Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper

A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist

But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:11-12

Friday, November 10, 2006

About "pro multis" #2

Archive of more posts from the latest Catholic Answers Forum thread on pro multis:

Originally Posted by bear06 View Post
I've said it before. I've NEVER heard a liberal say that all men were saved based on the "for all" translation in the canon. I've heard a myriad of reasons why liberals think all men are saved but that ain't one of them. So, who needs the commentary. You know all men aren't saved, right? The only people who bring this up is the occaisional traditionalist (note I didn't in anyway say all traditionalists). I even doubt you beloved Bugnini has said this.
How about this blogger?
The certainty is that if this is what the Church teaches, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever that I am not among "many." In my entire life I have never been on the winning team, and the Calvinists have already devised the tests for those who will make it and those who won't--I am in the latter category.

If this change comes about, and it sounds certain that it will, I will be reminded at every Mass of my exclusion from those for whom Jesus came. I will accept this as the teaching of the Church because I know the Church is the guardian of the truth...
Apparently, this person has not previously heard, or has not believed, that there will be a Judgment, when some will be saved and others damned.

For the above-quoted blogger, fixing the words of consecration will cause him to start worrying about damnation. Why would that be?


Originally Posted by tsorama View Post
Ha, well, you haven't arrived in blogdom if you haven't been misunderstood, usually intentionally, so I welcome myself to the club. For the record, I'm not a universalist nor did I quote a person who was a universalist. We both believe simply that no repented sin goes unforgiven. I don't see how that's controversial, and it's certainly orthodox, but then controversy is sort of the currency that makes the threads go round.
Thanks for adding that last paragraph of explanation in your blog entry. It still leaves me wondering what you mean, though. You say you and your correspondent "would like to see the correct translation in the Mass, one that derives from the literal sense of Scripture". What Jesus said literally at the Last Supper is that He would shed His blood "for many". You seem to be indicating, however, that you want to take what Jesus said literally at some other time, paraphrase it, and then pretend our Lord literally said that paraphrase at the Last Supper.

Jesus said what He said. The traditional teaching of the Church is that Jesus was talking about those who would actually be saved when He said He was shedding His blood "for many". You can read this in the section of the Roman Catechism which Giuseppe quoted. You can also see this, if you read the gospel record of our Lord's words at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:20-35, Mark 14:18-25, Luke 22:14-39, and especially John 13-17, where our Lord is quoted at greater length). Jesus speaks to and for his faithful followers, not the world at large:
"I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me ... I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you".(John 17:9,20,21)

The Roman Catechism says "the many" refers to the elect. At the Last Supper our Lord talks about how the elect should act and what they should expect:
Let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant (Luke 22:26)
I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. (John 13:34)

When He does talk about the world at the Last Supper, it is not in terms of having come to save the world:
"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you." (John 15:18-19)

What you will not find at the Last Supper accounts is Jesus saying that He came to save the whole world. This is not to deny the truth of whosebob's quote from 1 John, it is just that in these quotes, Jesus and John were teaching different lessons.

P.S. tsorama, is your correspondent Scott Carson?


Originally Posted by Dancelittleewok View Post
I am not sure I understand the issue here. Jesus did die for all of humanity, not just some it of it. If he only died for some, then do we need another Savior?
The issue is, what did Jesus say at the Last Supper, when the wine became His Precious Blood? You can read the Gospels in a large number of different translations, both Catholic and Protestant, and consistently see that Jesus said He was shedding His Blood "for many". The Roman Catechism says that Jesus deliberately said "for many" rather than "for all". The new Mass in Latin, like the traditional Mass before it, says that Jesus said "for many". The Divine Liturgies of the east and the saints of both east and west say that Jesus said "for many". But the ICEL translators changed our Lord's words to "for all", and a variety of false and contradictory justifications have been offered over the years for the change.

It now appears that the Holy Father will insist on an accurate translation of our Lord's words in the consecration, and that has caused a bit of excitement amoung some.

The one Savior is sufficient, but unfortunately, due to the perverse willfulness of man, not all are saved.


Dave, you quote St. Thomas twice. The first quote is an objection, the second quote is St. Thomas's reply to that same objection. If the work you are quoting is like his Summa, in his objections he presents views that are not his own.

It would be helpful to be able to read the whole article.
Originally Posted by itsjustdave1988 View Post
St. Thomas described that it could indeed mean that Christ's blood was shed for all. While admittedly this is an incorrect translation of 'pro multis,' it is a theologically correct intepretation, depending upon if one has in mind sufficiency, not efficacy.
"In addition, the expression pro vobis et pro multis effundetur is taken concerning the shedding as regards sufficiency or as regards efficacy. If, as regards sufficiency, thus it was shed for all, not only for many; but if as regards the efficacy which it has only in the elect, it does not seem that there should be a distinction between the Apostles and the others." [In 4 Sent., dist. 8, q. 2, art. 2, obj. C:7.]

St. Thomas replies to an objection:
"To the seventh objection it is to be said that the Blood of Christ was poured out for all as regards sufficiency, but for the elect only as regards efficacy; and, lest it should be thought to have been poured out only for the elect Jews, to whom the promise had been made, therefore He says for you who (are) of the Jews, and for many, that is, for the multitude of the Gentiles, or through the Apostles He designates priests, by whose mediation through the administration of the sacraments the effect of the sacrament reaches others, who also pray for themselves and for others.[ibid.]
Thus, the effect or "fruit" of the shedding of Christ's blood is given to all those who the effect of the sacrament reaches, either by partaking of the Eucharist or through prayers offered on the behalf of others.

