ICEL’s Msgr. Harbert responds to Bp. Galeone’s points on the new translation

A couple readers sent via e-mail a text floating around which was claimed to be a response from ICEL to the points raised about the draft of the new translation of the Missale Romanum by His Excellency Most Reverend Victor Galeone, Bishop of Saint Augustine, Florida, during the recent meeting of the USCCB.

Since I didn’t see anything whereby I could verify this text, I contacted the good folks at ICEL and asked about it.  In turn they sent me a copy of the text with a clarification.  I post those here for your perusal.

In the text you will be my emphases and comments.

Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

 

Attached you will find some notes that Msgr Harbert prepared concerning the comments made by Bishop Galeone at the USCCB meeting in Orlando last week. These notes were sent to Bishop Galeone, but were not really "issued by ICEL" but shared with some interested parties.

 Now the text itself:

 

Bishop Galeone has broken new ground in the public discussion of liturgical language, raising the debate to a higher intellectual level. Whereas critics of ICEL’s recent drafts have mostly commented on individual vocabulary items, his contribution points to structural and semantic issues that are systemic throughout the Missale. His remarks merit a careful response.

Commenting on ICEL’s proposed translation of the Post-Communion for the Wednesday in Holy Week, he has pointed out that the final verb is preceded by two lines that modify it, whereas the more normal pattern in English is for modifiers to follow their verb. If this principle were followed in this case, the translation might read:

Fill our minds, almighty God,
with sure confidence
that you have given us perpetual life
through your Son’s Death in time,
to which awesome mysteries bear witness.

However, ICEL’s translators have been impressed by the fact that Latin orations, especially Post-Communions, tend to conclude strongly with a teleological or eschatological point[Yes.  Roman prayers, even as the Psalms do, identify a particular characteristic of God and then, as a consequence of that divine characteristic, going on to make a petition.  The concise Roman Latin style adds great force to the petition, perhaps a reflection of the confidence of the prayering Church in God’s promises.  Something of this force can be retained by sticking as closely as English allows to the Latin structure.] Because of this, they have often followed the Latin in placing the modifiers before the verb so that the English prayer also ends on a strong note. In doing so, they have hoped to avoid a defect that many have noticed in the current translations of these prayers, namely that they often end weakly. It has not been possible to follow this procedure in every case, because sometimes too contorted a syntax results, but it has been followed frequently throughout the Missal. The Commission hopes that this pattern, though unfamiliar at first, will soon become familiar, and allow the teleological thrust that marks so many of the Post-Communions to become more apparent to the people.  [Right! Once people get used to a new style of more accurate prayers, many of this problems with style will fall away.]

Bp Galeone also recommended the addition of ‘this’ to the third line, so that it would read:

to which these awesome mysteries bear witness.

The recommendation to insert ‘this’ or ‘these’ where there is no Latin equivalent is made frequently, but the translators have often found themselves disinclined to adopt it, because it narrows the focus of the text. A familiar example is found in the words before Communion currently translated:

This is the Lamb of God . . .

These words draw the people’s attention to the Host that the Priest holds in his hand, and invite them to recognise Christ present in the Sacrament. But the words were originally those of John the Baptist, spoken when he was at some distance from Jesus. The Commission’s more recent translation, ‘Behold the Lamb of God . . . ‘. gives the text a greater polyvalence, inviting the people to remember also the Baptist’s words and the context in which they were first uttered, as well as the eschatological appearance of the Lamb in heaven, which the Priest’s subsequent quotation of Apoc 19:9 recalls.

Returning to the Post-Communion for Wednesday in Holy Week, we can see that Bp Galeone’s proposal would make the prayer refer clearly to the Eucharist whose celebration is drawing to a close. But it should be noticed that since its earliest appearance (in the Hadrianum manuscript of the Gregorian Sacramentary, dated 811 – 812), this prayer has been assigned to the day before the beginning of the Easter Triduum. It retained that position in subsequent Sacramentaries, and in the 1570 Missal. [!] This being so, we can see a richer significance in the words mysteria veneranda: they refer not only to the Mass just celebrated, but also to the mysteries of the Triduum that will be beginning next time the people gather. It would seem a pity to remove such a resonance from this ancient prayer by adding the word ‘these’.

