"ADVENT EMBER SATURDAY" Traditional Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Toronto

Saturday, 18 November 2006

PRO MULTIS! FOR MANY! DEO GRATIAS!

Pro multis means "for many," Vatican rules

Vatican, Nov. 18 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican has ruled that the phrase pro multis should be rendered as "for many" in all new English-language translations of the Eucharistic Prayer, CWN has learned.

Although "for many" is the literal translation of the Latin phrase, the translations currently in use render the phrase as "for all." All new English-language translations will use "for many" when they appear.

Cardinal Francis Arinze (bio - news), the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has written to the heads of episcopal conferences of the English-speaking world, informing them of the Vatican decision.

The translation of pro multis has been the subject of considerable debate because of the serious theological issues involved. The phrase occurs when the priest consecrates the wine, saying (in the current translation):

...It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.

The Latin version of the Missal, which sets the norm for the Roman liturgy, says:

...qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.

Critics of the current translation have argued, since it first appeared, that rendering pro multis as "for all" not only distorts the meaning of the Latin original, but also conveys the impression that all men are saved, regardless of their relationship with Christ and his Church. 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.

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