Discrepancy in Latin: continenter and stabiliter – Holy See and USCCB texts online DO NOT MATCH

UPDATE:   10 October 2007 (1951 GMT):  On the website of the USCCB Liturgy office there has been an addition change concerning their links to texts of Summorum Pontificum.  Yesterday they added the disclaimer that the Latin text (that doesn’t match the website of the Holy See) was provided them by the Nunciature.  Now they have also added a link to the Latin text on the Holy See’s website together with an explanation of where they got the texts.   I did some underlining of my own in red.

I can only stand up an applaud the liturgy office for being straight forward and indentifying the sources and setting our minds to rest.  Also, I am told that they are actively seeking clarifications.  They want to do the right thing and provide good and accurate sources.

End Update 

UPDATE:   9 October 2007 (1530 GMT): A change has been made to the website of the USCCB Liturgy office.  At the link to the text of Summorum Pontificum a disclaimer has been added.  Here is a screenshot detail with my addition in red:

Here is what we can surmise.

Some days before the official release of the Motu Proprio, the USCCB received a text through the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington D.C.   Below, in the comments, you can see I posted a screen shot showing that USCCB’s pdf is dated 6 July. After the official release of the Motu Proprio on 7 July, it was found that the document distributed the the world’s bishops through the Nunciatures had discrepencies.  One of those was the one I identified between continenter (in the official release on 7 July and on the Holy See website) and stabiliter (on the USCCB site from the text the Nunciature gave them).   So, it seems that the problem actually originates NOT with the USCCB but probably with the way the Holy See sent out the document.  When dicasteries want to distribute documents to the world’s bishops, they send through through the Secretariate of State’s diplomatic mail bag.  Sometime between the time the text of Summorum Pontificum was sent to the bishops through the Nunciatures and 7 July when the document was released, there were changes made to the text.  You might remember that just before 7 July, the Holy Father met with a group of bishops from around the world.  It was said at that time that some changes were made.

I think this is what explains the discrepency.

This is not a conspiracy to undermine the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.  If anything, this merely reveals some not insignificant flaws in the communication process between dicasteries of the Holy See, the Nuniciatures and the bishops.  In this day of rapid communication, this is deeply disturbing.  However, this is a matter of lousy lines of communication, not conspiracy.

God forbid that on 7 July, the wrong text was released to the world.   That is unthinkable.  The only explanation is that noone bothered to send corrected versions through the Nunciatures to the bishops at the time the changes were made and approved by the Supreme Pontiff.

In my opinion the USCCB, or any other episcopal conference that might be linking to a text that pre-dates the official 7 July release, if they choose to maintain a link to the text they received from the Holy See through the Nunciature, then they should also link to the text as it appears on the website of the Holy See. 

Eventually the text of the Motu Proprio will be confirmed one way or another.  However, linking to the Holy See’s text would do a lot to help some of the conspiracy theorists out there that the USCCB (or other conference) is plotting to undermine Summorum Pontificum by distributing false texts.

At the same time, the fact remains that many bishops might be forming policies about Summorum Pontificum based on a faulty Latin text sent to them in innocence, and therefore inaccurate translations.

END UPDATE

________

There is a huge problem in the online versions of provided by the and the pdf document provided online by the website of the USCCB Liturgy office.

Art. 5, § 1. In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat. …

My translation: In parishes, where there is continuously present a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition, let the pastor willingly receive their petitions that Mass be celebrated according to the Rite of the Missale Romanum issued in 1962.

There are several terms in the Latin that are a little tricky.  We don’t know how big a coetus is.  We are not sure what exsistit means, for it can be both "emerge" and "exist". 

And then there is the adverb continenter.

Again and again some tendentious translations of Art. 5, § 1 are offered so as to narrowly define what sort of group may make a petition.  For example, many will say "stable group", for coetus continenter exsisit, which implies either that the group doesn’t change or that it has been around previously or even that it is comprised only of people who belong to the parish.  They morph that concept of continenter into an adjective and change it to something more like the term used in Canon Law stabiliter. 

However, continenter is not an adjective and it is not, obviously, stabiliter.

Now look at the text the USCCB is providing as start asking yourselves some questions: 

Art. 5, § 1. In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium stabiliter existit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat.

Notice anything?  The USCCB has a different text.

On what authority?


Holy See – online

USCCB – pdf online

Art. 5, § 1. In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat.

Art. 5, § 1. In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium stabiliter existit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat.

I would very much like to know what is going on with this. 

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85 Responses to Discrepancy in Latin: continenter and stabiliter – Holy See and USCCB texts online DO NOT MATCH

  1. Augustinus says:

    Let’s hope the Holy See is not persuaded to change its text to fit that of the USCCB. I wonder what other conferences are putting out.

  2. RBrown says:

    Let’s hope the Holy See is not persuaded to change its text to fit that of the USCCB. I wonder what other conferences are putting out.
    Comment by Augustinus

    Can’t happen. The document has already been promulgated. There is no mulligan–despite the distortion by Bp Trautman et al.

