America Magazine: For “all” or “many”?

Our dear ultra-progressivist America magazine, run by Jesuits for the left, have an article on the pro multis controversy.  At least this is still a controversy to the author: on planets that spin in the normal direction this is a done deal.  Anyway, here is the piece, with my emphases and comments.

The Good Word
A Blog on Scripture and Preaching (contributors)

Authentic Liturgy
Posted At : June 6, 2007 10:46 AM
Related Categories: Chris Chatteris

Well, is it ‘for many’ or ‘for all’? Even here on the Southern tip of Africa, where the number of Catholic mother tongue English speakers is minuscule, it’s also a hot topic. Our local Catholic paper has been running a muscular correspondence between prelates, liturgists and pew-sitters. Here too a core issue is the alleged Latinisation of English. 

Might Italians also react badly if some Anglo-Saxons tried to anglicise their lovely Romance tongue?
Or even Celts: consider the Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly’s tale about how he’s walking happily down a street in his native Glasgow, feeling quite at home, when he’s approached by men in saffron robes with shaven heads chanting ‘Hare Krishna’. ‘And they try to tell me that I’ve got a problem!’ expostulates Connolly.  [What a stupid analogy.]

Vox Clara seems to suggest unclear voices. No translation is perfect, but is it implied that a transcendental expression of Catholic truth exists, and that it happens to be in Latin?  [I think this fellow is doubly confused.   First, the norms were established by the Congregation for Divine Worship in the document Liturgiam authenticam.  Vox Clara is a committee established as a liaison between the CDW and ICEL and conferences of bishops.  Second, the norms don’t aim at a "transcendental" approach, only an accurate approach.]

Apart from the philosophical and theological objections to this, it’s rather a patronising way to deal with a language which has been a vessel and conduit for Christianity for quite some time now, and which today delivers vastly more theological discourse, and liturgical prayer than Latin. How many people think or pray in Latin these days?  [So what?  Being the texts are originally in Latin and we need to have what the texts express.]

I imagine we’ve been here before. As koine Greek gave way to vulgar Latin, for the sake of the wider mission of the Church, Latin is now giving way to English and Spanish for the same reason. I wonder if some Greek speakers wanted to Hellenise the Latin as the Latinists now feel the need to Latinise English. ‘My dear fellow; how can you possibly adequately translate the word logos into anything except, well, logos?!’

Can we ask the Latinisers to take English a little more seriously? Perhaps. During the apartheid era I visited a ‘coloured’ Catholic diocese where the mother tongue is Afrikaans, ‘the language of the oppressor’, a sentiment I then shared. When I attended the Eucharist in Afrikaans, my negative perception collapsed dramatically. Here was clear Catholic faith and piety, intense, prayerful, and faithful, ‘sanctifying’ a despised language.  [Again, so what?]

What further evidence beyond the Incarnation and Pentecost do we need to be convinced that in Christ all languages are sacred and therefore to be trusted?  [It isn’t a matter of trust.  No one is saying that we can’t pray in English.  We are going to be asked, however, to pray what the prayer really says for a change.  And another thing: English isn’t made up exclusively of words with Anglo-Saxon roots.]

Chris Chatteris, S.J.

 

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42 Responses to America Magazine: For “all” or “many”?

  1. Robert says:

    How far the mighty Jesuits have fallen.

  2. Jordan Potter says:

    Latinisation of English? Sorry, that’s already a done deal. The overwhelming majority of English words are Latin in origin, many of them coming into English by way of the French language during and after the Middle Ages, and many others being coined during the Renaissance because the English vocabulary was impoverished and not capable of sustaining creative literature and intellectual activity.

  3. “…the English vocabulary was impoverished and not capable of sustaining creative literature and intellectual activity.”

    My, how history repeats itself! Ever listen to the conversations many people are having on the streets or in restaurants?

  4. danphunter1 says:

    On top of everthing you have said,Father, Father Amorth tells us that Satan hates Latin more than any other language.
    Not a shabby reason to use it in prayer.
    God bless you.

  5. Mighty Joe Young says:

    Are they serious?

