Category Archives: PRO MULTIS

4 articles from 2004 on the Roman Canon focusing on the “pro multis” issue

Overdue: catechesis concerning “pro multis”

I found this important entry over at the blog of His Hermeueticalness, the great Fr. Finigan: Over three years ago, I reported on a letter of the congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dated 17 October 2006, concerning the … Continue reading

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Posted in New Translation, PRO MULTIS | Tagged | 19 Comments

Wherein Bp. Trautman runs down new translation and Fr. Z responds

In the Catholic Review of the Archdiocese of Baltimore comes this CNS story. On 22 October His Excellency Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, Bishop of Erie, gave a talk at Catholic University of American in which he ran down the … Continue reading

Posted in Classic Posts, Our Catholic Identity, PRO MULTIS, SESSIUNCULA, The Drill, WDTPRS, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , , | 104 Comments

QUAERITUR: “pro multis” and validity

From a reader: I’ve not written to you before, but I’m really looking for some help here.  I am from England.  I go to the Traditional Mass, which I love, at the London Oratory every Saturday and Sunday, and the … Continue reading

Posted in ASK FATHER Question Box, PRO MULTIS, SESSIUNCULA | 14 Comments

PODCAzT 66: don Camillo (part I): VM – advice on getting TLMs & “pro multis”

Our guest today is the fictional don Camillo Tarocci, (+ A.D. … ?) parish priest of "The Little World" created by Giovanni Guareschi. I begin a new project, namely, to read stories from The Little World of Don Camillo.  These … Continue reading

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Two German presbyterates refuse “pro multis”

WDTPRS has soldiered for years on the side of truth and beauty in liturgical translation.  We played a not insignificant role in process whereby the accurate translation of "pro multis" in the consecration of the Precious Blood went up the … Continue reading


An important point about “pro multis”

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 … Continue reading

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Articles on “pro multis”

In 2004 I wrote several articles in The Wanderer about the "pro multis" controversy.  I have posted them for your convenience. The Roman Canon / 1st Eucharistic Prayer – 8: “Simili modo” The Roman Canon / 1st Eucharistic Prayer – … Continue reading

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The Roman Canon / 1st Eucharistic Prayer – 8: “Simili modo”

What has the liturgy of the Mass actually had in the past? We get “pro vobis et pro multis … for you and for many” in the formula of consecration from a blending of the accounts in Mark 14:24 (translated from Greek: “this is my blood of the covenant (diatheke) shed for many (tò peri pollôn)”) and Matthew 26:28 also says “for many” together with Luke 22:20 (translated from Greek: “Likewise also the cup, after the supper, saying ‘This cup is the new covenant (diatheke) in my Blood which will be poured out for you.’” The choice to do this had theological significance. Our patristic sources, such as the writings of the 4th c Doctor of the Church St. Ambrose of Milan when describing the words of consecration in the Eucharistic liturgy, have pro multis and not pro omnibus, etc. The liturgical formulas were from Scripture.

The 4th c. Doctor of the Church St. Jerome, who translated from Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin giving us a Bible translation called the Vulgata, chose to use pro multis when translating the Greek tò peri pollôn (genitive plural of polus) in describing Jesus’ words at the Last Supper. In Greek polus means “many” or “much” or even “most” as in the majority: it does not mean “all”. In the ancient Church, no one said “for all” instead of “for many”. In the Greek Gospel accounts of the Last Supper, Jesus uses a form polus “many”. The liturgical rites of the East retained a form of polus. The rites of the Latin West have ever used pro multis. Continue reading

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The Roman Canon / 1st Eucharistic Prayer – 10: “Simili modo” part 2

Looking at the same verses mentioned in the Catechism of the Council of Trent Jeremias, clearly having an axe to grind against someone, says of the “exclusive” use of polloí:

“This is the question whether the broad interpretation of polloí corresponds to the original sense of Mk. 10:45; 14:24 or whether we have here a secondary and more comprehensive understanding designed to avoid the offence of a restriction of the scope of the atoning work of Jesus to ‘many’” (pp. 543-44).

The foundation for our present translation was Jeremias’ rereading of Scripture so as to avoid the offense in Catholic doctrine. Also, since Catholics know what the Church teaches, it will be okay adopt “for all”. We will have to continue with Jeremias’ argument next week. And yes, readers, the WDTPRS version of the consecration of the chalice will be coming soon. Continue reading

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The Roman Canon / 1st Eucharistic Prayer – 10: “Simili modo” part 3

Was this obscuring compromise worth it for ecumenical reasons? I have no idea and I will leave that to my betters. However, to my mind this is an age when we need greater clarity not more nuances, a stronger sense of our Catholic faith and not something fuzzy. I do not think that ecumenical dialogue, as desirable as it can be when it is authentic, benefits from Catholics blurring their own teaching about how the fruits of the Lord Jesus’ Sacrifice will only be accepted by many even though He gave Himself up for all. By saying “for many” the Church does not teach that God cannot and does not save non-Catholics through the merits of the Lord’s Sacrifice! But, even if the number of the many who accept the fruits is beyond the reckoning of man, it is not going to be the “totality”, all of mankind, everyone who ever lived. If counting the elect is impossible for us, that mysterious number will not be beyond God who knew it before Creation. The Church taught clearly what this meant in a time of great upheaval and theological revolution. This teaching has been formally upheld in recent years. It is not in our best interests as a “Church in the modern world” to leave “for all” as the translation for pro multis. We must return to “for many” and then teach, teach, teach…and embrace in charitable dialog all who will wonder what we mean or will seek to say we are wrong. Continue reading

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