Just as the document Liturgiam authenticam required a revision the English liturgical texts, all the different languages need revision, including German. You may recall that the Holy Father, not the Congregations for Divine Worship or of the Doctrine of the Faith, is the only one who can approve translations of sacramental forms. Years ago Pope Benedict instructed the CDW to instructed the bishops conferences preparing new translations that the words pro multis in the form for the consecration of the Precious Blood, were to adhere to the Latin and were to be some form of “for many” and not “for all”. The reason for the Holy Father’s decision was complicated, but in essence it comes down to the fact that, regardless of the Scriptural origins of the consecratory form, the Latin liturgical texts constitute their own theological source and they must be respected as such.
The German bishops and others beyond the Alps have been staging a nutty about the pro multis issue, insisting that they should leave the German as “für alle” and not change it to “für viele”.
It seems that the German theologian Pope, who cannot be fooled when it comes either to German or theology, has explained the situation to the German-speaking bishops.
The German Bishops Conference website has posted the Pope’s 14 April letter of almost 200o words.
I don’t have the time or energy to translate it for you at the moment, but in short Pope Benedict explains that the bishops do, in fact, have to use “for many” and they have to engage in catechesis. He adds personal observations about the difficulty of having to say Mass in different languages and the dissonance there can be between the translations. He also heads off the common questions and objections raised by those who want to stick to “for all”.
Once again the Holy Father has offered good reflections on what the prayer really says. I am sure the text of the letter will soon be available in English.
It is nice to be on the same page as Pope Benedict.
Please pray for the Holy Father!