  6. Michael says:

    This guy is reaching ludicrously far to make an argument. What is most amusing is that he or any one else would take this seriously—at least to the rational mind.

    However, a barbarian is by definition someone incapable of speaking the language of civilized discourse (which in the ancient world was Greek, the Greeks having invented the term). Could we not say that someone incapable of making a rational argument is likewise a barbarian. Thus the maxim “contra factum non est argumentum”, “against a fact there is no argument” would make no sense to him. The fact that “multi” in Latin means “many” in English is beside the point to the barbarian mind if he wants it to mean something else. And we live in the midst of barbarians, against whom reasoned argument, including clearly stated facts, have no power. Nor, being men of civilization, and Christian civilization at that, can we simply result to the weapons of barbarians, namely force: shouting down our opponents, or if that does not work, employing physical violence to impose our will.

    What is behind this relativistic nonsense, though, is the notion that the deposit of faith (which, by the action of God in history, is recorded in Latin, Greek, et al.) is irrelevant, and the faith is whatever we subjectively make of it. In essence it is a denial of Christianity—of the Incarnation and all that follows from it.

  7. Carmine says:

    Where is charity here on both sides…i pray for all of you. Prayer in any tounge is good…

  8. Dan says:

    What I don’t get is how “for all” is not Latinizing English but “for many” is and how the former “respects” English but the latter doesn’t.

    http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=51676

    By coincidence today I saw the above CWN story, which reports that a diocese in Germany (Rottenburg (apt name)) has, on a vote of its priests (I guess the bishop there is just a figurehead), “rejected” the “for many” translation.

    The article reports:

    “The Rottenburg priests argued that the use of ‘for many’ would be confusing to the faith 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.”

    (Gotta love the way CWN reports it. (Although I was recently reading an essay that Joseph Ratzinger wrote in the 1970s about the “for many” v. “for all” issue and, to my surprise, he said there are substantial arguments for both and, at the time, expressly declined to take a position as to which was better.))

    These German priests probably concluded that since they themselves are so generally confused about everything, the laity too is just as easily confused. If we’re as stupid as these priests think we are, we would really believe that the issue is one of avoiding “confusion.”

    The way the “for all” translation is defended reminds me of a defense I recently heard a priest make of referring to the Holy Spirit as “she.” He is one of those priests whose main concern seems to be “inclusive language” and saying “Pray, sisters and brothers….” etc. But he said the reason the Holy Spirit should be referred to as “she” had to do with the feminine gender of certain words for spirit in Greek and Hebrew. Yeah, right. We’re supposed to believe it’s just a technical translation issue that he suddenly has taken in interest in and that it has nothing to do with the politically correct feminst nonsense that he is so fond of. I’d have more respect for him if he just came out and said, hey, I just read in America magazine that Gloria Steinem says the Holy Spirit is female and that the Pope is a chauvinist pig, and I feel terribly guilty about this and to make up for it I’m going to change the scripture references from “he” to “she” because Gloria Steinem and I know better than the Church and anyway Gloria Steinem is so much more hip then the Pope.

  9. Mark says:

    The article reminds me of a Dominican priest whom I once heard observe that with some 40 languages in his South African parish, it didn’t matter what language mass was said in, nearly everyone was upset that it wasnt said in theirs; yet oddly he did not see Latin as the solution…

  10. D.B. Prewitt says:

    The proper translation of pro multis was already covered at length at Trent & in its wonderful catechism, however to most people [current readers excluded] in the Church today nothing exists before Vatican II. I guess the ICEL liberals had never read the Catechism of the Council of Trent; or perhaps they did and disagreed with it and in there role as translators wanted to put forth a new “progressive” theology in their new and improved “celebration” of the Mass. If people wanted to go to a celebration they would go to a party. If Catholics want to worship the God of all creation they assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. May the Motu Proprio undo, in time the horrible damage that the liberals have done to the One Holy Roman Catholic Church, and may we all live long enough to see it.

  11. Petellius says:

    1) “…the English vocabulary was impoverished and not capable of sustaining creative literature and intellectual activity.”