  3. Patrick A. says:

    It would be nice if we could have a stably and continuously existing document from which to work. It shouldn’t be this difficult.

  4. Other Paul says:

    Wow. That could hardly have happened by accident. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice….

  5. Robert says:

    Didn’t the Paul Inwood article that ended up not being published in an English diocesan paper state that the first draft of Summorum Pontificum had “stabiliter” and that this was then changed to “continenter” in the final version?

    Undoubtedly the USCCB were working from the draft version they received prior to 7/7/07 when this pdf, which was released simultaneously with the Motu Proprio itself, was prepared.

    We won’t really have a final version anyway until it’s published in the AAS.

  6. Jason in San Antonio says:

    Other Paul,

    Or as our President is fond of saying, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says: fool me once, shame on … (long pause) shame on you? (long pause) Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”

  7. AnAnonymousSeminarian says:

    This is very disturbing indeed.

    What is the recourse of the people to something like this? Is there any way that the USCCB could be pressured to remedy this? That individual bishops could be encouraged to keep the whole conference honest?

    It really has to be the laity that call the bishops to task and demand that they be honest in this. Priests can do it, but with risk. Seminarians could do it, but with VERY large risk. (I could probably go talk to my bishop about it this afternoon if I wanted to, but won’t for that very reason)

    Keep fighting the good fight, and I’ll try to as well.

    Yes, Fr. Z, I’m trying to keep my head down as best I can. Thank you for that invaluable advice.

  8. EVERYONE: Let’s not beat up anyone until we get to the bottom of the change.

  9. RBrown says:

    Here are the names:

    Bishop Donald W. Trautman, Bishop of Erie
    Chairman

    Members
    Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia

    Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of Cincinnati

    Bishop Edward K. Braxton, Bishop of Lake Charles

    Bishop Blase J. Cupich, Bishop of Rapid City

    Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, Bishop of Las Cruces, CSB

    Bishop Emil A. Wcela, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Center

    Of the group Cardinal Rigali is a good man and a friend of BXVI.

    Bishop Wcela is the author of the strange article reproduced by Fr Z.

  10. Nick says:

    Knew a nun who was the “Pope’s proof reader” for the English translations. She told me that there were many errors in official Latin to English texts coming from Rome — some she would let pass as poor translation, but others were substantial and changed the Pope’s meaning, so she would “stop the presses” until changes were made — she is no longer in that post.

  11. Dan O says:

    I think that Robert has probably hit the nail on the head. They are probably using the earlier draft version. This also explains why so many of the bishop’s statements use the ‘stable’ group terminology that draws so many Grrrs and negative comments on this blog. While there might be some malice afoot, I’d prefer to give the benefit of the doubt to the bishops. At some point one must rely on the information that is given to you. In drafting their statements the bishops relied on info from the USCCB. I don’t think they should be accused of bad intentions just because they didn’t make a word by word comparison to the Vatican website. I prefer to believe that an honest mistake may have been made rather than side with any conspiritorial theories.

  12. Fr. Wymer says:

    I think we all know what is going on. “Who?” Maybe a little harder answer to question. I pray that the Holy See clarifies this unfortunate mishap. As a priest in of the Diocese where our shepherd is not a fan of the Mass in the extraordinary form this kind of misrepresentation could set the implementation of the MP back for months possibly years.

  13. Other Paul says:

    “I think that Robert has probably hit the nail on the head.” Me, too. Forgive me for jumping to conclusions.

  14. Vincentius says:

    here’s a link from The Providence Journal from a bishop and diocese who is handling the SP properly-(we need to hear some good episcopal news)
    http://www.projo.com/ri/northprovidence/content/Latin_Mass_10-08-07_OE7DJ2O.25434d5.html

  15. Thomasso says:

    Just checked the website for the bishops of England and Wales. The latin text there is the same as that on the Vatican website and so includes “continenter exsistit”.

  16. danphunter1 says:

    Roman Sacristan,
    It is productive in that the USCCB could learn a lot about Sacred Tradition from the SSPX and offering a mass that has always been allowed, even if only two men request it.
    God bless you

  17. AnAnonymousSeminarian says:

    Dan O,

    I think that Robert has probably hit the nail on the head. They are probably using the earlier draft version. This also explains why so many of the bishop’s statements use the ‘stable’ group terminology that draws so many Grrrs and negative comments on this blog. While there might be some malice afoot, I’d prefer to give the benefit of the doubt to the bishops.

    As would I. This does, however mean that once the issue is pointed out to the proper members of the USCCB, that it should be fixed on the website, and individual diocesan directives that depend on ‘stabiliter’ should be amended.

    Certainly, it is essential that this be remedied before the next time the bishops meet, because undoubtedly, some general principles on the implementation of the Motu Proprio will be discussed.

  18. Henry Edwards says:

    The possibility — that it may have been “stabiliter” in a draft translation provided to the bishops in advance — provides a plausible explanation of why it read that way in the Latin version posted by the USCCB on 07/07/2007, even though the Vatican-posted version has always (from the first) read “continenter”.

