Vox Clara Heresy?

From UCA News, Father William Grimm takes aim at one problematic aspect of MR3:

Good Latin but heretical English will have priests proclaiming that Christ shed his blood “for you and for many.”

The problem arises from omitting that three-letter word, “the.”

In English, “many” without the article is an indeterminate word. It can mean a handful, a few dozen, a few thousand. It never means, however, the majority, let alone everyone.

On the other hand, “the many” can mean everyone. In order to be slavishly faithful to Latin grammar, Rome is telling us that we must pray heresy, saying in effect that Jesus shed his blood for quite a few, but certainly not all.

That presents priests with a dilemma. We can obey men who obviously do not know what they want us to talk about or we can continue to proclaim the actual faith of the Church.

Anybody for a brisk pro multis discussion on an otherwise sleepy Friday?

I don’t believe it’s on the web, but if you have access to the September edition of Worship, John Baldovin SJ has a polite but thorough engagement of reform2.

Blogging will continue to be light for a few days. Out of town visitor in a few hours, one of the witnesses for our marriage fifteen years ago. Meanwhile enjoy a nice liturgy discussion on this or some other topic.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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5 Responses to Vox Clara Heresy?

  1. Web says:

    I made the same comment over at the UCA News site: Jesus’s words in Matthew and Mark are translated as “for many” rather than “for the many” or “for all” in the NAB, RSV, KJV, and NASB translations of the Bible. Has this passage been getting mistranslated (heretically translated) for hundreds of years?

  2. Liam says:


    Fr Grimm is, simply, wrong.

    And I say that as someone who strongly prefers “the many” over “many”.

  3. Liam says:

    What I mean to say is that Fr Grimm is as wrong as those who insist that “for all” was likewise heresy.

  4. Steve says:

    At the USCCB workshop this summer, one of the presenters elaborated and said that we could interpret it this way: that “for many” instead of “for all” means that in order for us to be saved by the blood of the cross, we need to accept Jesus Christ in our heart in order to be considered the “many” …

    It was a good argument, and most of those present (mostly priests) accepted it… note: I am not a priest; just a lay liturgical director.

    However, my opinion is that the USCCB presenters did have to present this summer to a text they were not prepared to present to EVER … they had to suddenly prepare “excuses” (which all sounded GREAT) for the texts that they did not ever submit to Rome w/ ICEL back in 1998.

  5. Jimmy Mac says:

    And all of these semi-literate theologizing will be SO apparent to the few pew potatoes who many to stay awake during any snore-inducing explanations of all of this silliness.

    I say: just ignore these changes and let life go on as it currently is. I’ll risk the unlikely wrath of God in the next life by doing so.

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