    Mr. Potter: I agree with you regarding the historical Latinization of English, but the cause, to the best of my knowledge, wasn’t a poverty of vocabulary. Old English seems to have had a rather productive vocabulary (as fas as can be determined from the remains), and in fact many of the Latinate words which were adopted were simply synonyms for the preexisting Anglo-Saxon words that they replaced.

    (An example relevant to the current translation disputes: in Old English, there were two words used to translate Latin “consubstantialis” – “efenedwistlic” and “efenspediglic”; the Latinate “consubstantial” was adopted as a replacement in the Renaissance, and has been used ever since…. well, almost ever since).

    2) “I wonder if some Greek speakers wanted to Hellenise the Latin as the Latinists now feel the need to Latinise English.”

    Here Fr. Chatteris reveals his ignorance, because this is exactly what happened in the creation of Ecclesiastical Latin. Where a straightforward translation existed (e.g., logos = verbum), it was used; but in many instances something new had to be devised on the basis of the Greek. Sometimes the Greek word was just adopted wholesale and transliterated (apostolus, ecclesia, evangelium, etc.); sometimes a new Latin word was fashioned as a calque on the Greek (consubstantialis, unigenitus, salvator, etc.); sometimes a preexisting Latin word was used with a new meaning (e.g., salus, which originally meant “health”, came to mean “salvation”). And of course there was also the Hebrew layer (Sabaoth, pascha, etc.).

    Gosh. It would be nice if people actually bothered to learn about the history of Latin before they started spouting off about it. (Sorry to be so testy, but this argument keeps rearing its head in one form or another, and it is really starting to irritate me.)

    The most famous passage about these changes to the Latin language is St. Augustine’s response to those who lamented that the Christians were sullying the purity of Latin with foreign & invented vocabulary (sound like a familiar complaint?). In his Sermons (299.6), he says:

    “‘Salus’, indeed, is a Latin word. ‘Salvare’ and ‘salvator’ were not Latin words before the Savior came. When He came to the Latins, He made these words Latin.”

  12. Nice chapel Father.

  13. And another thing: English isn’t made up exclusively of words
    with Anglo-Saxon roots.

    Over half of English is from the Latin etymologically, thanks to the Norman Conquest.

  14. Jordan Potter says:

    “Mr. Potter: I agree with you regarding the historical Latinization of English, but the cause, to the best of my knowledge, wasn’t a poverty of vocabulary.”

    Pardon me a moment while I dig out my notes and my Baugh & Cable from the History of the English Language course I took back in 1995 . . . .

    ” *Latin Borrowings in Middle English.* The influence of the Norman Conquest is generally known as the Latin Influence of the Third Period in recognition of the ultimate source of the new French words. But it is right to include also under this designation the large number of words borrowed directly from Latin in Middle English. These differed from the French borrowings in being less popular and in gaining admission generally through the wirtten language. Of course, it must not be forgotten that Latin was a spoken language among ecclesiastics and men of learning, and a certain number of Latin words could well have passed directly into spoken English. Their number, however, is small in comparison with those that we can observe entering by way of literature. In a single work like Trevisa’s translation of the _De Proprietatibus Rerum_ of Bartholomew Anglicus we meet with several hundred words taken over from the Latin original. Since they are not found before this in English, we can hardly doubt that we have here a typical instance of the way such words first came to be used. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were especially prolific in Latin borrowings. An anonymous writer of the first half of the fifteenth century complains that it is not easy to translate from Latin into English, for “there ys many wordes in Latyn that we have no propre Englysh accordynge therto.” [ _The Myroure of Oure Ladye_, EETSES, 19, p.7.] Wycliffe and his associates are credited with more than a thousand Latin words not previously found in English. [Otto Dellit, _Ueber lateinische Elemente im Mittelenglischen_ (Marburg, 1905), p.38.] Since many of them occur in the so-called Wycliffe translation of the Bible and have been retained in subsequent translations, they have passed into common use. The innovations of other writers were not always so fortunate. Many of them, like the inkhorn terms of the Renaissance, were but passing experiments. Nevertheless the permanent additions from Latin to the English vocabulary in this period are much larger than has generally been realized.” (Baugh and Cable, 4th ed., p.180)

  15. Paul,South Midlands, UK says:

    To suggest the Afrikaans or any other language is basically evil and needs sanctifying is in my opinion racism plain and simple (and in my opinion would be seen as such in the new South Africa). Didn’t know the Jesuits were into collective guilt. Was it that long ago that similar opinions were voiced about the hebrew language and look where that led…..

