Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

From the August AD 2001
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin

    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:

Here, therefore, rather than at the consecration of His body, is appropriately commemorated the Passion of our Lord, by the words which shall be shed for the remission of sins. For the blood, separately consecrated, serves to place before the eyes of all, in a more forcible manner, the Passion of our Lord, His death, and the nature of His sufferings.

The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God (Matthew xxvi; Luke xxii). They serve to declare the fruit and the advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not to all, but to many of the human race. When, therefore, our Lord said: "For you," He meant either those who were present, or those chosen from among the Jewish people, such as were, with the exception of Judas, the disciples with whom He was speaking. When He added, "And for many", He wished to be understood to mean the remainder of the elect from among the Jews or Gentiles.

With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, for in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says: Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; and also of the words of our Lord in John: "I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast given me, because they are Thine" (Hebrews ix; John xvii).3

    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


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