Sacramentum caritatis retranslated?

It is has been reported that the Pope’s Post-Synodal Exhoration Sacramentun caritatis has been retranslated, or at least reworked.

I have not checked out this claim yet.

As you remember, the official English text at the time of the document’s release was loaded with terrible translation errors.  They were NOT just mistakes. They were pretty clearly motivated by something other than what Pope Benedict was thinking.

Perhaps some of you can start digging into this question.  Let’s see if we can verify some changes.

Here are links to some entries in this blog on the Exhortation and its translation:

ALERT: An exhortation TO ARMS!!

Who’s guarding the guards?

A serious problem in Sacramentum caritatis 23

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Sacramentum caritatis retranslated?

  1. Vox Borealis says:

    Hi Father Z,

    Did you mean to write “They were NOT just mistakes”–implying something more sinister, or at least conscious? Or did you mean that the poor translations were in fact just mistakes, reflective perhaps of some subconscious motivations?

  2. I only just found this out, so I figured that maybe the Vatican had gotten Fr. Z to provide a better translation ;)

    Apparently the parts in regards to the use of Latin are differant.

  3. Problem is, I cannot recall the exact wording of the previous translation.

    Here is paragraph 62 on the use of Latin from the “new” translation:

    62. None of the above observations should cast doubt upon the importance of such large-scale liturgies. I am thinking here particularly of celebrations at international gatherings, which nowadays are held with greater frequency. The most should be made of these occasions. In order to express more clearly the unity and universality of the Church, I wish to endorse the proposal made by the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the directives of the Second Vatican Council, (182) that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, it is fitting that such liturgies be celebrated in Latin. Similarly, the better-known prayers (183) of the Church’s tradition should be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung. Speaking more generally, I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant. (184)

    **************

    Notice anything?

  4. Josh says:

    Yes,

    a change can be seen in

    (182) that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, it is fitting that such liturgies be celebrated in Latin

    the previous translation said that such liturgies could be celebrated in Latin. This corrected translation was actually released about a month ago

  5. Paul says:

    Jonathon,

    Regarding paragraph 62, it is unchanged from the copy of “Sacramentum Caritatis” that I printed on 3/30/2007.

  6. D.B. Prewitt says:

    Vox,
    There undoubtedly were deliberate mistranslations to the text. This is just another example in a long pattern of disturbing intentional mistranslations designed to advance the liberal agenda in the Church. This it all to replace the orthodox Catholic Theology with a man-centered, excuse me a person-centered philosophy and cosmology rather than a theology. Look at the most infamous example of mistranslation, the translation of “pro multis [for the many]” to “for all” the latter truly fits with the bad theology that the liberals have been forcing down the throats of good orthodox Catholics for over 40 years. It would seem to me that anything that comes out from the Church in any other language with the exception of Latin must be carefully examined, and then even when in Latin examined for orthodoxy. Things need to change in the Church. The return of the Tridentine Mass and Sacraments is the answer! May Pope Benedict XVI live and reign for as long as the Lord wills it!

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    Or did you mean that the poor translations were in fact just mistakes, reflective perhaps of some subconscious motivations?

    As I recall from the previous threads, the other vernacular translations (e.g., Italian) got it mostly right. Are we to assume that only the English translators in the Vatican work mainly while unconcious, or with subconscious motivations that render them incompetent? As for me, I suspect they were fully conscious when they did this job. (Those of us who have taken Father Z’s six-year seminar on the 1973 ICEL “translation” of the Roman Missal have a pretty keen nose for this sort of thing. Actually, the smell is pretty obvious.)

  8. vox borealis says:

    Henry and D.B.–that’s what I had thought, and I see Fr. Z corrected his text (adding the previously missing ‘NOT’). One wonders if the ICEL translated was repsonsible for Fr. Z’s original text! ; )

  9. vox borealis says:

    Henry and D.B.–that’s what I had thought, and I see Fr. Z corrected his text (adding the previously missing ‘NOT’). One wonders if the ICEL translated was responsible for Fr. Z’s original text! ; )

  10. caleb1x says:

    Wouldn’t be nice if there were an “open editing” style web site that used the wiki software to allow an array of users to contribute to English-language translations of the official Latin promulgations? This way, there would be an alternative to the Vatican translations, and these translations would be subject to review and discussion.