  16. JPG says:

    The simple and elegent reason for correcting the translation even without refering to all of the above arguments is to pick up any English translation of the Bible and the text will say “for many”.
    One sees this in the NAB translation of Matthew and Mark. It woul make eminent sense to have the words of institution be the same at Mass as one is reading in any Bible at home. This is a modest suggestion from a clearly easily confused and stupid layman.
    Everyone have a good day I am off to work.
    JPG
    Fairfield, CT

  17. Michael says:

    Wait a minute! This Jesuit hated Afrikaans because it was the language of the oppressor but yet he loves English, the language that was spread by the British and has maintained its hegemony because of the global dominance of Anglo-American economic interests. What knots the liberal mind must tie itself into as it attempts to make value judgments.

  18. Michael says:

    Sorry about the bad formatting above. The combox would not let me preview my comment so I took my chances and hit publish. The word “Empire” disappeared. It was placed after the word “British” and was intended to be bold to make a point about the coerciveness with which the English language had originally be spread – something which probably has escaped the mind of the good Jesuit author.

  19. RBrown says:

    It is no surprise that the Jesuit is spouting the Company line, which is: When the liturgy was vernacularized in the late 60’s, it was just a repeat of what had happened c. 1700 years earlier in the change from Greek to Latin.

    The flaw in this argument os that the change from Greek to Latin was the adoption of the language of Empire. If a similar strategy would have been followed in the late 60’s, English–the contemporary language of Empire–would have become the liturgical language everywhere in the West, including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and South America.

  20. RBrown says:

    It is no surprise that the Jesuit is spouting the Company line, which is: When the liturgy was vernacularized in the late 60’s, it was just a repeat of what had happened c. 1700 years earlier in the change from Greek to Latin.

    The flaw in this argument is that the change from Greek to Latin was the adoption of the language of Empire. If a similar strategy would have been followed in the late 60’s, English–the contemporary language of Empire–would have become the liturgical language everywhere in the West, including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and South America.

  21. Petellius says:

    Mr. Potter:

    Thank you for the fuller information; I see that I partially misunderstood your first comment. I don’t mean to belabor this, since it is rather peripheral to Fr. Z’s post, but just to clarify:

    True, there were a number of new or technical concepts during the Middle Ages (particularly the late Middle Ages) and Renaissance for which there were not existing English words, and for which Latinate words were adopted (or created). This was particularly common in law, science, theology, and other areas of higher study. I am assuming that this is the sort of thing (specifically the theology aspect) that the anonymous letter-writer whom you cite (following Baugh and Cable) is talking about.

    It seems to me that this was not absolutely necessary, for one of two reasons:

    First, the Old English vocabulary actually did exist for many of the new Latinate words introduced. In Wycliffe’s case, for example, there clearly must have been Old English equivalents for most of the Latinate words he introduced, since the Bible had been translated into Old English several times over the preceding centuries (whether Wycliffe himself was aware of and understood these words is another issue, of course; one for which I do not have a ready answer).

    Second, in the case of the new/technical vocabulary which did not exist in Old English, it would likely have been entirely possible to fashion a word from existing English parts; English was, and still is, very productive of compounds. This is what must have been done in many earlier instances (e.g., in the aforementioned O.E. versions of the Bible), and what was clearly done in most cases in the other Germanic languages. But for any one of a number of possible social reasons (prestige of Latin as an intellectual language; distaste for the common tongue on the part of the Anglo-Normans; whatever) they opted for the Latinate instead.

    Of course, in addition to these mostly technical borrowings straight from the Latin, which happened in the absence of a preexisting English word (though not without the possbility of a new one), there were also the borrowings (from either Norman French or directly from Latin) which were synonymous with preexisting English words.