    But can anyone provide a plausible explanation why the USCCB-posted Latin version still reads “stabiliter” 3 months later, after continuous and if not stable discussion of the matter.

  19. Le Renard says:

    But can anyone provide a plausible explanation why the USCCB-posted Latin version still reads “stabiliter” 3 months later, after continuous and if not stable discussion of the matter.

    One cannot ignore the fact that there is such great opposition to the Pope’s MP.

    This is not a matter of conspiracy theories but one of fact.

    Also, can anybody explain to me why liberal ‘liturgies’ (ones that admit modern protestant worship into the Mass such as healing services) are often given quick approvals whereas something as the Extraordinary Form — direct from the Seat of Peter — is nevertheless given such prejudicial treatment?

  20. Sid Cundiff says:

    That we’ve had bad translations we all know. I have known for years that a certain type twists documents to mean what he would like such documents to mean. I have known for years that a certain type has made un-authoritative and advisory documents (e.g. “Environment and Art in Liturgy”) falsely authoritative and binding. That he and his kind would change, or fake a document is totally new to me! I believe the lawyers would call this making misleading statements, fraud, mail fraud, falsifying and tampering with evidence, hiding and withholding evidence, perjury, counterfeit, “breach of fiduciary duty” to clergy, religious, parishioners and laity — or at least “gross negligence” and obstruction of the course of justice. This change may be unintentional and inadvertent, but somehow my conspiratorial mind doubts it.

    Sincerest thanks, Fr. Z, for your keeping a sleepless eagle eye sharply focused on these types, and then sounding the air raid warning.

  21. RBrown says:

    But can anyone provide a plausible explanation why the USCCB-posted Latin version still reads “stabiliter” 3 months later, after continuous and if not stable discussion of the matter.
    Comment by Henry Edwards

    Maybe the Committee has been spending most of its time on the new edition of the St Louis Jesuit Songbook. Or putting together a pamphlet on new directions in Liturgical Dance.

  22. Henry Edwards says:

    Sid: That he and his kind would change, or fake a document is totally new to me!

    Or, in the immortal words of Capt. Renault in Casablanca, you might have said:

    “I’m shocked, shocked to find that this kind of stuff is going on!”

  23. Emilio says:

    On 7/7/7 there was an unofficial English translation on a Vatican website, which I assumed was going to be finished and published in a couple of days. At the time I was very pleased to see the USCCB site post their versions so quickly, and assumed that both Latin and English versions would be updated at the same time.

    I don’t think I would have waited more than a week before changing at least the Latin version, but it is reasonable to assume that the webmaster did not notice the differences. I do think that some bishops should have paid more attention so as to have it corrected by now, though…

  24. marcus says:

    It would be useful to all if this semantic discussion was put to an end. If you continue reading the paragraph in discussion it goes on to say “…discordiam vitando et totius Ecclesiae unitatem fovendo”. Which I translate as “avoiding discord and fostering the unity of all the Chruch”. Much of the posting here, including FR. Z’s has been vitriolic and directed especially against those (like me) who hold in great esteem the marvellous work of the reform of the council. You have your right to celebrate according to the extraordinary rite but please leave your hateful and disrespectful comments in the gutter where they belong.

  25. Celibatarian says:

    I sincerely hope that this is simply a problem of using an earlier draft, however, it is still a huge gaffe to “accidentally” publish and earlier draft in place of the final. Do we have any access, from another source, for that earlier version? It seems unlikely to me that and earlier draft would differ by only one word though I suppose it is possible.

    What really concerns me now is what other documents from the Vatican have changed after coming though the USCCB. Whether by honest mistake or otherwise. I am very new to Catholicism, I am still in RCIA and this shakes me up a bit. This really makes me question our trust in the conference. Again, even if it is because of a honest error, you would expect the conference to be more careful, we are, after all, depending on there translations so much of the time. How am I, as a candidate, suppose to regard my big green CCC that was published by the USCCB?

  26. Le Renard says:

    It would be useful to all if this semantic discussion was put to an end. If you continue reading the paragraph in discussion it goes on to say “…discordiam vitando et totius Ecclesiae unitatem fovendo”. Which I translate as “avoiding discord and fostering the unity of all the Chruch”. Much of the posting here, including FR. Z’s has been vitriolic and directed especially against those (like me) who hold in great esteem the marvellous work of the reform of the council. You have your right to celebrate according to the extraordinary rite but please leave your hateful and disrespectful comments in the gutter where they belong.

    Excuse me, but where in my posts have I uttered one word against the reform of the council and, in that same regard, Vatican II, which I assume you are speaking?

    For your information, protestant renderings in Mass was NOT part of the reform of the council and is NOT supposed to be a part of the Novus Ordo Missae, which my comments were aimed at and NOT towards the Novus Ordo Missae in general.

    I have NOTHING against the Novus Ordo Missae when celebrated accordingly as had been intended originally.

