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Meeting Christ in the Liturgy
Instruction of the Roman Missal

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  • 55d.
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In certain vernacular versions of the text for consecrating the wine, the words «pro multis» are translated thus: English, «for all»; Spanish, «por todos»; Italian, «per tutti».

QUERY: a. Is there a sufficient reason for introducing in this variant and if so, what is it? b. Is the pertinent traditional teaching in the «Catechism of the Council of Trent» to be considered superseded? c. Are all other versions of the biblical passage in question to be regarded as less accurate? d. Did something inaccurate and needing correction or emendation in fact slip in when the approval was given for such a version? REPLY: The variant involved is fully justified: a. According to exegetes the Aramaic word translated in Latin by «pro multis» has as its meaning "for all": the many for whom Christ died is without limit; it is equivalent to saying "Christ has died for all." The words of St. Augustine are apposite: "See what he gave and you will discover what he bought. The price is Christ's blood. What is it worth but the whole world? What, but all peoples? Those who say either that the price is so small that it has purchased only Africans are ungrateful for the price they cost; those who say that they are so important that it has been given for them alone are proud" («Enarrin Ps. 95, 5). b. The teaching of the «Catechism» is in no way superseded: the distinction that Christ's death is sufficient for all but efficacious for many remains valid. c. In the approval of this vernacular variant in the liturgical text nothing inaccurate has slipped in that requires correction or emendation: Not 6 (1970) 39 - 40, no. 28.


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