    In many instances, the Latinate term replaced the English, but in others they continue to exist side-by-side as (near-)synonyms, giving English that two- or even three-level “rich synonymy” which is so often praised (e.g., heathen/pagan, from OE/Latin; kingly/royal/regal, from OE/French/Latin). It is also, oddly, responsible, in a slightly more tortuous way, for the fact that we are missing some rather important words in English (e.g., Eng. “to know” has to cover ground for which most Indo-European languages have at least two separate verbs).

    It was this latter group that I (mistakenly) thought you were talking about above. Apologies for the error. But my point still holds for the former group, I think, given that the decision to adopt a Latin term rather than fashion an English one seems to have been largely governed by social considerations.

    Apologies also for being so long-winded.

  22. Michael says:

    If I remember my history of the English language course in college (more than 20 years ago) the Norman Conquest was the thing that did in a lot of the learned Old English vocabulary. The effect was especially noticeable among the higher clergy, who tended to be of French origin after the conquest. The result was that French, and later latinate English tended to replace the older OE terms, and the tendency was more and more to create new words by borrowing terms from other languages, esp. Latin. Add to the fact that the new clergy did not know Old English well, if at all, so that much of the learned literature of the pre-conquest period was inaccessible to them. This process of creating Latin-based loan words was also greatly accelerated in the 16th-17th centuries when there was a great scholarly fashion in importing Latin words, words that were inaccessible except to a scholarly audience.

    If religious liberals were really interested in having a relevant and easily understandable liturgical idiom, then one would expect them generally to employ a more simple vocabulary with more Germanic root words. Instead they often do the opposite, and treat the rest of us as if we were idiots who can not, for example, distinguish between two uses of a word. For instance, “man”, a perfectly good Anglo-Saxon generic term for homo sapiens, is not politically correct. It is curious that those who decided it was not should choose to emphasize the fact that it could also refer to adult male “men” and not the fact that it coould refer to Man as a species. Where is the logic in that?

    To give another example, one of my favorite hymn verses is full of good Anglo-Saxon

    Hear Him ye deaf; his praise ye dumb
    Your loosened tongues employ;
    Ye blind behold your Saviour come;
    And leap ye lame for joy!

    Has been banished, or changed out of all recognition in all recent hymnals, mostly because the word “dumb” is deemed offensive to those to those who are unable to speak or have difficulty doing so (though no one seems to have actually asked anyone who is “dumb” in that sense whether this hymn offended). Nor in my experience do people have difficulty in distinguishing the two senses of the word when, for example, versions of the Bible that employ it are read.

    The fact is that the language that has been deemed “relevant” and that of the “ordinary person” is not that actually used by ordinary people, but that used by the rather small PC clique who now constitute the leftist elite: if anything, the very artificial idiom they promote for the liturgy, et al., is elitist ideological jargon (as Dr. Peter Berger has pointed out).

  23. Petellius says:

    Michael:

    I agree with you entirely regarding the inconsistency (or, perhaps, duplicity) of the progressives in this regard.

    Of course, it is all but impossible now to restore the original Germanic vocabulary necessary for liturgical use, since most of the words and roots haven’t been used for centuries; or, where they continue in use they are often so altered as to be useless. (To take my earlier example, “efen-” is now “even”; “edwist” no longer survives, but “efenedwistlic” would end up as something like “evenatwistly”; and “efenspediglic” would now be “evenspeedily”. Of course these both would have gone through a number of sound changes, and so wouldn’t actually look like this by now, but you get the point.)

    In any event, as you suggest, they’d have to make up new words, or adapt them, from the Anglo-Saxon bits of the English language that are still extant. But I’d be more amenable to their case – or at least respect it for being more consistent – if they did indeed follow some such course. I actually have some sympathy for such Quixotic projects as William Barnes’ “Pure English” or Percy Grainger’s “Blue-Eyed English” (though I am not sympathetic with the racism that lay behind the latter), which tried to eliminate some of the Romance & Latinate strata of the language. I mean, who doesn’t like the sound of “wortlore” instead of “botany”? But they (that is, the liturgical progressives) just make rather sloppy arguments along these lines on an ad hoc basis, not because they actually think that the Latinate vocabulary is inherently bad or inaccessible (you don’t hear them complainign about, e.g., “Testament”) but just because they like their current inaccurate translations.