  27. Celibatarian says:

    Why is it that liberals, whether here or on political boards, always advocate shutting down those discussions that they disagree with?

  28. Dan O says:

    But can anyone provide a plausible explanation why the USCCB-posted Latin version still reads “stabiliter” 3 months later, after continuous and if not stable discussion of the matter.
    Comment by Henry Edwards

    Henry, (whom I sincerely respect as a thoughtful and well reasonsoned poster to this blog)

    I think a plausible explanation is that no one knew the version was inaccurate and there was no need to change it.

    Now, however, the situation will be changed, if someone lets the proper person at the USCBB know of the error . Then, It should not take long for the error to be corrected. I don’t know who to contact, but a respectful letter or e-mail should be sent, maybe by Fr. Z. I believe in the goodness of the bishops and our Church and I think it will be corrected.

  29. William says:

    Much of the posting here has been vitriolic and directed especially against those (like me) who hold in great esteem the marvellous work of the reform of the council.

    Surely you don’t expect anyone to believe that the Novus Ordo Mass is a work of the Second Vatican Council?

  30. Larry says:

    It would be useful to all if this semantic discussion was put to an end.

    You have your right to celebrate according to the extraordinary rite

    Marcus,

    I think that this is exactly the point that’s being attempted to be made. In those cases in which the right to celebrate according to the XO rite is being denied, the particular reason being given hinges on an interpretation of exactly this part of the MP. That being the case, then, it would seem important to ensure that everyone’s singing from the same hymnal — if not, then it’s pretty important to understand which version (and therefore, which interpretation) is most valid.

    The discussion of the interpretation must hinge on the semantics of the document; however, the issue being raised here isn’t semantics, it’s source material!

    please leave your hateful and disrespectful comments in the gutter where they belong.

    Agreed. Unfortunately, some in each camp have had nasty things to say, not only about the positions of the other, but in some cases, about individuals themselves!

    Nonetheless, while folks are trying to stabilize themselves (on a continuous basis, it would seem), there’s still the outstanding question of what the document truly says (as well as discussion of what it means)…!

  31. Tzard says:

    How about this for an explanation: Those running the website are not bishops, and probably not priests or even religious. Even if they were, they would have had only the equivalent of 1 year of college latin under their belts – years ago.

    The Latin is probably put there as a sort of footnote or reference. The webmasters probably never intended that people read the Latin. They can’t read it themselves, much less identify intricacies in tone or tense. What matters to them is the English – to which they obtained an “authoritative” translation once, and to what purpose retranslate?

    My point here is that it may not be malice, but neglect. We do know many who would maliciously modify things, and some bishops who definitely should know better, but as to the website, this seems to me more of ignorance of latin itself rearing its ugly head. Perhaps even prejudice and segregation, but most likely not intended to deceive.

    OR so it seems to me.

  32. Father Z, I could have sworn you’d dealt with the stabiliter/continenter difference early on after the release of Summorum Pontificum, with the conclusion that stabiliter was in the advance draft, and continenter in the final draft. If not you, I can’t think of any others paying such close attention to the text.

    It’s certainly puzzling why the USCCB text and translation have not been altered to reflect the correct text. That’s likely simply a case of inertia.

    More puzzling is the lack of oficial translations of Summorum Pontificum, which would likely help to resolve any number of issues with implementation.

    On the Latin front, I’m wondering whether ubi coetus…continenter existit might be intended to convey “whenever a group presents itself….” Thus the ubi…continenter is working like ubicumque, “wherever/whenever,” but with the explicit temporal emphasis indicated by continenter. What would you think of that? It’s certainly one possible solution to this awkward phrase.

  33. D. Robert says:

    Let’s all email the USCCB and ask them why the texts are different, perhaps they will get the point that people are watching.

  34. BK says:

    There is nothing “conspiratorial” or unjust about observing the obvious. Historically, the same bishops spinning Summorum Pontificum today opposed, at times maliciously, the offering of the TLM in the past.

    It seems clear that the bishops had an advance Latin copy of Summorum Pontificum prior to its publication.

    It seems clear that they searched for loopholes in the language of Summorum Pontificum that they could use to hamstring the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.

    It seems clear that they hung their hopes on making a big deal out of the stabiliter existit phrase, and that someone in Rome foresaw this move on their part, and judiciously tweaked the Latin phraseology to close this linguistic loophole.

    And it seems clear that, Rome having taken away the basis of their little plan, they either didn’t notice the subtle change in the Latin upon publication of Summorum Pontificum, or, knowing the gig was up, decided to stick with the pre-game spin anyway, hoping to dupe the public — if by nothing else than their unanimity of propaganda.

    These assumptions could be wholly false too.

    Regardless, it falls upon Ecclesia Dei and/or Pope Benedict XVI to clarify and enforce the proper translation and understanding of the continenter and stabiliter discrepancies.

  35. Jeffry says:

    Did anyone check the date of the .pdf? Its date is July 6, 2007.

