"Pro multis"

The has been some controversy over the translation of the Latin phrase "pro multis"or "for many"as “for all”.

The words of the consecration would almost certainly have been Hebrew. In Hebrew the word for “many"is"raba”. This has the same root as the Hebrew word “arba”,or “four”.

The phrase thus might have a mystical meaning “One, two, three … many” which is lost in translation.

There have been many books on the subject. The words of the consecration were changed by the ICEL in 1967 and translations into other languages (except Polish and the original Latin) followed suit. Today it still has many defenders.

This is interesting because even the most Protestant translations of the Bible don’t have Christ saying “for you and for all.” It would change the Christian theology a lot and it’s a point those that simply counter with “the Mass is still valid” statements completely miss.

It is impossible to hold the English NO consecration as an invalid consecration without also holding Pope Paul VI as an invalid pope. Because disciplinary infallibility prevents a pope from promulgating or approving an invalid rite.

To say that the English NO consecration is invalid and at the same time maintain that Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI are valid popes is exactly like saying that a pope can make an error in an ex cathedra pronouncement and at the same time maintaining the doctrine of papal infallibility. In other words, it’s a contradiction; you can’t do it.

Either both the English NO consecration and the post-VII popes are valid, or they are both are invalid. You can’t have both at the same time.


Please remember not to stray into comparing the TLM and the NOM in this thread. Thank you.

This is a non-issue becuase the new English translation will have for many.

Yes but when can we expect it to be implemented??:confused:

At best it’s still several years away as there are still more changes that need to have the bishops’ approval. What has been approved is the most significant set of changes, but not the only changes. My guess would be a minimum of four more years and probably closer to eight years.

Deacon Ed

How long did it take to make the initial translation?

Don’t we have better technology and faster communications these days? Is it people dragging their feet or doing the best they can?

God Bless

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating here.

These kinds of changes are like elephants making love: everything happens on a very high level, a lot of dust is raised, and it takes years to see any result.


Lettter to all bishops conferences oct. 17, 2006 by francis cardinal arinze, prefect directive to use the term “pro multis” in line with the instructions of “liturgiam authenticam.” "effort should be made to be more faithful to the latin texts in the typical editions."
4.) …"precise vernacular translation of the formula pro multis (e.g.“for many” , per molti,etc.in the next translationof the roman missal that the bishops andtheholy see will approve for use in their country.
all-ready a done deal. have a good year. (alih)

When the Cubs win the World Series.

Why not translate as “for the many?”. That significantly changes the English, whilst not showing up in Latin at all.

Hypothetical question. What would happen if any priest would just say the words “for many” without any documents being released? Today, for example.

Would he be in disobedience?

Just a thought.

In my opinion, if you’re following the letter of the law, then yes it would be disobedience, but in light of Arinze’s comments, it would definitely follow the spirit of the law.

But we must take into account that the true letter of the law is the Latin which does say “for many”. Strange that one would be technically disobedient for saying one thing in english, yet be perfectly in-line when saying the same in Latin.

Anyways, I think it’s the spirit of the law that matters, so it wouldn’t be disobedience if a priest were to use “for many” even though the new missal with the correct translation hasn’t been released yet.

Just my opinion, though.

On the same date as all the other corrections…
12th of Never in the year of the Lord’s return. ie 0r.d.

You’d have to qualify the probable action.
If he was a conservative, he may be excommunicated in 72hrs, the time alloted for publicly repenting.
If he was deeply involved in say, embezzlement or Homo behavior, it might never be brought up.

LOL. And that with a “wide and generous” application of “for many” for everyone else.:slight_smile:

As I understand it, the pope is protected by infallibility when he defines, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.

That would not give him any supernatural expertise in translating words from one language to another, nor give protection to underlings working under his authority.

The new Mass was promulgated in Latin, anyway, not in English. The Latin version of the Mass gets our Lord’s words right. The English version says something different. I’ll trust the official promulgated version over the mangled translated version.

Because that would introduce a discrepancy with the Gospels, which record our Lord as saying He would shed His blood “for many”, not “for the many”.

I don’t have Greek.
However the words of the consecration would have been Hebrew, and are lost.
Latin of course has no definite article, “many” and “the many” are identical.

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