    Regarding “man” – I have long thought that the easiest way to make all parties happy in this regard is to restore one of the Old English words for male, both of which have fallen out of use since the Middle Ages.

    In O.E., there were three basic words:

    1) “mann”, the general term for a human (= Lat. “homo”), it could also be used to refer to adult males; this became our “man”
    2) “wif”, originally meaning “woman” (= Lat. “mulier”/”femina”); this became our “wife”
    3) “were”, meaning “man” (in the sense of “male”, = Lat. “vir”); this fell out of common use in the 13th century.

    The latter two were compounded with #1 to produce the more commonly used terms:

    2a) “wif” + “man” = modern “woman”
    3a) “were” + “man” = “wereman”, which fell out of use in about the 14th century.

    In addition there was a slightly more colorful alternate:

    3b) “waepn” (modern “weapon”, here meaning… ahem… the male organ) + “man” = “waepman”, also fell out of use in the 13th century.

    So the revival of either “wereman” or “waepman” would, I think, be the most easiest way out: we could continue to use “man” as it is currently used, and also have a proper term for male humans again, thereby obviating the complaint that the term “man” is necessarily sexist. Plus, we get a cool old word back as a bonus. I realize that no one will ever go along with this idea, but there it is.

  24. RBrown says:

    Where a straightforward translation existed (e.g., logos = verbum), it was used; but in many instances something new had to be devised on the basis of the Greek.

    I would probably disagree with that. Logos has a much richer meaning than Verbum, but believers see Verbum differently because of the Prologue of John.

    Perhaps we can put it this way: Verbum + Ratio = Logos.

  25. Jordan Potter says:

    _3) “were”, meaning “man” (in the sense of “male”, = Lat. “vir”); this fell out of common use in the 13th century._

    Yes, except in the compound word “werewolf,” it’s not used any more.

  26. swmichigancatholic says:

    Yes, but the Jesuits collectively haven’t had a good idea in years. What do they know? They keep trying to repeat the 70s over and over and over……

    You know, I’m a convert and very early on, I heard about the St. Louis Jesuits. I ran out to buy a copy thinking “this is really going to be good, the Jesuits and all!” I played that tape about 20% of the way through ONCE. I couldn’t believe my ears.

    This was one of the opening shots of my wake-up call as a Catholic, along with the ability to sort Catholic books into two obvious piles, with almost all the Jesuits concentrated in the one pile. Much has been written about this since, most notably by Monsignor Michael Wrenn (Catechisms & Controversies, Flawed Expectations). He names authors, and one can count up the Jesuits who fomented the carnage after Vatican II.

    So why would anyone expect the journal “America” to be more than retro entertainment?

  27. swmichigancatholic says:

    It’s been a monumental battle ending the monopoly of influence that the revolutionary progressive wing held in the Church since Vatican II–a battle that has finally turned in just the last few years, as evidenced by the election of Pope Benedict XVI, and the behavior of the cardinals who elected him with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

    It is said that to be a conservative is to be a slow-motion liberal, since they both go the same place, just at different rates. We are now–at the highest levels–off that continuum and not going that someplace (oblivion) anymore for the first time since Vatican II.

    We still have not seen that percolate down to the everyday workings of the Church in many places, but it will if we have enough time for the gravity of the situation to become permanent. Pray for this.

  28. Petellius says:

    “Yes, except in the compound word “werewolf,” it’s not used any more.”

    Also in the (slightly archaic) compound “wergeld”.

    (Incidentally, I only just realized that I have been calling you “Mr. Potter” all along, even though the name “Jordan” is used for both sexes these days. If I have selected the incorrect honorific, you have my apologies.)

    “Logos has a much richer meaning than Verbum, but believers see Verbum differently because of the Prologue of John.”

