Saturday, November 18, 2006

Vatican Speaks: "Pro-Multis" = "For Many"

Just wanted to pass this along as it will be of interest to those following previous posts on the "Pro-multis" issue. The Vatican has indeed released a document and declared "for many" to be the official translation they want used in rubrics, as opposed to the "for all" that has been used for so long.

I'll provide a direct link with more info tomorrow. For now, all I can give you is this which you cannot read in its entirety without a paid subscription (it's like a magazine subscription). I know of another resource which will have this same thing published likely tomorrow - in its entirety.

For now, you get this much:

Pro multis means "for many," Vatican rules [updated]
Vatican, Nov. 18 ( - The Vatican has ruled that the phrase pro multis should be rendered as "for many" in all new translations of the Eucharistic Prayer, CWN has learned.

Although "for many" is the literal translation of the Latin phrase, the translations currently in use render the phrase as "for all." Equivalent translations (für alle; por todos; per tutti) are in use in several other languages.


Cardinal Arinze, in his letter to the presidents of episcopal conferences, explains the reasons for the Vatican's decision to require
  • The Synoptic Gospels (Mt 26,28; Mk 14,24) make specific reference to “many” for whom the Lord is offering the Sacrifice, and this wording has been emphasized by some biblical scholars in connection with the words of the prophet Isaiah (53, 11-12). It would have been entirely possible in the Gospel texts to have said “for all” (for example, cf. Luke 12,41); instead, the formula given in the institution narrative is “for many”, and the words have been faithfully translated thus in most modern biblical versions.

  • The Roman Rite in Latin has always said pro multis and never pro omnibus in the consecration of the chalice.

Original source at