Pope Francis: “Some will awake for eternal life, others for everlasting shame”

The liturgy wars are probably going to flare up again.  Not long ago the Pope changed the way that liturgical translations are approved and then, in an informal manner, suggested a few interpretive principles, none of which he has codified.  I suspect that behind the flaring of the translation controversy the pressure of the extremely wealthy and liberal German bishops conference.

In any event, one of the hotly debated points of the last round of the Liturgical Translation War was how to render Latin pro multis in the form of consecration of the Precious Blood.  The answer is obvious, unless you are like German bishops.  The only possible rendering of pro multis – in the context of Mass – is “for many”.  While Christ intended His Sacrifice for all, not all would accept salvation from that Sacrifice.  Christ poured out His Blood for all, but only “the many” would actually be saved.

Holy Church has explicitly taught, for example in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, that we cannot say pro omnibus or pro universis.

But I digress.

The translation of sacramental forms is reserved to the Holy Father.  Benedict determined that pro multis must be translated as “for many” and not “for all”.

Libs who demand blind kowtows to everything Pope Francis says, have said little about the open defiance of their fellows in regard to Pope Benedict’s decision on this.

Dissent is okay when it is against Benedict.  Doubly so when it concerns the magisterial teachings of John Paul II.

I read in Pope Francis’ 3 November sermon from the annual Mass for the cardinals and bishops who died during the last year, that Francis explicitly favored Benedict‘s approach.  There is also a piece at Crux.

The Pope said

The first reading expresses a powerful hope in the resurrection of the just: “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2).  Those who sleep in the dust of the earth are obviously the dead.  Yet awakening from death is not in itself a return to life: some will awake for eternal life, others for everlasting shame.  Death makes definitive the “crossroads” which even now, in this world, stands before us: the way of life, with God, or the way of death, far from him.  The “many” who will rise for eternal life are to be understood as the “many” for whom the blood of Christ was shed.  They are the multitude that, thanks to the goodness and mercy of God, can experience the life that does not pass away, the complete victory over death brought by the resurrection.

“Scare quotes” or not, it is clear what the Pope meant: not all are saved. Many are saved, and others are not.  As he said: “some will awake for eternal life, others for everlasting shame”.  “Some” can be “many”, but it cannot be “all”.

The video of the Mass… the sermon begins at just after 23:00 into the video. Italian text HERE… English text HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Four Last Things, Francis, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PRO MULTIS, WDTPRS and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. erick says:

    As regards “pro multis,” couldn’t we say that translating it “for all” risks the misunderstanding that Christ offered himself for the demons too? After all, demons are persons too.

  2. WVC says:

    I don’t know – if you read Sacrosanctum Concilium there are plenty of words about preserving Latin, Gregorian Chant . . . .etc. None of that seemed to matter when it came down to it. Arguing with liberals/progressives is never about actual words, logic, reasoning, or even consistency. It’s about them pushing forward a preconceived agenda by whatever means necessary. The only human way to actually stop them (short of acts of violence which are not sanctioned) is by strong acts of authority from leadership positions which undercut them, silence them, and cast them out. Since that’s not happening anytime soon, I’ll continue to pray for a divine solution to this problem (whatever means God deems appropriate are certainly okay by me).

  3. GordonB says:

    This is what makes it hard to really understand what Francis is up to. He sounds traditional on things like this — but seems to be just creating intentional ignorance and confusion, perhaps as a mean to save so many who are lost and confused — to allow them to just go with their impulses and rationalization in favor of committing sin? I mean, if somebody lives a certain way because Fr Martin said “its ok” to do so. Is that person who gives into his or her lust culpabale for punishment?

  4. iamlucky13 says:

    It is probably worthwhile for others to be aware that people trying to force a change to “for all” will sometimes point to 2 Corinthians 5:15, where St. Paul uses “for all” (at least in every English translation I’ve seen – I don’t know anything about the original Greek or how it relates to the Latin).

    While I can see the merit (although insufficient to justify the change) in arguing Christ’s sacrifice was intended for and capable of redeeming all, regardless of the fact that not all accept redemption, I don’t have much patience for those who skip that argument and instead propose that Paul’s words, in a different context, should replace Jesus’ own words in the exact moment then being made present on the altar.

  5. Athelstan says:

    “Scare quotes” or not, it is clear what the Pope meant.

    Is it?

    No offense, Father, but…I confess, it’s not clear at all to me.

    I wish it were possible to have this as clear evidence that the Holy Father is not, in fact, a universalist – or annihilationist. But I can’t see that this homily does the job.

  6. chantgirl says:

    “The “many” who will rise for eternal life are to be understood as the “many” for whom the blood of Christ was shed.”

    This needs further explaining as it actually sounds like predestination, or possibly, that since Christ shed His blood for all, that all are saved.

  7. This is pretty clear. However, given the confusing things he has said in the past, we have gotten to a point where some people won’t give him a break no matter what he says.

  8. chantgirl says:

    Fr. Z- You could be right. He could possibly have intended this in a perfectly orthodox way. Perhaps some of us have become hardened enough to him. Perhaps Fr. Weinandy is right that we have lost confidence.

    However, if that is the case, why does Francis not correct the absolutely blasphemous things attributed to him in Scalfari interviews? Why does he not clarify the conusion he has caused? Why do we hear him say things and then proceed to act in a completely contradictory way?