  11. swmichigancatholic says:

    Caleb,

    That would be pretty peculiar, wouldn’t it?

    You might get gangs of dissidents knocking out all the positives with negatives and the other way round, just for kicks. You’d be translating mighty fast, I think. Come to think of it, that sounds like Catholic higher education……..

    I also think it might underscore the modern notion that something says whatever one says it says, which is unspeakably dumb.

  12. swmichigancatholic says:

    Henry,
    There aren’t very many conclusions that one can come to re translations into English. Either the English language translators are duplicitous prevaricators or they are as dumb as a fence post. Take your pick. I’m not going to commit myself to one or the other. They both turn out pretty much the same on this one.

  13. Luke Perez says:

    Fr. Z,

    I have yet to read Sacramentun caritatis but have purchased a copy in English from my local Catholic bookstore. I had been waiting until I had some free time and now that I’m finished with the school year, it is on the top of my reading list… should I wait?

    LMP

  14. Rose says:

    Someone had a good idea on this blog (on one of the threads): the translation should be attributed for accountability.

  15. Raymundus says:

    Is there any way we can get a re-translation of the Compendium of the Catechism? I’m reading the English and the Spanish side by side (as I am giving instructions to a Mexican couple), and the English is either wimpy or outright weird in its rendering of the Latin. The Spanish is much nicer.

    Oh, and I found out from the English version that St. Turibius was not from Mongrovejo, but Montenegro…?

  16. Henry Edwards says:

    swmichigancatholic: With appreciation for your generous and charitable intent, I doubt that any study via WDTPRS of the whole annual cycle of Sunday Mass propers can support the conclusion that the 1973 ICEL translation of the Roman Missal is the result of mere chance or incompetence. Evidence of intelligent design is too abundant.

  17. swmichigancatholic says:

    Like translating “Et cum spiritu tuo” as “And also with you?”
    I’m not a student of latin, but even I can tell you that’s just wrong. The transcendent language was completely purged, to be replaced by the flat plaintives “we do this” and “we do that,” “God remember this” and “God remember that” consistently. The missal looks like it was translated with a pocket dictionary and a word count limit. The whole thing begs to be released from its 1970s-bound grooviness, flat pedestrian prose and elementary school grammar errors.

    Either they didn’t take Latin seriously or they didn’t take English seriously throughout the translation. One can even speculate on how seriously they were taking the mass itself at that point, re their obvious pressing concerns over cultural changes and ideological indoctrination. There is some evidence the translators thought we could be unwittingly “improved” by this stark alteration of the central act of the Church. There was a huge amount of hubris in the entire enterprise–we’ll just shove this on laypeople, they won’t know the difference, we’ll build a change in them without their consent, and so on. This was in a different age of communication though, and people in multiple roles were naive in many ways.

    The translation is as dated as a Peter, Paul & Mary song and of very poor quality linguistically. Thus, the recent work of the NEW reconstituted ICEL & Vox Clara.

    If there was, as you say, intelligent design involved, it wasn’t of the liturgical or linguistic kind, rather it was of the political or “social engineering” kind.

  18. RC says:

    A misleading expression in the old version had the priest speaking “in the name of the liturgical assembly” (rather than in persona Christi?) This is toned down in the new version.

    old:

    For this reason, the priest, standing in the presence of the verum Corpus natum de Maria Virgine on the altar and speaking in the name of the liturgical assembly, says in the words of the canon: “We honour Mary, the ever-virgin mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God.”

    new:
    For this reason, as the priest prepares to receive on the altar the verum Corpus natum de Maria Virgine, speaking on behalf of the liturgical assembly, he says in the words of the canon: “We honour Mary, the ever-virgin mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God”.