 I am grateful for the clarification from ICEL and the text, which we now can be confident is accurate.

Another thing.

Note that Msgr. Harbert points out, much as the weekly WDTPRS columns do, the provenance of the prayer under discussion.  He says that from earliest times this prayer was used as the last Mass oration uttered before the Sacred Triduum began the next day.  This is a very good thing to underscore. 

Most of the prayers of the 2002 Missale Romanum are very ancient.  Sadly many of them were chopped up or uprooted from their original places during the liturgical year and moved around.  But the fact remains that we can look at their original contexts in order to gain insight into what the prayers really say.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

37 Responses to ICEL’s Msgr. Harbert responds to Bp. Galeone’s points on the new translation

  1. Pleased as Punch says:

    Father, are you sure that most of the prayers in the 2002 MR are
    very ancient? Are you referring to the ordinary as well, or just the
    proper? As I recall, in his polemical but well researched little
    book on the orations of the new missal, Fr. Cekada indicates that
    only a quarter to a third of the orations in the Pian missal
    survived into the Pauline missal. I\’m sure somebody who has the book
    at hand can clarify this.

  2. David says:

    Very interesting!

    Thank you, Father Zuhlsdorf!

  3. Pleased: Yep. Pretty sure!

  4. dcs says:

    As I recall, in his polemical but well researched little book on the orations of the new missal, Fr. Cekada indicates that only a quarter to a third of the orations in the Pian missal survived into the Pauline missal.

    I don’t have Fr. Cekada’s book but proposition A (that the prayers of the Novus Ordo Missal are ancient) and proposition B (that many of the prayers of the Missal of St. Pius V were “dropped” from the Novus Ordo) are not contradictory. There are many ancient prayers (such as the many Prefaces in the Leonine Sacramentary) that aren’t in the Missal of St. Pius V.

  5. Pleased as Punch says:

    dcs,

    Good catch. The additional premise is that the prayers from the Pian missal
    that didn’t make it into the Pauline missal were replaced with fresh
    compositions courtesy of the Consilium, rather than with other ancient prayers.
    I feel fairly confident that I read somewhere that that is in fact what
    typically happened, but I’m away from my library at present and can’t look
    into it.

  6. Chironomo says:

    My, how things seemed to have changed at ICEL these past few years! I can understand now why Galeone and Trautmann didn’t want to refer the texts back to ICEL… ICEL is well aware that these are good and faithful translations and has no intention of changing them for simplicity’s sake, or for any other reason. I think we have good reason to be confident that these translations are in good hands. They may not be EVERYTHING we would want, but they will have a whole lot less of what we don’t want!

  7. Boko Fittleworth says:

    I think it’s pretty clear who “rais[ed] the debate to a higher intellectual level.”

  8. Brian2 says:

    Regarding the antiquity of OF prayers, I believe the matter is more complex: some prayers are taken directly from ancient sources, and others are constructed by ‘cuting and pasting’ various ancient sources together. I believe someone is doing some scholary work on this but her name escapes me at the moment.

    A critical edition of the OF Roman Missal would be of great value in itself and (I hope) in addressing some ‘traditionalist’ misgivings about it!

  9. The real question is will they still have problems translating “pro multis”? There is a big difference between “many” and “all”. He died for “the many” not all! Once they get this issue right it will signal a great victory for the Church and a turning away from the Modernist Heresy track we have been on for over 40 years. With this one change the liberals were able to change the doctrine of the Church with awful results!

    Pope Saint Pius X – Pray for us!
    Saint Michael The Archangel – Defend us!
    Sacred Heart of Jesus – Make our hearts like Your Heart!

  10. Beau says:

    teleological?
    eschatological?
    polyvalence?

    Good thing they’re not putting all those big words in the Missal itself! hehe

  11. bryan says:

    If they were using words like polyvalence, then maybe, just maybe, John and Mary Sittininthepew would be impelled to search out the meaning in a good dictionary.

