New Mass Translation & CCC

Will the new (and better) translation of the Mass, to be introduced at the beginning of Advent next year, be a cause for a new edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

No. What prompts the question?

No. What prompts the question?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church quotes from the Missal of Paul VI using the bad ICEL translations. Same with the English GIRM and other documents and resources.

The translations we are using now are not “bad.” They were composed using the accepted form of translation at the time. The method of translation has changed and so a new translation was needed to conform with it. To say the translation was bad is basically saying the Mass we have been celebrating for about 40 years is bad.

If and when they come out with a third edition of the CCC they will most likely change the text. But it really isn’t necessary at this time. I don’t think the CCC is held to the same translation guidelines. Besides the CCC was originally written in French and was translated from that.

The reason for my question is that most of my books are still in storage in boxes -and in one of those boxes is my copy of the CCC. I was thinking about purchasing another copy, but thought I might put it off if there is a new edition in the works.

But I would like to make a clarification; In my original question I never stated the current translation of the Mass, or the Mass of Paul VI, was “bad”, I don’t think one could even argue my question suggests the current is “bad”. A thing can be good, and still be made better, given time, study, and understanding.

I have never heard even a hint that there is another version of the Catechism in the works. Keep in mind that the Catechism is a universal document and most of it has nothing to do with the Mass, so there’s no reason that a change in a single language’s translations of the universal text of the Mass would require an overhaul of the Catechism.

Crusader90 may be right that the Catechism quotes the words of the Mass (I really don’t recall whether it quotes anything word-for-word), but at most the changes to the Mass translation would just require a minor touch-up in the English translation of the Catechism to correct a couple of quoted phrases. My guess is that this will not actually be done, but either way I don’t think you would notice any difference in reading the Catechism.

You did not state they were “bad translations.” Another poster did. That is who I was responding too. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Hello Joannm,
Thank you for clearing that up. I’m very new to this format, and it is still a bit confusing to me. I now see where you were responding to someone else who had called the translation “bad”. Again, thank you. -R

My bishop said that the previous translation was a “bad and uninspiring translation that undermined the doctrinal content of the Church’s liturgical texts” I will back my bishop up on this one.

That’s his opinion and not what the Church says. I am sure we can find other bishops who do not think this way…that is why there was so much discussion about the texts a the Bishop’s meetings.


I disagree - imagine if someone deliberately translated the mass text in a very poor manner. All who read it might universally agree that the translation was horrendous. But so long as it was valid, the mass itself, pretty much by definition, would be good.

Your correct…the present translation of the mass is not bad…it’s HORRIBLE!! :smiley:

Why are they changing it then? Get a grip girl!! :smiley:

=RoderickA;7352116]Will the new (and better) translation of the Mass, to be introduced at the beginning of Advent next year, be a cause for a new edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

***Very perceptive and PROFOUND quston; but I think not :slight_smile:

The CCC. is a summatoin of our Faith; not so much “faith practice” all though in saying that we are certainly to LIVE our Faith according to the Catechism teachings. ***

Your bishop’s view contradicts that of the Church.
The Church view always trumps the view of an individual bishop. Your obedience is to the Church first and foremost.

And when has the Church said that the current texts for the Ordinary Form are good? Certainly Liturgiam Authenicam didn’t think so…

In fact, the translations we have been using since 1970 ARE bad. they were poorly done, a lot of language was changed around, and they were not good translations from the Latin at all. They reflected the idea that language should be simplified, and made as all inclusive as possible. In some cases, the entire meaning of Latin passages was totally lost.

That is exactly why the new translations were ordered. Because Latin Scholars had been saying for years that the English translations were poorly done, did not reflect the actual language used in the Latin, and needed to be done properly.

One simple example. Dominus vobiscum is correctly translated as: “The Lord be with you.”

The response, “Et cum spirito tuo” was mistranslated as “And also with you.” In Latin, it is clearly “And with your spirit”. To claim that it was correct in either spirit, or in language and to change the wording to “and also with you” is not at all accurate.

Words have actual meaning, whether in Latin, Greek or in English. To change the meaning of those words when translating them to another language is to change the meaning of the entire document or service.

Those that were translating the Mass back in the 1970’s were not evile. They were reflecting their time, trying to make the Mass “meaningful” to others. In the process, they distorted the meanings of some things, which should not have been done.

You are quite right.A layman or a bishop may express a negative opinion about a translation without disobeying the Church which does not compel us to like any translation. It’s quite clear from various Vatican letters and documents that the current English translation is very bad. Otherwise the Holy See would not have revised it!
I too agree it was bad, as a priest I knew was saying publicly 30 years ago. This has been a long battle between ICEL and Rome but thankfully Rome has prevailed. This an interesting article which summarizes the long struggle the Vatican undertook to give us a better translation:


Using the same logic:
It’s quite clear that the second typical edition of the Roman Missal in Latin is very bad, otherwise the Holy See would not have revised it!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit