form of the sacrament. Note that he says that all of the words up to and including “remission of sins” are part of the form, not just the part that denotes the change of wine into blood.

    In objection 2 of this article St. Thomas considers the possibility that the form is simply the words “This is the chalice of My blood”, without the words that follow, but he rejects this theory.

    And please also note objection 1 with its reply, where St. Thomas affirms the longer form as the proper form.

    1. The writings of Paul and Luke are part of Revelation, from which any missal is composed.
    True enough, but that still does not mean that the Gospel of St. Luke, or St. Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians are themselves missals.

    I never justified the use of “for all”. In fact, in an earlier thread…
    Good. We agree that “for all” is an incorrect translation of both the Latin and the Greek and ought to be fixed.

  19. RBrown says:

    1. The writings of Paul and Luke are part of Revelation, from which any missal is composed.

    True enough, but that still does not mean that the Gospel of St. Luke, or St. Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians are themselves missals.

    Irrelevant.

    The question, to which I first responded, was whether the use of “for all” renders the Sacrament invalid. My point is that the Pauline-Lukan consecretory formula is evidence that it does not.


    I never justified the use of “for all”. In fact, in an earlier thread…

    Good. We agree that “for all” is an incorrect translation of both the Latin and the Greek and ought to be fixed.

    Of course, but it goes deeper than that. To me the best translation is “for the multitude”. One of the Fathers says that “pro multis” actually means “pro multis gentibus”, for many nations or peoples.

    In my lectures I have at times devoted an entire period to understanding the essence of “pro multis”.

    I’ll respond later to your comments on St Thomas.

  20. RBrown says:

    Let’s do this again:

    1. The writings of Paul and Luke are part of Revelation, from which any missal is composed.

    True enough, but that still does not mean that the Gospel of St. Luke, or St. Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians are themselves missals.

    Irrelevant.

    The question, to which I first responded, was whether the use of “for all” renders the Sacrament invalid. My point is that the Pauline-Lukan consecretory formula is evidence that it does not.

    I never justified the use of “for all”. In fact, in an earlier thread…

    Good. We agree that “for all” is an incorrect translation of both the Latin and the Greek and ought to be fixed.

    It goes deeper than that.

    To me the best translation is “for the multitude”. One of the Fathers says that “pro multis” actually means “pro multis gentibus”, for many nations or peoples. BTW, in my lectures I have at times devoted an entire period to understanding the essence of “pro multis”.

  21. RBrown says:

    RBrown, Are you saying that I have inaccurately quoted the Catechism of St. Thomas? I provided a link to a translation, and quoted from the first paragraph, where St. Thomas teaches that the form for the consecration of the wine is “This is the chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal testament; the mystery of faith; which shall be shed for you and for many, to the remission of sins.”

    ST, III, 78, 1:

    First, because the form of the other sacraments implies the use of the matter, as for instance, baptizing, or signing; but the form of this sacrament implies merely the consecration of the matter, which consists in transubstantiation, as when it is said, “This is My body,” or, “This is the chalice of My blood.”

    BTW, I am unaware of any catechism written by St Thomas.

    He teaches exactly the same in the article from the Summa which you quoted. Just before the part you quoted, St. Thomas writes:
    Some have maintained that the words “This is the chalice of My blood” alone belong to the substance of this form, but not those words which follow. Now this seems incorrect, because the words which follow them are determinations of the predicate, that is, of Christ’s blood. consequently they belong to the integrity of the expression.

    And on this account others say more accurately that all the words which follow are of the substance of the form down to the words, “As often as ye shall do this,” …

    Consequently it must be said that all the aforesaid words belong to the substance of the form…

    St. Thomas then describes the purpose of of the various words which together constitute the form of the sacrament. Note that he says that all of the words up to and including “remission of sins” are part of the form, not just the part that denotes the change of wine into blood.

    And please also note objection 1 with its reply, where St. Thomas affirms the longer form as the proper form.

    The 2d objection makes two arguments: First, that “Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei” is a valid consecration; Second, that those words comprise the entire form. St Thomas only rejects the second argument. This confirms what I said above, i.e., all the words of the form of the second consecration are not necessary for validity, only those words that determine (significare) the matter.

