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Father James F. Wathen, O.S.J.
Chapter Four Part Nine


"Pro Multis"

    It will be shed for you and for all men so that sins may be forgiven.

    It is necessary here to turn our attention to the English translation of the "Novus Ordo." Our discussion centers around the phrase "for all men." The Latin of the "Novus Ordo" corresponds with that of the Missale Romanum, as you can see in the comparative renderings given above: both have "pro multis," which even the slowest Latin student understands to mean "for many" (i.e., "for many" men, people, persons, or the equivalent). If one wishes to say "for all men" in Latin, he must say "pro omnibus."

    The question we are here discussing will remain for all time to come one of the most culpable and at the same time incredible delinquencies in the history of the Church. Incredible because it cannot be brought to give it a moment's consideration, even though it is impossible for anyone honestly to deny the error or who they are that are guilty of it, or who had the responsibility for preventing it, and who now have the responsibility for correcting it. It is so serious a question because there is every reason to believe the erroneous rendering of these two Latin words invalidates the Consecration of the wine when the vernacular "for all men" is used.

    Attention was called to this error by P. H. Omlor in March of 1968, after the English "Canon" was introduced into the Revised Rite of the Mass on October 22, 1967. 51. Questioning the Validity of the Masses Using the New, All-English Canon, P. H. Omlor, Athanasius Press, 780 California Ave., Reno, Nevada 89502. 1969 (First edition: Aladextra Press. 1968). Since that time, even though the possibility of invalidity has become known around the world (hundreds of priests having steadfastly refused to use the translations, and many Catholics having discontinued attending "masses" where it is recited), no one of sufficiently great authority has taken it seriously enough to dare call for an emendation. The Pope himself has remained deaf to all complaints concerning the matter. And no theologian worthy of the title has ventured either to defend, to explain away, or to refute the argument. I put it this way, because those few who have attempted to refute the invalidity thesis have done it in such a puerile fashion, that either they were not serious theologians, or they were not serious period. Are we then forced to conclude that at present the Church has no theologians worthy of the title?

    The colossal irony of the whole affair is that the "reformers," instead of correcting the gross and altogether conspicuous error by making a few uncomplicated corrections, left it as it first erroneously appeared, and thus succeeded in doing less effectively what they obviously have in mind to do, namely, heap as much abuse and sacrilege upon the Head of Christ as one generation might be capable of. Those in power in the Church have waged a persistent, albeit futile, campaign to prove that no error has been made, and that those who let themselves be bothered by such trifles are "sick in the head." The sycophantic gymnastics which have been attempted by some who imagine themselves defenders of Catholic Orthodoxy, in an effort to justify this intolerable falsity, have contributed greatly to its continuance. After viewing the shameful spectacle from its beginning, one can only conclude that the whole Catholic people is in the thrall of some psychodelic miasma whereby they are invulnerable to the imperatives of simple and objective truth, inviolable law, the Divine will, and basic honesty.

    The argument against "for all men" is this: the rendering of pro multis as for all men is by no means a minor discrepancy. It is a most serious mutilation of the meaning of the words of Consecration of the wine at least (possibly of both the bread and the wine 52. If the Consecration of the wine is invalid, is the Consecration of the bread invalid also? This is a perfectly legitimate question for theologians to discuss. The Church has made no final pronouncement on the matter. A number of factors would enter into the discussion. We do not intend to become involved in the argument here, since our main concern is with the morality and the liceity of the "New Mass". The law of the Church requires that no one allow himself to get into situations of doubt in such sacred matters as these. To do so deliberately, even once, is a serious sin.) in all the countless "masses" in which the error is expressed. Hence, if the pronouncements of the Church are to be taken literally, apart from all the other faults which can be found with the "Novus Ordo", despite the best intentions of the sincerest priests in the world, and in spite of the guileless fervor of the lay people in attendance, no sacrifice of any kind is being offered (unless it be to Baal, the god of the "New Religion"). "Then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (1 Cor. 15:14). The reason is, the Form of Consecration has been vitiated and nullified. In mistranslating these few words (again, to say nothing of other irregularities), these arrogant "improvers" have altered the Form essentially, so that the supposed all-important effect does not come about.

    According to the Missale Romanum,

        Wherefore the words of Consecration, which are the Form of this Sacrament, are these: Hoc est enim Corpus meum; and Hoc est enim Calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in Remissionem peccatorum (For this is my Body; and: For this is the Chalice of my Blood, of the new and eternal testament: the mystery of faith: which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins)…If anyone removes or changes anything in the Form of Consecration of the Body and Blood, and by this change of words does not signify the same thing as these words do, he does not confect the Sacrament. 53. Missale Romanum. Desclee, De Defectibus. Ch. V, Par. 1.
    And the next sentence says by doing this "he would sin grievously."