  12. Al says:

    Roma locuta est, causa finita est. When the new translation finally arrives, pro multis will be translated ‘for many’ or ‘for the many’, on the express orders of the Holy Father.

    http://www.liturgy.sydney.catholic.org.au/newsletter/liturgyandministry/200612LandMv7i2.pdf

    As Fr Z pointed out at the time, because these are the words of a sacramental form, this translation is the competency of the holy Father alone, and there is no recourse to appeal on the part of the Bishops on this matter. The decision has been taken and cannot be repealed.

    I recall that the first ever draft of the new translation had ‘for many’ but it was rejected early on in consultations, only to be reinstated from Rome.

    This is a non-issue as of now.

  13. Barb Schoeneberger says:

    Dear Father Z.,

    I notice that the use of the vocative case (O God, O Almighty Father, etc.) which was so common in vernacular translations of the prayers of the EF and the Divine Office, has been extinguished in the use of the OF prayers and the current “Morning Prayer”, etc. I do not like to order God around as in “God, come to my assistance.” It is spiritually repulsive to me to pray that way.

    Is it possible that ICEL will have the grace to restore the use of the vocative case in vernacular translations, or will further generations of Catholics be ingrained in a language usage which, for all intents and purposes, prevents them from perceiving the awe and majesty of God? Language usage matters very much. It contains non-verbal content and molds how we think and communicate. The image I have of my relationship to God is expressed in how I address Him. Can ICEL not go very far in helping the restoration of the Faith by being more sensitive in translations to the idea that we are creatures dependent on our all-powerful, all-loving Creator?

    P.S. As kids we used to call our friends out to play by crying “O Jiiiimmy…, O Maaaary”. We desired something. We were not ordering something.

  14. Fr. Jeremiah Payne says:

    I am impressed with the perspicacious argumentation by ICEL regarding their choices and their refusal to engage in the infantile polemic employed by some of our Shepherds. I hope this notation sees wide circulation.

  15. Ioannes Andreades says:

    I’d be happy to pay for a few pocket dictionaries to place in the pews so people could look up words after mass ;^).

  16. Boko Fittleworth says:

    Brian2,

    Dr. Lauren Pristas.

  17. Augustinus says:

    I don’t doubt for one moment that Mgr Harbert chose his words very carefully, to underscore not only his own and ICEL’s command of the richness of the English language, but also to present, in a very educated and academic way, a superbly articulate and public ‘put-down’ of bishop Galeone and his like-minded episcopal brethren.

    Well done ICEL – and I never ever thought I’d say that!

  18. EDG says:

    in a very educated and academic way, a superbly articulate and public ‘put-down’ of bishop Galeone and his like-minded episcopal brethren.

    Augustinus –
    That was exactly what I thought. They’re refusing to be drawn. Bp Galeone is not a scholar and his objections actually were ideological; however, I honestly don’t think he means to be as rebellious as he appears. There are others who do, but he’s a very timid, limited-vision type of guy, and I think his ideology is not based so much on opposing Rome as projecting some strange version of the Church he absorbed during some years he spent in Latin America. Or maybe in the chancery office in Baltimore, his former home.

    So answering him in a rational, non-confrontational way is probably the best thing that can be done. It permits him to save face, doesn’t drive him into outright allegiance with the rebellious camp, and gives him a little warning that he’s been noticed and a chance to rethink things. Completely brilliant! I hope he gets the message.

  19. Ed says:

    For what it’s worth, Whispers in the Loggia has a bit more text from the ICEL, including the form of the prayer given above in its original form. Here’s the link: http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2008/06/orlando-redux.html.

    Here, too, is my favorite part:

    “There remains the issue of ‘gibbet’, which Bishop Galeone and others criticize as too archaic for liturgical use. None of the critics of this word seems able to produce a workable alternative. It should not surprise us that an English translation for Latin patibulum is difficult to find, since that word denotes an instrument of torture no longer in use. It is made up of the root pati-, ‘to suffer’ and the suffix –bulum, which, to quote the Oxford Latin Dictionary, ‘forms substan-tives from verbal bases denoting instruments’. As a stabulum is a structure devised to facilitate standing (from stare) and a conciliabulum is a structure devised to facilitate the holding of meetings, so a patibulum is a structure devised to facilitate suffering. ‘Guillotine’, ‘electric chair’ and ‘syringe’ share the purpose of patibulum, but not its shape. ‘Gallows’ denotes a device similar in shape and purpose to a patibulum, but in modern speech seems only be used for structures designed for hanging by a rope. ‘Yoke’ is a possible translation, but it has the weakness that it denotes the shape of the device but not its purpose, whereas the pati- element in patibulum draws attention to its purpose. A vivid modern translation might be ‘death-machine’, but this would be found unacceptable by those many commentators who prefer blandness in liturgical language.