Originally Posted by MikeDunphy View Post
Dave, you quote St. Thomas twice. The first quote is an objection, the second quote is St. Thomas's reply to that same objection. If the work you are quoting is like his Summa, in his objections he presents views that are not his own.
In his Summa Theologica, St. Thomas has a similar paired objection and reply:
Objection 8. Further, as was already observed (48, 2; 49, 3), Christ's Passion sufficed for all; while as to its efficacy it was profitable for many. Therefore it ought to be said: "Which shall be shed for all," or else "for many," without adding, "for you."
Reply to Objection 8. The blood of Christ's Passion has its efficacy not merely in the elect among the Jews, to whom the blood of the Old Testament was exhibited, but also in the Gentiles; nor only in priests who consecrate this sacrament, and in those others who partake of it; but likewise in those for whom it is offered. And therefore He says expressly, "for you," the Jews, "and for many," namely the Gentiles; or, "for you" who eat of it, and "for many," for whom it is offered.

According to St. Thomas, our Lord said "for many" because he was talking about the efficacy of His sacrifice. People may object that He should have said "for all", but what He did say is "for many".

This is clearer in the Fathers St. Thomas quotes in his Catena Aurea.

For Matthew 26:28, he quotes Remigius:
And it is to be noted, that He says not, For a few, nor, For all, but, “For many;” because He came not to redeem a single nation, but many out of all nations.

For Mark 14:24, Pseudo-Jerome:
It goes on: “Which is shed for many.”
Pseudo-Jerome: For it does not cleanse all.


Originally Posted by bear06 View Post
Mike, take a sarcasm pill an re-read. BTW, it seems that you also didn't notice and failed to copy the last part in which this blogger friend says:
Many cheered the translation precision of "for many" for the phrase "pro multis" which in turn is a translation from the Greek for "the multitude," which, without any stretch of the imagination means, "all."

What is even more odd is that this translation is applauded without reference to its following restrictive clause--"that sins may be forgiven." This phrase restricts the meaning of the "for you and for all," it gives the purpose of this sacrifice--"That sins may be forgiven."...Now, perhaps if Jesus has said, "so that all might be saved," we'd have a good argument. But what He said is "so that all might be forgiven." The might be is not contingent upon the efficacy of the sacrifice but upon the resistance of the individual person
As you suggest, I misread the part I quoted; I read it as flakey rather than sarcastic. I did see the second part, but omitted it since I didn't think it added much. But since you mention it...

Pro multis means "for many", not "the many". The "the" that the unnamed blogger thinks is before "many" or "multitude" does not exist. And many does not mean all. Philip Goddard, in an excellent little article on pro multis and περι πολλων writes:
in Liddell and Scott's standard Greek Lexicon, the article on πολλων extends to over two columns of small print and lists many nuances of meaning with extensive quotations from Greek literature to support the corresponding English meanings given. Nowhere, however, in Greek literature do either Liddell and Scott or the many later editors of their Lexicon record any passage where the word bears the meaning "all".
In the second paragraph, the blogger starts out interpreting "that sins may be forgiven" in way consistent with other translations of Matthew 26:28, namely that "it gives the purpose of this sacrifice". For comparison, see the New American Bible and the Douay-Rheims. But then at the end he puts an emphasis on the word may, as if Jesus had said that sins may or may not be forgiven. That is an ambiguity in English due to the wording selected by the ICEL translators of the Mass. The two translations I just mentioned do not have that ambiguity. People can also check this word-by-word translation from the Greek to see that the blogger is placing considerable weight on a word that does not exist in the original.

Originally Posted by bear06 View Post
Also, if you notice he links to Amy Welborn, Curt Jester and many more solidly Catholic sites. He's hardly a liberal who thinks all saved.
For what he writes that is good and true, I applaud him. But he still has some errors in his thinking about what pro multis means.


I skipped over tsorama's "so that all might be forgiven", quoted by bear06 above, guessing that it was merely a typo, but I wonder if the blogger wrote it deliberately, as a paraphrase put into quotes.
tsorama himself showed up and chimed in:

Ha, well, you haven't arrived in blogdom if you haven't been misunderstood, usually intentionally, so I welcome myself to the club. For the record, I'm not a universalist nor did I quote a person who was a universalist. We both believe simply that no repented sin goes unforgiven. I don't see how that's controversial, and it's certainly orthodox, but then controversy is sort of the currency that makes the threads go round.

For a nuanced look at "pro multis", see this.
This is Scott Carson's blog. I found tsorama's blog though his link to Scott Carson's "nuanced look", where in a nuanced way, Scott says:
I do agree with you that it is, of course, possible that not all will make it to heaven. That is also a logical possibility. But since we do not know for a fact that not all will, while we do know for a fact that God wills that all make it...
I wonder whether Scott is the unnamed blogger that tsorama says is not a universalist. He doesn't assert universalism, but he does not deny it, either.

I started commenting on this post a few weeks ago, and then got sidetracked by this Catholic Answers Forums thread occuring at the same time. I hope Scott will allow new comments on an old post, because some of his remarks can and should be answered, or at least questioned.

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