    In explanation of the necessity of the words of this Form, the Catechism of the Council of Trent says:

        The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew (26:28), some from Luke (22:20), but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and 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 unto 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, as 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" (Heb. 9:28); 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" (John 17: 9) 54. Catechism of the Council of Trent, John A. McHugh & Charles J. Callan. Joseph F. Wagner, Inc. New York, 1934. pp. 227-28.
    The words, for you and for many are considered to be essential for the act of Consecration, because they are part of what is called in Sacramental Theology, the "res sacramenti" of the Form, an untranslatable phrase, which refers to the purpose and end of the sacrament, that for which the particular graces of the Sacrament will be granted. In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the res sacramenti is those words of the formula which indicate the redemption of them who will be saved through the Sacrifice of Christ and through union with His Mystical Body. As St. Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church explains:
        The words Pro vobis et pro multis ("For you and for many") are used to distinguish the virtue of the blood of Christ from its fruits: for the blood of our Savior is of sufficient value to save all men but its fruits are applicable only to a certain number and not to all, and this is their own fault. Or, as the theologians say, this precious blood is (in itself) sufficiently (sufficienter) able to save all men, but (on our part) effectually (effcaciter) it does not save all-it saves only those who co-operate with grace. This is the explanation of St. Thomas, as quoted by Benedict XIV. 55. Treatise on the Holy Eucharist. St. Alphonsus Liguori. Quoted in Questioning the Validity of the Masses Using the New, All-English Canon. P. H. Omlor. Athanasius Press. Reno, Nevada. 1969. p. 60 Par. 123.
    If you are new to this subject, you will surely be asking, "Well, then, how could they change the words as they did, if this is what the documents say?" Well, dear child, you are not supposed to ask questions like that, or have you not heard? Now, would you like me to tell you what explanation the local authorities will give to such a question? Well, fold you hands, sit very still, and listen:

    It so happens that the translation of the English of the "mass" was produced by a crowd who called themselves the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). Their justification for translating pro multis as "for all men" derives from the curious researches of a rationalist Scripture "scholar" whose name is Joachim Jeremias of the University of Gottingen (Germany). This man's recondite pontification has it that for lo, these two thousand years, the words of Our Lord at the Last Supper have been misrepresented! And who do you think did the misrepresenting? Why, St. Matthew and St. Mark, who else? Quoting Dr. Jeremias, ICEL explains:

        Neither Hebrew nor Aramaic possesses a word for 'all'. The word rabbim or "multitude" thus served also in the inclusive sense for 'the whole', even though the corresponding Greek and Latin appear to have an exclusive sense, i.e., 'the many' rather than 'the all'. 56/ The Roman Canon in English Translation. An ICEL booklet citing The Eucharistic Words of Jesus by J. Jeremias (New York. 1966. pp. 179-182, 299) as quoted in "The Ventriloquists." P. H. Omlor. Athanasius Press, Reno, Nevada. 1970. p.7. (Reprinted from Interdum, Issue 2, February 24, 1970.)
    The doctor found this out all by himself-I mean, altogether by himself - for absolutely no one else knows about it not even bye Hebrews, nor the Arameans, who could have sworn that they did have words to express the ideas represented in our language by the words "all" and "many!" (Our Lord spoke Aramaic. The word He would have used for all in this language is: kol, or kolla: the word He would have used for many is: 'saggi'an.)

    Even though St. Matthew and St. Mark both spoke Our Lord's vernacular tongue of Aramaic, they are both supposed to have made the identical error, neither one daring (or knowing enough) to correct the other. Apparently no one in the Apostolic Church caught the mistake. Nor did nay of the early Church Fathers, none of the Doctors of the Church, none of the Popes, not one of the great Schoolmen of the Middle Ages, no one in the whole wide world except one Joachim Jeremias. In fact, to this very day, he alone knows of this mistake, for his all-but-divine revelation has failed to impress scholars, both true and false. Witness, not a single translation of the Bible (the countless ones for which this deeply pious age has suddenly found a need) with all their unheard of, outrageous, and heterodox turns of phrases - not a single one of them, I say - indicates acceptance of this crack-pot theory that since Christ our God, the "Word made flesh," did not have a way, could not devise a way, to say "all," He had to be satisfied with saying "many" and waiting two thousand years for Dr. Jeremias to explain it for Him.

    His explanation means, of course, that the word should be "all," not "many", in the following scriptural passages:" All are called, but few chosen." (Mt. 20-16). And, "The Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for all." (Mt. 20:28). Speaking of the time of the Great Tribulation, Jesus meant to say, "for all (everybody!) will come in my name saying: I am Christ: and they will seduce all (everybody!)." (Mt. 24-5). (Mein Himmel!)

    And are we not fortunate that those who have translated the Latin of the "Novus Ordo" were alert enough to recognize the brilliance of this momentous discovery, if no one else was?

    But are you still wondering how "pro multis" came to be mistranslated? Yes, I thought you would be: The reference of ICEL to the opinion of Dr. Jeremias is all a mendacious ruse. The question at issue has nothing to do with Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. Further, all the arguments over Scriptural variations, philological findings, or even the decrees of the Council of Trent, are secondary to the main point, which is, that the Latin text of the Missal states that Christ Our Lord said "for many". The most important fact is that the translation is false, deliberately, unmistakably, and scandalously. There is no excuse for it. And the whole Catholic world should demand that this mistranslation (along with all the other corruptions of the Mass) be corrected immediately. In their unabashed impudence, the liars have not bothered to get their story straight to this very day. Those vernacular garblements (as I said above, the same forgery is found in all the translations, not just the English one) first appeared in 1967. But the "Novus Ordo" was introduced in 1969, after loud attention had been called to the error, and its Latin still has "pro multis". These words remain even though other words in the sacramental form were altered, as we have seen.

    This translation error is but another sacrilege of immeasurable proportion. You see that nothing is sacred to the "reformers." How those things which are most holy the meddlers must perforce make the most absurd and muddled! Satan rides high!

Next Issue: Chapter Four - part ten E. Validity and Liceity first part

For installments to date, see Archives of The Great Sacrilege

See INTRODUCTION for an explanation of this work.

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by Fr. James F. Wathen, O.S.J.
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