    I wasn’t trying to suggest that there was a full semantic or theological/philosophical overlap between the two. Two words do not have to be fully equivalent in all connotations (indeed, such a thing is all but impossible) for a translation to be straightforward.

  29. Petellius says:

    A peripheral question for Fr. Z (or anyone who might know):

    Why is it that, when translating “homoousios” into Latin, they opted for “consubstantialis” rather than “coessentialis”? I realize that “subsistere” is more or less synonymous with “esse”, but it seems that the latter would leave less room for ambiguity. This is something that has puzzled me for a while now.

  30. CPKS says:

    In contemporary English, the phrase “for many” has a strong implication of “…but not all”. For example, if a car veered off the road towards a young family and the father leaped in front of his five small children to protect them, dying as a result, we would think it odd if the newspapers reported it as “father dies for many of his children” – there’s an implication there that the father was not intending to save the lives of all his children.

    As the Council of Trent makes clear, Jesus intended his sacrifice to be for all, even though it may alas have been effective only for many. Insofar as it troubles to give this clarification, Trent seems to recognize that there is something to be clarified here.

    Because of this oddness of “for many”, translators of the liturgy have a dilemma. The context in the words of institution does suggest that Jesus is explaining his intention in shedding his blood (and not the fruits, as Trent proposed); and “…for all” does express more exactly the intention of Jesus. To the extent that the plain words of the liturgy ought to express the most important truths, a case can be made for saying that the words of the liturgy ought faithfully to communicate what Jesus intended, rather than try to preserve the precise idiom he used despite its lack of original linguistic context.

    (I should stress that this argument cannot be extended to justify a free or “interpreted” translation of Scripture, where quite different hermeneutical and catechetical principles apply.)

    As we know, what Jesus actually said is “for many”. In doing so, he may arguably have been using a linguistic idiom in which the “…but not for all” implication was less strong, or perhaps absent altogether. He may also have been speaking in a context in which “many” was being contrasted with “one”, that is, stressing the fact that the forthcoming sacrifice on the part of one person was going to lead to the redemption not of that single individual, but lots of people.

    The dilemma is thus: should we adapt the language of the liturgy to make Jesus’s message as clear as possible, and then relate it to his actual words (as preserved in Holy Scripture) by catechetical explanation? Or should we, rather, maintain the exact words in the liturgy, and explain Jesus’s intention via catechesis?

  31. Brian says:

    Comment by CPKS “As we know, what Jesus actually said is “for many”… should we maintain the exact words in the liturgy, and explain Jesus’s intention via catechesis?”

    Jesus was quite clear that not all would make it to heaven, so

    1) the literal “for many” is the only reasonable rendering, and
    2) it seems more prudent to spend time refuting universal salvation than obsessing over this proper/correct interpretation of pro multis as “for many.”

  32. RBrown says:

    Brian,

    This was covered weeks ago here.

    Pro Multis includes the fact that Christ died for all.

    But it does not exclude the possibility that not all will be saved. further, that perhaps only a few will be saved (cf Mt 7:14).

    I like St Thomas’ Redaction in the Catena Aurea which explains “pro multis” as “pro multis gentibus” (for many nations/peoples, not just Jews).

    A very good translation of pro multis (as well as the Greek peri pollon) is “for the multitude”.

  33. RBrown says:

    Why is it that, when translating “homoousios” into Latin, they opted for “consubstantialis” rather than “coessentialis”? I realize that “subsistere” is more or less synonymous with “esse”, but it seems that the latter would leave less room for ambiguity. This is something that has puzzled me for a while now.
    Comment by Petellius

    Using the common lingo of St Thomas, we can say that Peter and John have the same essence (humanity) but do not have the same esse (they’re two different things).

    And so Co-essentialis would open the door to Trinitarian heresy.

  34. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Thank you, RBrown, for such a clear distinction.

  35. dcs says:

    RBrown writes:
    A very good translation of pro multis (as well as the Greek peri pollon) is “for the multitude”.

    Pro multis = For [the] many.
    Pro multitudinis = For the multitude.

