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 17, 2006

About "pro multis" #3

Next I posted a couple somewhat uncharitable messages to the About "pro multis" thread.

Originally Posted by Rykell
Who is to say whether Matthew or Luke spoke Jesus's words?
Still using St. Matthew's Gospel to attack the credibility of St. Luke's, and vice versa, I see. Where does either Evangelist claim to be providing a complete transcript of our Lord's words at the Last Supper? St. Luke says our Lord said "for you", St. Matthew says our Lord said "for many", and the Church in its Liturgies says that He said "for you and for many".


Originally Posted by bear06
"hoi pollen" means "the many" and is a phrase not found in Matthew 26:28, making it irrelevant to a discussion of the consecration.
Sigh! While we'll never agree, even Alex has admitted that it be defined as more than just the words "the many". Many, multitude, populace, masses... And I'm sure Alex will be chiming in here to say that none of these mean more than many to which I don't agree. Again, I'm in good company and happy to be here.
You have missed my point entirely. Any interpretation you choose to give the phrase "hoi pollen" has nothing to do with the meaning of Matthew 26:28, because the phrase does not occur there. I gave you a link to a word by word translation Matthew 26:28 from Greek to English , so you could go see it for yourself.
when the time comes for perfecting the sacrament, the priest uses no longer his own words, but the words of Christ ... it is Christ's words that perfect this sacrament
- St. Ambrose


And then more speculation than I usually indulge in:

Originally Posted by boppysbud View Post
So are we to assume that Jesus only died for SOME people, but not all?

Are we now to become Calvinists? How are we to know who makes it to the predestined, the so called "elect" and who is just out of luck no matter what they do?

When I left Protestantism I THOUGHT I was leaving Calvinism far behind. Was I mistaken?

If God has already chosen who Jesus died for, and who he did not die for, then why even fool with baptism and going to Mass everything is already "fixed" no matter what we do or do not do.
A common Catholic belief is that God is outside of time and can see the entire history of the universe. He already knows the choices you will freely make. What you do in life matters, because God is a just judge. "The elect" are those who enter heaven, but the phrase does not imply double-predestination. "The elect" enter heaven because God wills what is good for them, and they consent to His will. The damned reject God and He does not force Himself on them.

Perhaps Jesus at the Last Supper refrained from praying for those eventually damned because He did not want to increase their blameworthiness. Perhaps, on the eve of His suffering, He wanted to show His love particularly for those who return His love.

Some say that both the blessed and the damned are surrounded by the same glory of God, but that the experience of God's glory is joyful for some and painful to others, depending on the state of their souls. Maybe when Christ our God pays particular attention to people, they experience His glory more intensely, so it would have been a blessing to the saved for Christ to attend to them, and a mercy to the damned for Christ in some sense to pull away from them.

Please note the maybes and the perhapses. If this doesn't help, I'm sure you can find a better explanation. May God help us to know and love the truth and forgive errors made in good faith.


Notice that the last sentence can be read two different ways.


I very nearly had the last word in this thread. Because of the acrimony of the debate, a moderator closed the thread while I was working on this reply:

Re: About "pro multis"

From your first reference:
According to your own reference, hoi polloi means the common people, as opposed to the elite. Since hoi polloi does not include the elite, it does not include all people and does not mean all.

Why are you bothering to argue about the meaning of hoi polloi, anyway? If you look up Matthew 26 in the original Greek, you will see Jesus quoted as saying He was shedding His blood περί πολλών, not περί των πολλών, that is, for many, not for the many. You are arguing about a phrase that does not appear in the Gospel passages from which the words of consecration are drawn.

Originally Posted by bear06 View Post

I actually wished they had a better one on-line but will do in this instance although I'm sure someone will challenge its veracity. Netmilsmom wanted, so here it is. Notice the long lenghty list of synonyms. And, I don't believe that you required Alex to give his on-line reference, Netmilsmom. Also, if you notice, Alex has agreed to other definitions than his original. The big argument now is whether the masses, the populace, etc. are all. I think yes, you think no. Got it.


And I had notes for replying to this post:
...However, St. Thomas does indeed describe that "pro multis" can be interpreted in two senses, "for all" and "for many" depending upon if it regards sufficiency or it regards efficacy. ...

My reply:

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the commentaries of St. Thomas on the Sentences of Peter Lombard "furnished the materials and, in great part, the plan for his chief work, the Summa theologica".

That shows in the passages you have cited from his Summa and his Commentary; St. Thomas mentions the same objection in both to our Lord's words "for you and for many", and gives the same replies.

The objection has two parts: (a) if our Blessed Savior spoke of the sufficiency of His sacrifice, He should have said "for all", (b) if He spoke of the efficacy of His sacrifice, He should have just said "for many".

In the Summa, before he gets to his answer to objection 8, in his reply to objection 2 ( S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 3 ad 2), St. Thomas says"mention is made of the fruits of the Passion in the consecration of the blood". By the "fruits of the Passion", he means what the Passion accomplishes, i.e. its efficacy. This is the same terminology used in the Roman Catechism, quoted ealier in this thread here, here and here.

In his reply to objection 8 in the Summa, and objection 7 in His commentary, St. Thomas justifies our Lord's words by saying that our Lord's Passion has its efficacy not merely in the elect among the Jews, but also in the Gentiles; not merely in those that receive Sacramentally, but also in those for whom the sacrament is offered. Since St. Thomas justifies our Lord's words by talking about the efficacy of His Sacrifice, it is evident that he believes that our Lord was Himself talking about the efficacy of His sacrifice.

The Angelic Doctor does not say that "for many" can mean "for all"; he explains why Jesus Christ said "for many" instead of "for all".

Summa 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."
Commentary Objection 7:
"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."

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.
Reply to Objection 7.
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.
In the last paragraph of post #63, you seem to be presenting the objection that St. Thomas refutes as a view that he holds himself.


If anyone objected that Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Greek, I was ready to point to the word-by-word translation from Aramaic available here.


"so that sins may be forgiven" means that our Lord's passion made the forgiveness of sins possible. It does not mean maybe sins will be forgiven and maybe they won't, depending on the individual. The translation is ambiguous. So go back to the Bible. The Douay-Rheims has "unto remission of sins", matching what is printed in the Latin-English Booklet Missal (available here from the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei). The new American Bible has "for the forgiveness of sins", which, as of 2004, was going to be the wording in the new translation of the Mass.

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Blogger Dr. Bombay said...

At least your comments didn't get you suspended.

Not that I'm bitter....

11/19/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

The first pro multis thread I participated in was in a different forum but had the same result -- bitter feelings and traditionalists suspended.

I hope that these debates at least made some of the facts a little better known. I look forward to when these particular debates will be a thing of the past. I know you are skeptical, Dr. B., but I expect the formula of Consecration to be repaired with the release of the new translation of the Novus Ordo.

Glad to see that your suspension was brief. I hope USMC will be reinstated soon, too.

11/22/2006 07:51:00 PM  

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