Soooo…. Amoris laetitia is out.
Or is it?
Not a few times on this blog have I pointed out that, by the time the texts of documents are released officially in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) changes are made.
When we got the name of the document in Latin (called the “incipit”), I wrote to someone in Rome asking what the rest of the sentence was. Some people were having a little fun with Amoris laetitia as, for example, “The Pleasure of Lust”, which , standing free, it can mean. I didn’t get any (serious) response back.
Anyway… here is an exchange from the combox under a different thread:
There should have been a beta version of Amoris laetitia.
[What’s out IS the Beta Version. The final, official version will be in Acta Apostolicae Sedis.]
What is “beta testing”? As I understand it, software goes through an initial trial called alpha testing inside the company that made it. That works out big problems. Then comes beta testing, which goes on outside the company that made it. After beta testing, the final version is released to the public.
Acta Apostolicae Sedis? What’s that? Are you saying that AL is just a work in progress?
[AAS is the official gazette of and instrument of promulgation of the Holy See. Definitive texts are found in the AAS, usually some months after their initial release! I think this is a serious issue, because people rarely if ever go to the AAS and work from the official text. They rush to use what was originally released, in various languages, without double-checking them against what is officially published later on. For example, between the initial release of, say, the Latin of Veritatis splendor (yes, it was released also in Latin on the first day and the Latin text was published in L’Osservatore Romano the next day), and the release of the official text in AAS, there were hundreds of text changes. I know. I looked at them side by side. Most of them were small things, but they were changes. So, until we have an final, official version in the AAS, yes, this is a BETA. It’s been done this way for a while now.]
I have mentioned numerous times on this blog, problems with translations of documents.
I wrote years ago:
For a long time I have warned people about bad English translations of papal documents.
There are methodological problems in that the documents are no longer composed in Latin.
The Latin text, which is the official text, is itself a translation.
However, since no one refers to the Latin text… few people know this. Thus, they are always working with compromised versions of documents.
Moreover, the texts they are working with were those released at the time of the presentation of the document, even though the LATIN is itself revised [there is not Latin of Amoris laetitia, which is hilarious, given that we have an incipit!] before publication in is final official form in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. But no one goes back to revise the vernacular versions in keeping with the changes in the Latin! Lot’s of people are misquoting documents because the vernacular docs themselves were never updated.
Imagine, for example, doing your doctoral thesis on something that involves papal documents. Because you are modern doctoral candidate at a hip school that shuns Pharisaical nitpicking, no one expects you to know Latin, right? So, you are stuck using vernacular versions of documents that were released to the PRESS many months before the official Latin version appeared in the Acta. Remember, once the version appears in the Acta, that’s the official version. How d’ya like them apples?
So, is Amoris laetitia being beta tested? If I were still around the Press Office, I’d be asking that question until I got an answer.
Moderation queue is ON.
BTW… the online ACTA is about a year behind. HERE But it has been behind since about 1909.