    The 1st objection concerns whether the use of calix is proper, in so far as what is signified is His Blood, i.e., that reference to Blood should be in the nominative (i.e., This is My Blood). Ad 1 is a reply that defends the fact that the reference to His Blood is not in the nominative but rather the genitive.

    One final point: According to St Thomas (ST, III, 60, 8), the Sacramental form is rendered invalid when the change to the substance of the form destroys the essential sense of the words.

    I maintain that “for all”–even if necessary for consecration–does not destroy the essential sense.

    Why? Because “pro multis” is analogical, including two distinct concepts: (1) That Christ died for all (de fide); and (2) that it does not exclude the possibility the number saved is only rather a few (this is the opinion of St Thomas).

    The use of “for all” does not contradict #2 but rather underemphasizes it. And so it is an accidental change that does not destroy the essential sense.

    * I recommend all eight articles.

  22. RBrown says:

    Let’s do part of it again:

    He teaches exactly the same in the article from the Summa which you quoted. Just before the part you quoted, St. Thomas writes:
    Some have maintained that the words “This is the chalice of My blood” alone belong to the substance of this form, but not those words which follow. Now this seems incorrect, because the words which follow them are determinations of the predicate, that is, of Christ’s blood. consequently they belong to the integrity of the expression.

    And on this account others say more accurately that all the words which follow are of the substance of the form down to the words, “As often as ye shall do this,” …

    Consequently it must be said that all the aforesaid words belong to the substance of the form…

    St. Thomas then describes the purpose of of the various words which together constitute the form of the sacrament. Note that he says that all of the words up to and including “remission of sins” are part of the form, not just the part that denotes the change of wine into blood.

    And please also note objection 1 with its reply, where St. Thomas affirms the longer form as the proper form.

    The 2d objection makes two arguments: First, that “Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei” is a valid consecration; Second, that those words comprise the entire form. St Thomas only rejects the second argument. This confirms what I said above, i.e., all the words of the form of the second consecration are not necessary for validity, only those words that determine (significare) the matter.

    The 1st objection concerns whether the use of calix is proper, in so far as what is signified is His Blood, i.e., that reference to Blood should be in the nominative (i.e., This is My Blood). Ad 1 is a reply that defends the fact that the reference to His Blood is not in the nominative but rather the genitive.

    One final point: According to St Thomas (ST, III, 60, 8), the Sacramental form is rendered invalid when the change to the substance of the form destroys the essential sense of the words.

    I maintain that “for all”—even if necessary for consecration—does not destroy the essential sense.

    Why? Because “pro multis” is analogical, including two distinct concepts: (1) That Christ died for all (de fide); and (2) that it does not exclude the possibility the number saved is only rather a few (this is the opinion of St Thomas).

    The use of “for all” does not contradict #2 but rather underemphasizes it. And so it is an accidental change that does not destroy the essential sense.

    NB: I recommend all eight articles in ST, III, 60. When I was at the Angelicum, I had an entire course on Q 60.

  23. Aquinas says:

    My remark is partly off-topic, but I cannot resist posting it.

    The Polish version of the Missal translates “eamque (Ecclesiam), secundum voluntatem tuam pacificare et coadunare digneris” (from the Rites of Communion) as: “zgodnie z TwojÄ… wolÄ… napeÅ‚niaj go pokojem i doprowadź do peÅ‚nej jednoÅ›ci”, which most accurately can be translated into English as: “according to Your will grant her peace and bring her to full unity”. AFAIK that’s both inaccurate and heretic.

  24. Michael says:

    The question, to which I first responded, was whether the use of “for all” renders the Sacrament invalid. My point is that the Pauline-Lukan consecretory formula is evidence that it does not.

    Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:25 are partial quotes of our Lord’s words at the last supper, taken from documents that were not written for use as liturgical texts. It is not self-evident that they are adequate as consecretory formulae.

    Even if they are, that merely shows that the words “for many” can be omitted; it does not demonstrate that the words “for all” can be added.

    I am not attempting to argue that “for all” renders the consecration invalid. My point is to argue that the words “for all” are part of the consecretory formula of the Novus Ordo as currently translated into English. You said the consecratory words are “Hic est calix sanguinis mei”. St. Thomas by contrast, seems to indicate a longer formula — the same formula, in fact, cited by Pope St. Pius V in the question that Ioannes asked above.

