“For many” it is; “For all” it is no longer

“For many” it is; “For all” it is no longer

Catholic World News is reporting that the Vatican has officially decided that the Latin phrase pro multis in the Eucharistic Prayer should be rendered in English as “for many”. Current translations render it as “for all”:

...this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.

(You can read the current Latin and English side-by-side at CatholicLiturgy.com.)

Some of you are undoubtedly asking what the big deal is. The difference between the two versions is the difference between all people being saved, regardless of their relationship to Christ and His Church, and only those who are saved because of that relationship. As CWN summarizes:

The more natural translation, “for many,” more accurately suggests that while Christ’s redemptive suffering makes salvation available to all, it does not follow that all men are saved.

The debate over the translation has also been one of the arguments used by some Traditionalists in pointing out the deficiencies of the Novus Ordo. Could this be the first of many steps in reconciliation and reform? I hope so.

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  • Hooray!



    The hope I felt on the day of B XVI’s election is coming to fruition!

    Can you hear that cracking sound?  It’s the walls of that 1970’s phony liturgical “renewal” getting ready to fall down all around us!

  • Well.  I reckon that’s that.

    I guess the USCCBureaucracy’s translation, vice ICEL, won’t be “for all” after all.

    God willing, this is just the beginning of the reform that was needed in 1962, and never really happened.

    Deo gratias!

  • Some people will probably see this as putting lipstick on a pig but I’m glad. I wonder how long it will take our local parish priests to start saying “for many”?

  • “I wonder how long it will take our local parish priests to start saying ‘for many’?”

    They are not expected to make the change. The change will be made for them when the revised translation is brought out. The letter from Cardinal Arinze, appearing elsewhere in this blog, makes it clear that the faithful are to be prepared for this change. Nowhere does he say that it is to begin immediately.

  • To answer anyone’s question of when the priests will begin saying “many” and not “all” is when the new translation of the Roman Missal becomes available.  We are reqruired to remain faithful to the current texts in front of us.  If Cardinal Arinze is saying that the required change will take place in the next two years, then I guess that means we will have the new Roman Missal sometime in the next two years.

    I wonder if the U.S. Bishops Conference will be voting on the next set of translations in the Spring.

  • I think it’s unlikely the Pope will get personally involved in every translation problem, of which there many, dozens even. I think he did so in this case because it is a widespread problem across many languages and because it pertains to the words of Consecration.

  • Tom et al:

    In any case, the real story here is more than one line of a translation. It’s about the whole issue of translations, and fidelity to the Latin text as a criterion of theological precision. That the words of consecration in any language must be approved by the Holy Father himself sheds light on this particular line. But it does not take away from the whole matter at hand. The message has gone out to bishops around the world; there’s a new sheriff in town, and Arinze is the bearer of the bad (or, in our case, good) news.