In the whirl of opinions (informed and non) in the MSM about Laudato si’, I’m tempted to put down my copy and wait for the official, Latin text in Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
I remember how, years ago, when Veritatis splendor came out, I found in the Latin text in AAS zillions of changes compared to the Latin version that was originally published in L’Osservatore and given to us journalists before the release. Changes in the Latin, mind you.
In the meantime, we get to read Laudato si‘ in an unofficial translation.
Think about this for a moment. Ponder the implications.
When big documents come out these days, they are released in many languages. It also happens that they don’t release a Latin version, as they once did even when the document wasn’t originally penned in Latin. Mind you, papal docs haven’t been composed in Latin for a loooong time now, friends. However, the official version of a document is the version that appears in Acta Apostolicae Sedis… usually in Latin.
So, what does this mean?
Since the texts are amended and adjusted and changed after the initial public release (in multiple vernacular languages), people who refer to the vernacular versions (from the initial time of release) are not actually referencing the official, final document! They don’t go back to redo the vernacular translations in light of the changes in the official, final Latin!
Students, church officials, bishops when they write pastoral letters… they aren’t reading the real thing.
Thus, I hope there will be an official, Latin version Laudato si’, to which one can refer.
I’m especially looking forward to how certain things will be translated! I remember in my work with Fr. Foster having to do a simultaneous translation exercise from an article in TIME on economics. I pretty much fell apart when I got to “marginal propensity for change”. If the concepts in Laudato si‘ are comprehensible, they should be able to be expressed in Latin.
We also need the official Latin.
Otherwise, this pontificate risks having a Magistweeterum rather than a Magisterium.