Sunday, September 12, 2010

Folks Really Hate This New Translation

You might wonder how much. They hate it so much that they are actually willing to make accusations of heresy about it.

Check out this article from Fr. William Grimm.

The worst problem of the new translation is that it will, in fact, bring heresy into the Mass, and all because of an article.

Currently, the words over the cup during the Eucharistic Prayer speak of the Lord’s blood being spilled “for you and for all.” That translates the idea of the probable Aramaic words of Jesus and the Catholic faith that God’s will is that all be saved. The Latin text reads, “pro multis,” which also implies all-inclusiveness.

Ever since the currently-used English translation appeared, some people have objected to its inclusiveness. I have run across those who object precisely because they neither believe nor want God to desire the salvation of all.

Holy smokes. Am I a bad person because I can't stop laughing? Most folks might not recall, but there was (and in some circles, still is) a huge controversy about whether or not taking "pro multis" and translating it as "for all" invalidated the entire Mass due to the alteration of the Institution Narrative. There was a very vocal minority raising this issue, and it's died down oer the years.

The funny thing is that now we see "pro multis" again being injected into the liturgical battles, but this time it's the traditional translation that's under fire. And why? Because of HERESY of all reasons. I wonder what else this guy might find as heretical.

Not to get too theological here, but there is, of course, a sense in which God wills the salvation of all. It's right there in 1 Timothy 2:4. Such salvation would be the result of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, which is made present in the Holy Mass, hence the Institution Narrative. However, we also know (despite claims from guys like von Balthasar) that folks will wind up in hell. So we know that Christ's sacrifice is not efficient for all and can therefore is only effective for many.

Back to Fr. Grimm. Given that the phrase in question was translated as "for many" for centuries, one would think he would tread a bit more lightly here. He even admits that it's a more accurate translation:

In order to be slavishly faithful to Latin grammar, Rome is telling us that we must pray heresy, saying in effect that Jesus shed his blood for quite a few, but certainly not all.

Consider the consequences here. All these Catholics who prayed with their old missals all those years that had the "for many" translation were praying heresy. That's what he's saying. Consider what an arrogant and degrading comment that is.

Consider also the following:

If anyone says that the canon of the mass contains errors and is therefore to be abrogated, let him be anathema.

Council of Trent, Session XXII, Canon 6

So he admits that what the new translation says is actually a better translation. This better translation, which was standard and unchallenged for so long, is now heretical?

Who is treading closer to heresy, Fr. Grimm? Folks who will simply be doing what was done for all those years? Or you?


Anonymous said...

I thought Balthasar argued that we could hope and pray that all may be saved but must not suppose that all will necessarily be saved--a much milder apokatastasis than we find in Origen or Nyssen, for example. I'll have to go back to B's small book on the subject.

Throwback said...

Basically, yes. To get there, though, Balthasar has to put us in the position of re-interpreting certain passages of Scripture as caveats as opposed to stuff that actually happens (eg- references to folks being cast into the outer darkness).

At bare minimum, we're left with the problem of Judas, who Divine Revelation in Scripture certainly appears to be in hell.

What HVB says is different from Gregory and Origen to be sure. My point is that I think that his decision to hang his hat on the virtue of hope is misguided.

Mark of the Vineyard said...

I was under the impression that Christ's salvic work is for ALL, but is only effective for those that ackowledge Him as Lord and enter into His Mystical Body that is the Church (not that I'm denying the various types of baptism).
If this is the case, why so much commotion over the translation?

Throwback said...

I think you're right, Mark. When you consider that God knew from all eternity who would wind up damned, it makes sense that He knew Christ's sacrifice wouldn't work the salvation of everyone.

As to the commotion, I don't know, other than folks are looking for anything to freak out about. What's the difference between this guy's claims and the claims from decades ago saying that translating it "for all" introduced the heresy of universalism into the Mass?

Andrew said...

They guy doesn't know proper Catholic theology. He's a proponent of the nouvelle theologie at best, along the lines of von Balthasar and the like. At worst, he simply doesn't know what the Church actually teaches. I'm surprised he didn't call Pope Benedict a Jansenist.

The whole idea that most of the human race will be saved is odious, even if not heretical. How many doctors, saints, visionaries (not that they hold that much weight, but still...) have preached, taught, told us of how FEW will be saved?

Christ died for all, that's Church teaching. However, how many will benefit from this redemption? Even if only all card carrying Catholics were saved (as in right now) that would only be 1/6 of the population of the entire world and we know that not all Catholics will be saved either.

This priest is wet behind the ears. He just doesn't like that the new translation of the NO (c'mon, its still the Novus Ordo after all...) is more true to the tradition.

Throwback said...

On the number of the elect, I prefer Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange's take at the end of Life Everlasting.