  25. Michael says:

    To me the best translation is “for the multitude”.

    In the comments on another article in Father Z’s blog, someone said that “for the many” in Greek would be περι των πολλων. But Matthew 26:28 in Greek (see here or here) has just περι πολλων. Are you sure that the “the” in your best translation is justified?

  26. Michael says:

    ST, III, 78, 1: …the form of this sacrament implies merely the consecration of the matter, which consists in transubstantiation, as when it is said, “This is My body,” or, “This is the chalice of My blood.”

    What do you say St. Thomas meant when he said in ST, III, 78, 3: “others say more accurately that all the words which follow are of the substance of the form down to the words, ‘As often as ye shall do this’, …”?

    In that sentence St. Thomas concisely states which words are in the consecration.

    In your comments on the 2nd objection, I think you have already agreed that the teaching of St. Thomas is that the form for the consecration extends from “Hic est calix sanguinis mei” to “effundetur in remissionem peccatorum”:
    The 2d objection makes two arguments: First, that “Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei” is a valid consecration; Second, that those words comprise the entire form. St Thomas only rejects the second argument.

    I don’t see in his reply any affirmation that “Hic est calix sanguinis mei” by itself is sufficient, but even if it were, that would be irrelevant since the Novus Ordo consecration has more than that; the rest of the words have to be taken into account. By emphasizing that “for all” or “for many” is part of the consecration, my hope is to emphasize the seriousness and importance of getting these words right.

    In ST, III, 78, 3, ad 1, St. Thomas offers the objection that the following is not the proper form: “This is the chalice of My blood, of the New and Eternal Testament, the Mystery of Faith, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the forgiveness of sins.”

    In his reply, he uses only the words “This is the chalice of My blood” to stand for the whole expression. That he means the whole expression is evident from the objection he is answering, and from the title of the section (notice the et cetera), and from the paragraphs immediately preceeding this reply, particularly where he says that the substance of the form includes all the words down to but not including “As often as ye shall do this.”

    Getting back to article 1, it seems that there too he was using the shorter phrase “This is the chalice of My blood” to stand in for the unwieldy whole. Otherwise, there is a discrepancy between what he says in articles 1 and 3.

    It is article 3 that considers the words actually used for the consecration of the wine. Article 1 deals with the question of whether other parts of the Mass and Last Supper ought to be considered part of the consecration.

  27. Michael says:

    BTW, I am unaware of any catechism written by St Thomas.

    According to the translator’s preface found here, the Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas is for the most part a collection of sermons the Angelic Doctor delivered in the last year of his life (+ 1274). However, the part we are interested in, the “Explanation of the Seven Sacraments” is the second part of a treatise, “De fidei articulis et septem sacramentis,” which St. Thomas wrote at the request of the Archbishop of Palermo in 1261-62. The Catechetical Instructions of St. Thomas were used in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries as manuals and textbooks for priests and teachers of religion.

    “pro multis” is analogical, including two distinct concepts: (1) That Christ died for all (de fide); and (2) that it does not exclude the possibility the number saved is only rather a few (this is the opinion of St Thomas).

    I’m not sure how “pro multis” carries the meaning of “for all”, even as a secondary meaning, if you read it as a translation of St. Matthew’s περι πολλων. According to this individual, claiming to hold a PHD in Greek, the Oxford Greek-English Lexicon’s definition of polus runs over two pages, with a variety of synonyms listed, but no “all” or even “multitude”. Similarly, in this article, the author notes that Liddell and Scott’s standard Greek Lexicon lists many nuances of meaning with examples drawn from a variety of sources, but “all” is not amoung the possible meanings listed for πολλοί.

    Thank you for your recommendation of ST, III, 60. I have not read that part of the Summa before, but will.

  28. Michael: The problem here is that in translating the consecration formula the Church is not intending mainly to translate Scripture. The Church needs to provide a translation of the consecration formula. The Latin liturgical text constitutes its own starting point. The Church needs to consider the Latin text, not a Greek text, read certainly with the twin lenses of Scripture and also Tradition.