    “In choosing ‘gibbet’ to translate patibulum, the Commission has been aware that the phrase ‘the gibbet of the Cross’ was used by Saint John Fisher.”

    I don’t know…”death-machine” might have been an interesting way to go…but I guess the bland “gibbet” will work!

  20. jacobus says:

    Finally, some actual, real, intellectual thought about this issue has trickled down to us.

    A million times better than “This is pastoral!!!” “This is more literal!!!”

  21. isabella says:

    Barb,

    It’s been a couple of years since I took Latin, but isn’t the vocative case just a way to call out to a specific person and/or God? Not a way to order them around? Like in your example “oh Jimmy”?

    Just asking – would really like to know. My instructor just skimmed the vocative case when we did our noun declensions. But for an analogy, (at least in German and Spanish) there is a familiar form for “you” that is used to address close friends, children, or God. That’s how I think of the vocative in Latin (might be wrong).

    I’m just happy about something else. Father sang the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei at daily Mass today. Still NO, but I’m trying to make a point of complementing the beauty and their pronunciation when they try to add little bits of tradition back (hey, priests have insecurities too), instead of writing snarky letters. In the meantime, I just travel when I can afford it to hear the TLM.

    Does anybody *know* about the vocative? I don’t like the idea of “ordering God around either” but am ignorant on this point. Even went back and checked my textbook, but it didn’t help. Thanks.

    isabella

  22. Maureen says:

    The vocative case in Latin indeed implies addressing someone. “O mouse” and that sort of thing. In English, we don’t really use the vocative case any more; or rather, it is exactly the same as the nominative, in its polite form.

    There are plenty of impolite forms of the vocative, of course. “Yo, mouse!” “Yoohoo, mouse!” :) (Mostly I’m kidding, here.)

    The imperative form of a verb is used for commanding someone to do something, but it’s also used for asking someone really hard. “Ora pro nobis” uses the imperative of orare — “Pray!”

    Honestly, I don’t really see this one as helping or hurting. I’m all for added hieratic formality when it comes to formal hieratic matters, of course; but most people don’t have clue one that “O God” is a vocative form. They think people are just saying “Oh, God, please do this”, and using “Oh” as a mark of the intensity of the emotion and plea. (I thought this until I was well into high school and had taken Latin for several years. I still find the distinction difficult to recall.) So it’s possible that the linguistic ship has already sailed away on this.

    In Latin, if

  23. Pingback: A few interesting links over at WDTPRS « ••• Welcome to the Jackass Trilogy •••

  24. athanasius says:

    The real question is will they still have problems translating “pro multis”? There is a big difference between “many” and “all”. He died for “the many” not all! Once they get this issue right it will signal a great victory for the Church and a turning away from the Modernist Heresy track we have been on for over 40 years. With this one change the liberals were able to change the doctrine of the Church with awful results!

    For all is not per se heretical, it is imprecise. Christ did in fact die for all, which even the Catechism of the Council of Trent maintains, but only many will receive the graces, so it is theologically more correct to say many rather than all.

  25. Michael says:

    Ad Athanasius 25th June: “For all is not per se heretical, it is imprecise.” It is neither heretical nor imprecise but it is simply a false translation.

    Christ died for all men – that conveys the sense of sufficiency of Redemption, the Redemption in objective sense; but whether a man would make use of it, cooperate, or not – nothing is imposed on us: we have a free will – depends on him. As not all men cooperate, not all are redeemed, and in that sense He redeemed many, not all – the sense of efficacy of Redemption, the Redemption in subjective sense is conveyed by the phrase “for many”.