  36. Andrew says:

    When is the official text going to be published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis? Or did it already come out?

  37. RBrown says:

    Much of the posting here, including FR. Z’s has been vitriolic and directed especially against those (like me) who hold in great esteem the marvellous work of the reform of the council.
    Comment by marcus

    Before you made public your opinion on VatII and the liturgical reform, it probably would have been better had you first read Cardinal Ratzinger’s book “The Spirit of the Liturgy”.

  38. marcus: vitriolic?

    Silly.

  39. Jordan Potter says:

    It’s difficult to believe that Marcus has ever visited this weblog before. Well, perhaps he has, and he’s just an extremely thin-skinned person.

    Andrew asked: When is the official text going to be published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis? Or did it already come out?

    The publication of the AAS is notably slow. It could be several months, up to a year, before the issue of the AAS containing the motu proprio is published.

  40. Andrew says:

    Here is a fictitious conversation I can picture:

    Christifidelis: Volumus Missam extraordinariam Pater.

    Parochus: Dicas mihi fili: stabiliter exsistitis?

    Ch: Ratione stabiles sumus Pater quamvis vita saepius incerta est.

    P: Scio, scio, sed coetus vester stabiliter exsistit?

    Ch: Stabili et firmo animo supplices stamus coram te Pater reverendissime.

    P: Non bene intellegis questionem meam: debeo scire si continenter exsistatis.

    Ch: Numquam luxuriose viximus Pater aut molliter sed parce, sobrie et continenter, immo continentissime.

    P: Iterum perperam intellegis: debeo scire quanto tempore exsistatis?

    Ch: Non multum speravimus. Pauca minuta antequam portam aperuisti extitimus.

    P: Audi bene fili! Quanto tempore Missam in forma extraordinaria cupis tu et coetus vester?

    Ch: Septem dies. Inde a Dominica praeterita.

    P: Jam dierum septem?

    Ch: Ita.

    P: Et quot estis?

    Ch: Ego et hic amicus meus.

    P: In coetu autem vestro quot sunt?

    Ch: In coetu? Ah, intellego. Ego et amicus meus. Duo. … et uxor mea quoque: tres … et proles nostra, quinque … septem …

    P: Occide. Facesse te! (Kill me now. Out of here!)

  41. Andrew says:

    I would have written this in English but the joke woudn’t have worked. The same possibilities for misunderstanding would not have been there. But on the more serious side, I hope it shows how the “stable group” concept is by no means a literal translation.

  42. RBrown says:

    marcus: vitriolic?
    Comment by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

    Just be glad you weren’t accused of being mean-spirited.

  43. Fr. John says:

    What ever those certain bishops or liturgist are or not up to, or anyone else who may be against what the Holy Father is now clearly allowing, we pastors (and I have a feeling there are a lot of us) who are now learning the Old Mass just simply start offering it as an extra Mass, things will shift. There may some battles, but they are bound to happen. It is taking time for us to learn the Mass. But we will be saying it. Even if it starts small, it will grow. Patience right now is needed – along with some prayers for the priests who are trying. A special thanks to our brother priests who helping us learn it, even the old altar boys who are of great help.

  44. Paul says:

    Andrew,

    Tibi applaudo!

  45. Fr. John: Patience right now is needed – along with some prayers for the priests who are trying. A special thanks to our brother priests who helping us learn it, even the old altar boys who are of great help.

    Solidarity!

  46. Come on now,
    Did anyone really expect the USCCB to do anything but dig their heels in?

  47. michigancatholic says:

    The USCCB is making it up as they go along, but they always do. Nothing new there. They are vying with Rome over who runs the Church. It’s been going on, in crescendo, since the 70s. How could anyone not have noticed?

  48. Richard says:

    I think I know the reason for the discrepancies in the two translations. Someone at the USCCB simply ran the Latin text from the Vatican through his or her computer language translation function. It always comes up with crazy English.
    Imagine what the computer would spit out if you asked it to translate the bishops’ English back into Latin! Certainly nothing like the original.

  49. Mark says:

    Father, have you seen this, from an assistant to Cardinal George? It might interest you.

    http://www.ritemagazine.org/resources/ConsideringTheMotuProprio.php

    Apologies if you have already looked at it.

  50. Greg Smisek says:

    But can anyone provide a plausible explanation why the USCCB-posted Latin version still reads “stabiliter” 3 months later, after continuous and if not stable discussion of the matter.

    As others have pointed out, the official text is yet to be published in the Acta. In the meantime the USCCB has submitted a dubium to PCED, apparently worded as follows (according to a letter from Bishop Trautman posted on the website of the Diocese of Rockville Centre):

    Whereas:
    The Latin text of Art. 5, §1 of the Apostolic Constitution given to the USCCB by the Apostolic Nunciature under embargo on July 4, 2007 differs from the text found on the Vatican website. In referring to a group seeking the celebration of the 1962 Missale Romanum, the former text uses the adjective stabiliter, while the latter uses the adjective continenter.

