Question: Saint Augustine said that our Lord "poured out His blood and bought the whole world.." Yet I keep hearing that there is something wrong with the Consecration in the Novus Ordo because it speaks of our Lord's blood being "poured out for all so that sins may be forgiven." Why all the fuss?
Answer: To begin with, "for all" is a mistranslation of the text used in Pope Paul VI's official Latin text of the Novus Ordo… "qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissione peccatorum." This mistranslation is not found in any known version of the Scriptures.1 There is an obvious difference between "all" and "many"; a distinction our Lord was able to make in His spoken language, and which we can make in Latin and English. Members of the "great right wing conspiracy" may be interested in knowing that the same error in translation was made in producing vernacular translations in all of the modern European languages - well, in many of the vernacular versions, modern Greek being too close to the original Scripture texts to falsify. Among rationalist Protestants and Modernists there has been a revival of the long condemned heresy of universal salvation (apokatastasis), and this mistranslation would seem to be part of the attempt to popularize this error.2
A distinction must be made between redemption and salvation. It is correct to say that our Lord died on the cross to redeem all human beings - yet it is incorrect to presume that alll will take advantage of this redemption, adopt the appropriate dispositions, have their sins forgiven, and die in the state of grace. The Catechism of Trent has this to say:
On The Form of the Consecration of the Wine:
There is a "fuss" because the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and at Its heart, the Consecration of the Blessed Sacrament, is the most sacred of human acts - of divine acts entrusted to humans, more accurately. A Catholic would expect particularly these words of our Lord to be treated with the greatest respect, certainly not with the intent to foster a false doctrine, or to jeopardize the reliability of the Mass Itself. Certainly, no authority on earth can command such a distortion.
Q. & A. NOTES:
1. Cf. Matthew xxvi; Mark xiv. The reader is invited to look in all of the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant texts he can find.
2. Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. "Apokatastasis."
3. The Catechism of the Council of Trent Part II, Chapter 4, No. 24