    Self-appointed “experts” do not want to hear about this: there is no such thing as mortal sin (only “serious”, which is more than venial, but not a passport to Hell), confessionals are empty, so is the Hell, queues of saints are approaching Holy Communion – all are saved. So, the words of consecration have to be changed to meet this “theology”, even Christ’s words have to be corrected.

    Of course, they come with their “scholarly” explanation. In the Aramaic, supposedly spoken on the Last Supper, the same word conveys both: many and all (so they say, although one would have to check it with somebody who is unbiased and knows Aramaic). They have opted for “all” and imposed it on Greek text of the NT (see, for example the New Jerusalem Bible), falsified the meaning of the Latin text, and ignored ancient and modern liturgical texts.

    The Church in her “doctrine, life and worship” (DV 8) transmits to all generations what the apostles received from Christ. I understand that all Eastern liturgies have “for many”, I can definitely say it for English translations of the Byzantine (Catholic and/or Orthodox, from Greek, Slavonic, Ukrainian, Arabic), Armenian, Syrian, Coptic (all “Monophysite”, from their respective languages) and Ethiopian (Catholic, from Geez)

    We are supposed to trust the “experts” when it comes to what Our Lord meant at the Last Supper, and ignore this whole tradition and the ancient manuscripts, biblical and liturgical. The Church has got it wrong from the very begining.

  26. Baron Korf says:

    In the many/all debate, I would point out that in one of the epistles, it is said that God wills all men to be saved. To that end, Christ would’ve shed His Precious Blood for all, even if all did not accept it. (Just as the sower sowed seed all over, but the seeds only bore fruit in good soil.) In that light, I would not say that it was flat out changed to meet a new theology, even if some had that intention. Being brought up only in the new form of the mass, and hearing this every weekend, I was never under the impression that there was no Hell or no way for a Catholic to get there. Rather, the impression it gave me was that Christ died for everyone, so anyone can enjoy the salvation offered by following him. (i.e. become a practicing Catholic)

  27. RBrown says:

    As not all men cooperate, not all are redeemed, and in that sense He redeemed many, not all – the sense of efficacy of Redemption, the Redemption in subjective sense is conveyed by the phrase “for many”.
    Michael

    That is NOT what the text says. Your interpretation does little except open the door for the pro omnibus crowd.

    1. The Latin (pro multis) as well as the Greek both use the plural–pro multis. Your interpretation assumes the singular is used (pro multo).

    2. The text is not meant to be exclusive (“for many but not all”); rather it is mysteriously inclusive–not only Jews but others. Thus, a Patristic source says the text means pro multis gentibus (for many nations).

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

  28. RBrown says:

    should read:

    1. The Latin (pro multis) uses the plural. Your interpretation assumes the singular is used (pro multo). The Greek also uses the plural but without the definite article.

    2. The text is not meant to be exclusive (“for many but not all”); rather it is mysteriously inclusive—not only for Jews but for others. Thus, a Patristic source says the text means pro multis gentibus (for many nations). Such an interpretation is consistent with the lack of the Greek definite article.

  29. Ioannes Andreades says:

    s.v. “many” Oxford English Dictionary II 7 “equivalent to, and sometimes (e.g. in quot. 1879 [M. Arnold]) translating, ancient Greek HOI POLLOI n.] With ‘the’ and pl. concord: the great body of people, the multitude; the majority”

    Were I teaching my students to translate “for the many” into Latin, I would have them translate “pro plerisque,” into Greek, “peri/hyper ton pollon. Matthew Arnold translated the idea of “hoi polloi” (hoi being the definite article) as “the many.”

    Pro multis/Peri pollon is best translated “for many” or “on behalf of many.” “The multitude” strikes me as introducing an overly unified concept and a better translation for “peri ton pollon” (i.e. with the article, which the Gospel lacks). IMHO, I also think that there is at least the potential of exclusivity, especially as in the context in which it is said, Judas is in the process of achieving Christ’s betrayal. Peri pollon is a simple and somewhat ambiguous phrase, and I think it is best translated allowing for as much simplicity and ambiguity as the original has.

  30. Folks: Let’s cut the Gordian Knot here.

    I have written pretty extensively on this issue of the pro multis translation.

    I think the best way to cut through all this is too remember what Joseph Ratzinger wrote.