    DUBIUM: Which word is used in the authentic text, and how is it to be understood in describing the nature of the group approaching the pastor with a request for celebration of the 1962 Missale Romanum?

    Apart from confusing adjectives and adverbs, and the confusing reference to Summorum Pontificum as an Apostolic Constitution (the Holy See’s website, at least, classifies it as a Motu Proprio, not as an Apostolic Constitution), I believe the dubium expresses precisely the question we would all like to see answered.

    As for translations, the English translation supplied by the Vatican Press Office, which is found in the “Holy See” column of Fr. Z’s table of parallel texts, renders this phrase as “In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition…” Originally the USCCB website posted a different English translation (presumably its own) of the document, but shortly after Fr. Z. posted that text on his blog, the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy replaced their translation of the norms portion of the document with the Vatican Press Office translation (see the online June 2007 BCL Newsletter PDF). The original BCL translation at least had the virtue of rendering stabiliter as as an adverb: “In parishes where a group of faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition exists stably…”

  51. Henry Edwards says:

    Greg: Apart from confusing adjectives and adverbs, and the confusing reference to Summorum Pontificum as an Apostolic Constitution (the Holy See’s website, at least, classifies it as a Motu Proprio, not as an Apostolic Constitution)

    For what it’s worth, the http://www.ewtn.com Motu Proprio Resources page (in agreement with several other such sources) lists it like this:

    Apostolic Letter “Summorum Pontificum” issued Motu Proprio
    Benedict XVI

    As I understand it, a pope might issue a variety of documents — constitutions, encyclicals, exhortations, letters, etc. — motu proprio (that is, on his own initiative).

  52. cor ad cor loquitur says:

    Is it possible that the adverb continenter modifies the participle adhaerentium? In which case, if we translate exsistit as ‘emerges’ or ‘steps forward’, the sentence might read

    In parishes where a group of the faithful steps forward to declare an unswerving attachment to the older liturgical tradition, let the parish priest / pastor willingly accept their petitions for celebrating holy Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal…

    This would rule out a group demanding the Tridentine Mass “just to try it” (they could go to another parish where it is regularly offered) but affirms the needs of those whose attachment to the older form is not a whim or a fad.

    Does suscipio imply that the parish priest is to “grant” as well as to “receive” the petitions of the faithful? Could he receive a petition, but on reflection decide to decline it, perhaps because of a shortage of capable priests? Isn’t tribuo the word usually translated as “grant”?

  53. Cor ad cor: A good question, but I think that is a discussion better addressed over here.

  54. Here’s a radical idea. Why doesn’t somebody (preferably our host, the good Father himself) call up the USCCB Liturgy Office and ask them what the deal is? Specifically, ask for Father Moroney — I think that’s his name — who is current executive secretary of the BCL. He’s actually a pretty reasonable guy, at least in my experience.

    He might actually be on the level, and have it fixed right away. Then we can all find something else to complain about.

    Only one way to find out…

  55. Jim R says:

    Mark:

    That is the fairest assessment of the Motu Proprio I have seen.

    Jim R

  56. David: Why doesn’t somebody (preferably our host, the good Father himself) call up the USCCB Liturgy Office and ask them what the deal is?

    David, a great suggestion. One that has already been taken. Also, based on the statistics this blog is pulling in right now, there is no way that the kind folks at the USCCB’s liturgy office do not by now know about this issue.

  57. Br. Thomas Petri. O.P. says:

    The website at the BCL now carries the following notice:

    “This Latin text of Summorum Pontificum has been provided for distribution to the Bishop-members of the USCCB by the Apostolic Nunciature.”

    See for yourself: http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/

    The issue here is not subversion by the USCCB or the publication of a false text. The issue here is that the Nunciatures throughout the world distributed this text (the one posted on the BCL website) to the episcopal conferences days before it was released by the Holy See. The communication between the Holy See and episcopal conferences always goes through the official channel of the Nunciature. The Vatican website does not represent an official line of communication, and, as has happened in the past, sometimes texts posted on the Vatican website themselves need to be corrected.

    The differences in the texts were noticed back in August by the USCCB and the BCL, which is why Bishop Trautman has submitted a dubium to the Holy See asking for clarification on which is the authoritive text to be used (see the posting by Greg Smisek). Presumably, if the AAS version is published before an official response to the dubia, that itself would settle the question.

    But the USCCB cannot simply alter what was given to it by the Nuncio on the grounds that the Vatican website has posted a different text.

  58. Barb says:

    In the city of Springfield, MO, the priests and the bishop are using ambiguousness of Article 5 #1 against the faithful who are asking for the Extraordinary form. One priest quoted from the “stabiliter” translation of the USCCB. Perish the thought that he should consult the Vatican web site for the authentic version! We are being attacked in bulletins as attempting to “take over parishes” simply because we sought to gather in one parish which is the only one left with a high altar and acoustics which support Gregorian chant very well. So as we seek to follow what the Pope has written in his Motu Proprio, we are villified publicly.