  36. RBrown says:

    Pro multis = For [the] many.
    Pro multitudinis = For the multitude.
    Comment by dcs

    1. Your Latin stinks. Multitudinis is genitive. It would be pro multitudine (plural -ibus).

    2. If you consult Lewis & Short, page 1173, you will see three translations of multi–the many, the common man, the multitude.

  37. Michael says:

    This was covered weeks ago here.

    Pro Multis includes the fact that Christ died for all.

    Are you talking about your comment here? You merely asserted there that when Christ said He would shed His blood for many, He meant that He was shedding His blood for all men, but that possibly not all would be saved. You did not demonstrate that that was what was actually going through His mind.

    I share your admiration for the Catena Aurea. Here is exactly what Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote. For Matthew 26:28, the Angelic Doctor quotes Remigius:
    And it is to be noted, that He says not, For a few, nor, For all, but, “For many;” because He came not to redeem a single nation, but many out of all nations.

    And for Mark 14:24:
    It goes on: “Which is shed for many.”
    Pseudo-Jerome: For it does not cleanse all.

    I think it is best to assume that our Lord knew what He meant to say, and said it, and that the Gospel writers faithfully recorded what He wrote. I hope the experiment of fixing up our Lord’s words for the alleged edification of the faithful will end soon.

  38. dcs says:

    RBrown writes:
    Your Latin stinks. Multitudinis is genitive. It would be pro multitudine (plural -ibus).

    Thank you for the correction; you’re right that my Latin does stink. Nevertheless, if “for the multitude” is correct, then one would expect the unambigious “pro multitudine” in the Latin typical edition.

  39. Michael says:

    Consubstantial and coessential

    Here I am on more sure ground. The Greek term ousia was translated by the Latin term substantia. One would have thought that substantia would have been the translation of hypostasis, but in fact hyostasis is usually translated subsistentia. This was because the connotations of substantia and ousia are very much the same, and some of these meaning carry over into the English word substance. E.g., “essence” ousia means very much “substance” like the modern English word, as well as “riches”, again like the English word substance, cf. the expression “a man of substance”. (There is a semantic simlarity with Hebrew word /qabod/, “weight”, “riches”, “glory”, except of course that neither ousia nor substantia mean glory.) The Latin word essentia carries none of these overtones, and saying that the Son was of the same essentia or essence as the Father comes across very weak in both Latin and English, as RBrown points out.

    On the matter of Anglo-Saxon, I am intrigued by the idea, but doubt that waepman or wereman would fly.

    Pax XPi
    Michael

  40. RBrown says:

    Are you talking about your comment here? You merely asserted there that when Christ said He would shed His blood for many, He meant that He was shedding His blood for all men, but that possibly not all would be saved. You did not demonstrate that that was what was actually going through His mind.

    Interpreting a text from Scripture is not a matter of trying to infer Christ’s intent, but rather reading it in light of other texts from Scripture.

    Thus in interpreting the words pro multis (peri pollon), we use other texts. And so the phrase must:

    1. Include the fact that Christ died for all (various texts from Scripture).

    2. NOT exclude the possibility that some might not be saved (cf. text cited earlier).

    Thus the phrase pro multis (peri pollon) is a composite that includes both #1 and #2.

  41. RBrown says:

    Michael,

    1. Also covered this weeks ago. As you note, hypostasis is literally translated as substance. But in fact ousia is what we mean by substantia. And, as you say, we use hypostasis to indicate a subsistent thing.

    2. Essentia is used primarily subjectively–a possible quiddity as understood (thus the distinction between esse and essentia*). And substantia is used primarily objectively–an existing thing participating in a species (i.e., not only this particular existing thing but this particular man).

    But there must be some overlap between essentia and substantia or else the mind would not be adequate to knowledge (adequatio mentis ad rem).

    *Of course, in God esse and essentia are the same.

  42. RBrown says:

    Thank you for the correction; you’re right that my Latin does stink. Nevertheless, if “for the multitude” is correct, then one would expect the unambigious “pro multitudine” in the Latin typical edition.

    Nope. As I noted above, Lewis & Short includes “the multitude” as a translation for the plural “multi”–also “for the many”.

    And “for many” would be “pro multo”.

    But be of good cheer. You were half right.