    When I wrote my WDTPRS articles on the Roman Canon, I had to dig deeply into the pro multis question.  I did four articles on the formula of consecration of the Precious Blood.

    Here is an excerpt from one of those articles:

    His Eminence Joseph Card. Ratzinger confronts this in God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, The Heart of Life (Ignatius Press, 2003).   His Eminence makes three points (pp. 37-8, n. 10): 1) Jesus died to save all and to deny that is not in any way a Christian attitude, 2) God lovingly leaves people free to reject salvation and some do, and 3):

    “The fact that in Hebrew the expression “many” would mean the same thing as “all” is not relevant to the question under consideration inasmuch as it is a question of translating, not a Hebrew text here, but a Latin text (from the Roman Liturgy), which is directly related to a Greek text (the New Testament).  The institution narratives in the New Testament are by no means simply a translation (still less, a mistaken translation) of Isaiah; rather, they constitute an independent source” (emphasis added).

    What Card. Ratzinger did here is cut loose the raft of emotion and conjecture lashed to the pier built by Lutheran scholar Joachim Jeremias, upon which ICEL justified rendering “for many” as “for all”.  Remember that Jeremias and then Fr. Max Zerwick, SJ (in Notitiae in 1970) used Aramaic and Isaiah 53 arguments for their change to “for all.”  Whether Jeremias was right or wrong (and I think his argument was at best tenuous) is entirely beside the point now.   First, we are not Protestants who approach doctrine from a standpoint of sola Scriptura … Scripture alone.  Second, we are not historical-critics when we approach the consecration of the Mass, we are believing Catholics.  Third, the Missale Romanum and the Tradition and teachings of the Church have their own value, a value not to be abandoned in the face of conjecture and the vagaries of historical-critical Scripture scholarship or the concerns of non-Catholics.  Fourth, the Missale Romanum is in Latin.  This is a key point which every reader of WDTPRS must understand.   

    Translation of the Missale Romanum is not translation of Sacred Scriptures.  The Missale constitutes its own source and must be respected as such.

     

    Furthermore, this is a done deal.  His Holiness has made his decision.

    The bottom line:

    Translation of the Missal is not the same as translation of Scripture. When you translate the Missal, translate it as it is because the Missal constitutes its own theological source.

  31. RBrown says:

    Pro multis/Peri pollon is best translated “for many” or “on behalf of many.” “The multitude” strikes me as introducing an overly unified concept and a better translation for “peri ton pollon” (i.e. with the article, which the Gospel lacks).

    My mistake: it is singular in the Greek.

    But according to Lewis and Short multi is translated as “the many” or “the multitude”.

    IMHO, I also think that there is at least the potential of exclusivity, especially as in the context in which it is said, Judas is in the process of achieving Christ’s betrayal.

    Potential exclusivity is not the same as actual exclusivity.

    Peri pollon is a simple and somewhat ambiguous phrase, and I think it is best translated allowing for as much simplicity and ambiguity as the original has.
    Comment by Ioannes Andreades

    I do not think it is ambiguous. Ambiguity permits interpretations that are contradictory.

    I think it is analogical, and includes the following:

    1. Christ died for all.

    2. It is possible that not all be saved.

    3. It is possible that only a few are saved.

    IMHO, the Latin pro multis is a much richer concept than the Greek peri pollon.

  32. Part of a dialogue during an Inquisition trial, relevant here (if longish, sorry) from Chapter 28 of Book 1 of the Jackass Trilogy:

    ======================

    “Apparently,” said the Cardinal, “you don’t know that pro multis is not to be understood as for the many, but for all, regardless of what any new pedantic liturgical translations have. Christ gave Himself for all, not just this one or that one. That’s what Paul’s letter to Timothy says, and that is even what Isaiah says!”