    Who is creating the division? The pastors who express public disdain for the Pope, his Motu Proprio, the Extraordinary form and those who desire to worship in it, or is it the faithful Catholics who have been scattered far and wide in the area because we have no place (except the SSPX chapel which has grown to such an extent in the past 8 years that they have purchased a much larger church) to which we can repair where our spirituality is respected? For those of us who wish to remain in visible, structural unity with the Church, Article 5 #1 has been amply and charitably applied by Archbishop Burke of St. Louis. He does not require that everyone who wants to have the XO be in one parish, but allows for the Mass to be offered for people from many parishes. Unfortunately he is not our bishop.

    Who is faithful to the intent of the Holy Father in his legislation? Who is being punished on a “stabiliter” basis? When will the persecution stop? I hope the information forwarded to the Commission Ecclesia Dei from our city detailing what is happening will afford them ample evidence to clarify article 5 #1 in the spirit the Holy Father intended. Anyone who doubts my statements here can read the “Pastor’s Reflection” posted at The Remnant website: http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/archive-2007-schismatic-spirit-in-springfield.htm. This is only one example of a number of local bulletins. When we asked the bishop to stop these priests, he refused. Perhaps we will be the first test case for the PCED to determine how serious they are in applying the MP.

    We realize we are not the only ones being attacked. Northwest Arkansas has had similar abuse and probably other locations as well. When a person thinks about it, we have to acknowledge that we are not wanted in AmChurch. It is amazing that we are here at all. Thanks to the grace of God. Libera nos, Domine!

  59. EVERYONE: See my important update at the top of this entry!

  60. danphunter1 says:

    We do not assist at an FSSPX church on a regular basis, but couldn’t it be possible that the Holy Ghost is sending a message to the world that the FSSPX is presenting to the faithful an efficacious means to worship God Almighty in a more available manner?
    The FSSPX churches are located in areas where people of tradition are otherwise unable to assist at diocesan Tridentine mass’s.
    Many more people are assisting at FSSPX churches, especially now since Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos has declared that there is no schism involved with assisting at the FSSPX churches.
    Every Catholic church should be required to have at least one Tridentine Mass per week whether or not anyone asks for it. With proper catechesis people will flock to them.
    God bless all.

  61. Athanasius says:

    However, this is a matter of lousy lines of communication, not conspiracy.

    Awww, but conspiracies are so much fun! :D Nevertheless, it brings to light serious problems. Isn’t anyone in the Vatican tech savvy? Couldn’t they send the documents to the Bishops pdf, fax, or fed-ex? UPS? They have international service. Italian Priority mail?

    I hereby declare that Fr. Z should be made director of Vatican telecommunications. I can see now the aftermath of bishops walking around pulling out their PDAs to receive confidential info from the Pope. Imagine an excommunication downloaded to a PDA?

  62. Athanasius: When I worked there my phrase was: “In the Vatican we update equipment every 75 years, whether it needs it or not.”

  63. BK says:

    Comment by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf: “I think this is what explains the discrepency.

    This is not a conspiracy to undermine the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.”

    What a relief! (It is so good to have one’s assumptions proven wrong in this case!)

  64. Ann says:

    SO WHY DOESN’T PCED answer the dubium? They are the only ones who can settle the matter once and for all and so simply. What is taking them so long? Are they going to be an ineffective with the implementation of Summorum Pontificum as they had been for the previous 20 years since they were created to get the TLM happening!?! We waited years for 7/7/7, we waited for 9/14 to see what the bishops would do, we wait and wait and there is obfuscation everywhere. PCED: DO YOU DUTY!

  65. ALL: Check out an even newer UPDATE at the top of the entry! The USCCB Liturgy office has scrambled to make sure we know where their texts are coming from. This is excellent. It shows sincerity.

  66. Nathan says:

    + JMJ +

    Excellent news, Father. There’s an unwritten observation here in Washington that might apply: In a bureaucracy, inertia and/or incompetence explains discrepancies 90% of the time; malice and foresight, less than 10%.

    In Christ,

  67. Other Paul says:

    More interesting to me is the fact that the USCCB is trying to be responsive.

    …and I second Athanasius’ nomination of Fr. Z to the post of Director of Vatican Telecommunications. Now, who do we talk to to make it so?

  68. George says:

    Has anyone that is multi-lingual looked at the translations in other languages (French, German, Italian, etc.) and attempted to divine how the motu proprio was translated in such languages so as to figure out the possible intent of the troubling langauge (or what the English should say)? An amalgamation of translations may give better insight. Unfortunately, I’m mono-lingual.

  69. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Is it ok to have this much faith in the USCCB? ;)

    I keed, I keed.

    But thanks to all who involved, those who petitioned the USCCB and the people who got it done.

  70. George, only the Latin text has been posted to the Vatican website. There are no other official translations available. Comparing all the unofficial translations would not help.

  71. Seminonymous says:

    Congratulations to our bishops for addressing our concerns so rapidly and thoroughly! May God continue to bless them and guide them in their work.