    Someone is being played. Either we are being played by Francis, or he is being played by advisors. At this point, I can’t for sure say which scenario is occuring. At this point, I would be incredibly relieved if we found out that Francis has dementia. The Church would still be in a terrible state, but at least Francis wouldn’t be responsible for his actions.

    I don’t mean any of this in a snarky way. I really am not sure what this man believes, except that he has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t like people like me- EF massgoers who rigidly follow the rules, reproduce, and count our beads. I pray that he does not believe what he appears to believe.

    I am starting to think that the confusion that he spreads is intentional, and I would really love to be proven wrong on this, but I see little hope of that happening. Again, nothing would make me happier at this point than for Francis to embrace the faith totally and publicly, and set everyone’s doubts to rest, but it might take a Fatima miracle for that to happen.

  9. iamlucky13 says:

    I do agree that it is clear that Pope Francis has no doubt about the reality of hell. He has made multiple clear statements in past about the eternal consequences of unrepentant sin. Where he tends to be ambiguous is in regards the gravity of certain sins and in particular individual culpability.

    Still, I don’t suppose we can extend his clarity about the literal concern that underlies “pro multis” to conclude that he would oppose any bishop’s conference changing their vernacular text from using “pro multis” to “pro omnibus.”

  10. TonyO says:

    chantgirl., I strongly sympathize with you.

    When Pope Francis started out, along with almost everyone I cut him a lot of slack on his (many) faux pas. Nine times out of 10 they were “off the cuff” remarks anyway.

    It got harder and harder as time went along, both because the oddball comments were no longer limited to off-the-cuff comments, but incorporated into teaching documents, like Amoris Laetitia, and because he (and his handlers) seemingly stopped thinking it worthwhile to mop up after him with a “spokesman” effectively saying things like “The Pope meant that (weird comment) in the way the Church has always taught…” At least, I have seen far less of that out of Rome than in the first 2 years.

    But Francis’ own explanation of himself is also part of it. He says of himself “”I am worried, but you know I have a defect: a good dose of carelessness.” It is my impression that he has seemingly attempted to turn that personal quirk into a kind of a virtue – at least in his mind: to make carelessness a kind of benefit or even an excellence. He seems to love to pick out those who are careful and who pay attention to rules with zeal as being in the wrong, because they miss the heart of righteousness and upright living – which is love of God. He doesn’t WANT people to be careful if it gets in the way of love. He uses his carelessness as a weapon against that kind of “excess carefulness”, as it were.

    As a result, he uses (or imagines he uses) carelessness and ambiguity and nonsense INTENTIONALLY as a tool to make people pay attention not to the details and the rules, but to the core reality – to God and to love. It is as if he were shouting in our ears STOP PAYING ATTENTION to the NIT PICKY STUFF and start loving again already.

    However, what makes me (and many others) upset about this is that he seems to think – and say , or at least imply – that to be careful is, per se, to miss the heart of the matter, which is love. He gives us to believe that being careful of rules just constitutes a way of ignoring what God really wants, it is essentially a distraction from loving God and man.

    This, I would suggest, is a really unfortunate, almost a deranged attitude about carefulness. It would undermine the whole program of works of virtually every doctor of the Church, of virtually every ecumenical council, of half the Pauline epistles, etc. It would turn on its head Jesus saying “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” It turns a virtue into a vice. It turns seeking truth into a vice. (And since Christ said “I am the way, and the Truth, and the life,” it amounts to not seeking Christ in truth.) It would make 9 of the 10 Commandments irrelevant. It would mean that Eternal Law, and Divine Law, and Church Law, are null of meaning for the good person. It would mean that whatever a person felt was “being loving” must be good enough because making all those darn distinctions about apparent good vs true good “just get in the way of loving”. Wait…isn’t that how some people interpret AL? Hmmmm…

    We have to go on giving Francis the benefit of the doubt – while also taking his teachings in light of all Catholic teaching, so that they are all consistent. And until he is no longer the pope.

  11. Ben Kenobi says:

    Fr. Z, I never really understood the controversy over “Pro Multis”. I always understood that Christ died for all to mean that his substitutionary sacrifice opens the gates of heaven for everyone who is willing to accept him.

    I don’t understand the universalists who attempt to twist what Christ stated that we must pass through the narrow gate and that not all will be saved. I was taught “for all”, but never understood it to mean universalism. I was shocked when those presumably seminary educated and trained stated an obvious heresy.

  12. msc says:

    iamlucky13: the Greek is “huper panton”, which would be best translated as “all”.

  13. IHSFTW says:

    Interesting. I just did a quick search on Matthew 26:28 and Christ said “peri poll?n.” Which means “for many. ”

    Mark 14 is “hyper poll?n” which still has been translated “for many.”

  14. IHSFTW says:

    Interesting. I just did a quick search on Matthew 26:28 and Christ said “peri poll?n.” Which means “for many. ”

    Mark 14 is “hyper poll?n” which still has been translated “for many.”

    I used Biblehub as my means of looking up the Greek through their interlinear mode. They use Strong’s as a resource guide.

  15. IHSFTW says:

    Whoops, did not use Unicode. The word used for “many” is “pollon” with a special character over the last “o.”

  16. Pingback: MONDAY CATHOLICA EDITION – Big Pulpit

Comments are closed.