    But Cardinal Froben was speaking from the ignorance of giving credence to manipulative scholars, and Father Alexámenos let him know this, however respectfully: “Your Eminence, the key word with Saint Paul is desire, as in, God desires that all men be saved, proving this by Christ giving Himself as a ransom for all, but that does not mean that all will be justified. Christ said that His Blood is poured out for the many, pro multis, who will be justified. In Isaiah, there is a distinction between merely seeing the salvation of God and being justified. All, k?l, see this salvation much the same way that this is described by John in the Apocalypse: Every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; all the tribes of the earth will be cut to the quick because of Him.’ Seeing salvation isn’t the same as being justified in salvation. Isaiah reserves that only for the many, l?rabbîm, not for all. The words, repeated again and again and again, are extremely clear. In fact, the context is so incisively clear, repeated again and again and again, that it seems one would have to be malicious to misinterpret it. So, I insist, it does no one any favour to forget the justice of God, your Eminence; in doing so, one obscures the Lord’s mercy. We cannot obtain His mercy if we do not recognise His justice. Woe to the man who obstructs with niceness the Jew’s Way to mercy.”

    “But the Greek and Latin…” began the Cardinal.

    “…have exactly the same thing,” finished Father Alexámenos. “Exactly the same as what is found in the Gospels, whether in Greek or Latin, or, get this, even in modern Semitic translations. Even the Aramaic agrees perfectly, both ancient and modern. It’s all extremely clear.”

    “Anyway,” replied the Cardinal after some seconds, “the Scriptures are unimportant. We want a Liturgy that people can understand. We cut the Liturgy off from revelation and adjust it to the times in which we live. What’s wrong with that?”

    “It’s important to be immersed in the liturgical tradition, your Eminence, but this must be done in continuity with the Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. We rejoice that Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and that to which Revelation points, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, are all absolutely consistent with one another.”

    “The point is that, just as our Lord, we desire the salvation of all,” asserted the Cardinal. That’s what people understand. Please, do not be discourteous to your fellow human beings!”

    “Your Eminence… The Lord predestines for the salvation of justification those whom He desires. His Redemption is there for all, but not all want it. Our Lord knows that it is discourteous to force anyone to do anything. He doesn’t force people to go to heaven.

    ===========================

    Cheers!

  33. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I’m curious what a more strict translation of this post-Communion prayer would be.

    Largíre sénsibus nostris, omnípotens Deus,
    ut per temporálem Fílii tui mortem,
    quam mystéria veneránda testántur,
    vitam te nobis dedísse perpétuam confidámus.

    Is this decent?

    Lavish our senses [???], Almighty God,
    that by the temporal death of your Son,
    to which venerable mysteries bear witness,
    we may be confident that you have bestowed on us eternal life.

    I don’t like “lavish our senses” because it sounds too abstract…

  34. Ed says:

    Jeff, here’s the ICEL translation, as provided via the link I offered above.

    Fill our minds, almighty God,
    with sure confidence
    that through your Son’s Death in time,
    to which awesome mysteries bear witness,
    you have given us perpetual life.

  35. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Ed – ah, I see. I’m puzzled by the rendering of confidamus (a verb) as “with sure confidence”; but perhaps there’s an idiom I’m not aware of. I’m not sure how to render Largire sensibus nostris … ut … confidamus well. I think the word “perpetuam” would be better rendered as “everlasting” (I meant to use that instead of “eternal”) than “perpetual”.

    But I’m not on the translation committee, so I’ll shut up now. :)

  36. Baron Korf says:

    Fr Z,

    Thanks for the clarification. I’m new to your site, so I hadn’t read that before.

  37. Kim D'Souza says:

    A question regarding Patibulum: The paragraph of the ICEL clarification posted by Ed says that this word is from “Pati” and “bulum.” However, in an earlier blog, Fr Z quoted the Lewis & Short Dictionary, which he said, informs us that patibulum derives from pateo (and not patior). I’m not sure if this makes a difference for translation, but I thought I’d ask. Does anyone know?

    In favour of gibbet: The 400th anniversary of the death of St Thomas Garnet on 23 June 1608 reminded me that the martyrs at Tyburn are usually said to have suffered on a gibbet. Now, the interesting thing is that the English word gibbet is rendered as in Latin as patibulum by the Roman martyrology. For example entry #11 in the Roman Martyrology on May 19 says: Londinii in Anglia, beati Petri Wright, presbyteri et martyris, qui, fidem Ecclesiae catholicae professus, in Societatem Iesu admissus et ad ordines sacros promotus, tempore Reipublicae, propter sacerdotium ad Tyburni patibulum ductus est.