    I think, in light of how critical we can sometimes be, it is very important to highlight such hopeful news as this.

  72. So, what is the official Latin translation?
    And when will we get an official English translation?

  73. John Spangler says:

    Why submit a dubium on this to PCED? Why does not the BCL just call the Nunciature in DC where the BCL office is and ask if the first Latin text is the official one? The Nunciature supplied the earlier text; it should act to remedy the confusion it caused by circulating it.

  74. Andrew says:

    The way I see it, it’s pretty much the same idea whether I say “stabiliter” or “continenter”. Either way it speaks of some kind of a committed group, not somebody who will vanish in a couple of weeks. I think it’s fair to ask for a certain level of commitment. And I think it’s clear that there is no need for a rigorous test to “qualify” for the request. With the right amount of good will, you can get the same reading from either continenter or stabiliter. One emphasizes the element of time, of continuity, and the other the element of firmness, of a commitment to “stand” for something.

    I would say the word “stabiliter” is pretty rare in Latin, almost – I might push to say – “unknown”. So if I had to pick one I would naturally lean to the “continenter”. I could be wrong, but to me “stabiliter” smacks of anglicized Latin.

  75. Andrew: it’s pretty much the same idea whether I say “stabiliter” or “continenter”.

    NO! It’s not. And stabiliter is not unknown in canon law.

    Trust Fr. Z.  This needs clarification.

  76. AnAnonymousSeminarian says:

    The 10 Oct. update is good news.

    It seems that it looked worse on its face than it actually was. Now let us hope that any bishops who drew up guidelines for implementation of SP based on the “stabiliter” text will reconsider them based on the Holy See’s final text (especially once published in AAS).

  77. John Spangler says:

    Father Z, a question, si placet.

    Assuming that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei is becoming aware of the problems that are arising in the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in some dioceses and conferences from unduly restrictive interpretations of its terms or from hostile attitudes of some local ordinaries (through reports from priests and laity to it or to nunciatures, from items in the press, from internet postings — indeed, from WDTPRS!), is it possible that the final Latin text in the AAS might be further “tweaked” to clarify the Holy Father’s intent and better effectuate his desires OR that meaningful footnotes might be added to illuminate and strengthen its provisions? Are there instances where this has happened in the past?

  78. John Spangler says:

    Apparently, Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia had some significant changes made from earlier circulated versions when it was published in AAS.

    A Google search yielded a posting at http://www.romanrite.com/changed.html from which the following extract is taken:

    “Changed Encyclical

    The officially published version of the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia is different from every copy I have been able to find on the internet.

    The version in Acta Apostolicae Sedis of 7 July 2003 has 107 footnotes. But there are 104 footnotes in the version published in the L’Osservatore Romano Weekly Edition in English of 23 April 2003. Internet versions also have 104 footnotes, including the one currently available at http://www.vatican.va.

    A difference in the encyclical was reported by John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter on 6 February 2004. The internet Latin version has pro omnibus, but this Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Volume XCV, page 434, the Latin text has pro multis.”

    So there is precedent for making textual changes and adding footnotes in a papal document in printing its final, authoritative version in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

    Sounds like a good idea to me for Summorum Pontificum!

  79. Vincenzo says:

    RORATE CÆLI, Il Giornale

    “The Pope himself would have been very displeased due to some “resistance” displayed even in Italian dioceses, and it is probable that interpretative norms for the correct application of the document [the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum] in the sense willed by Benedict XVI may be issued soon.”

  80. RBrown says:

    The discrepancy in Ecclesia de Eucharistia between “pro omnibus” and “pro multis” is much more serious than the “continenter/stabiliter” confusion: Both the Novus Ordo Latin and New Vulgate have “pro multis”, which is in accord with the Greek peri pollon.

    Thus there can be no liturgical or Scriptural reference for the use of “pro omnibus”.

  81. OKAY folks: I edited out the Ecclesia de Eucharistia references once and the hint wasn’t taken. This is off topic. I will start another entry on that, but let’s curtail that here. I wrote about that extensively in my WDTPRS column in The Wanderer. It is off topic in this entry.

  82. Justin says:

    Has anyone asked Fr. Reginald Foster (the Pope’s Latinist) what the text is supposed to say? He may very well be the one who wrote the Latin in the first place… (at least that’s how I understand it was done in the past.)

  83. Justin: Has anyone asked Fr. Reginald Foster

    LOL! That would be amusing, given his thought about the older form of Mass.

  84. Hal Duston says:

    I find the story of the distribution of an incorrect version wholly unremarkable, and completely believable. I recall hearing at a former employer about some rather detailed and tricky contract negotiations between that corporation and another corporation. Proposed language followed by more proposed language. Draft followed by yet another draft. Finally when all parties were satisfied with the language in the final version, due to an incredible oversight, a document with some language from a previous draft was presented for the principles’ signature. Oops! And you had better believe that the party favored by the earlier draft language held the other party to that language since that was the document actually signed.