Per Tutti – For All


Forthcoming Italian Missal

Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, reports that the revised translation of the missal for Italy has been approved by Pope Francis. At the bishops’ most recent general assembly, conference president Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti announced that Francis authorized the publication of the  revised translation of the third edition of the Messale Romano which the bishops had approved last November. It will be some months before the books are printed and available for liturgical use.

Changes to Lord’s Prayer and Gloria

The Lord’s Prayer will no longer say “and lead us not into temptation” (e non ci indurre in tentazione), but will become “do not let us fall/be abandoned into temptation” (non abbandonarci alla tentazione).
This will bring the prayer in line with the translation of this passage in the Italian translation of the Bible the bishops approved in 2008.

The Gloria will also be revised. “Peace on earth to people of good will” (pace in terra agli uomini di buona volontà) will become “Peace on Earth to people beloved by God” (pace in terra agli uomini, amati dal Signore).

In the Revised New American Bible of the U.S. Catholic lectionary, these two passages read:

  • “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14);
  • “and do not subject us to the final test” (Matthew 6:13, Luke 11:4).

“For you and for all”

Of special interest is the contentious issue of the translation of pro multis in the institution narrative of the Eucharistic Prayer. In many countries this was translated after the Second Vatican Council “for all” – in Italian, per tutti.

The 2001 instruction of the Holy See Liturgiam authenticam called for more literal vernacular translations of official Latin liturgical texts, and also gave Rome complete authority over the supervision and approval of vernacular liturgical texts. In 2006, Rome directed that pro multis be translated “for many.” Pope Benedict XVI was particularly insistent on this point.

Sources tell Pray Tell that the forthcoming Italian missal will not alter this text, as Benedict XVI would have wished, but will retain per tutti – “for all.”

Shifting Winds in Translation Policy

In September, 2017 Pope Francis issued Magnum principium, which called for translations which are both faithful to Latin and respectful of the characteristics of the receptor language. It is this second quality which was seen to suffer in the overly literalist translations prepared since Liturgiam authenticam.

More significantly, Pope Francis restored authority over translations to bishops’ conferences, as the Second Vatican Council had decreed, and rolled back the creeping centralism of previous decades at odds with the Council’s decisions. The Holy See no longer gives a recognitio by which it approves vernacular translations; it now gives a confirmatio which confirms the decisions made by bishops’ conferences.

The forthcoming Italian missal has received confirmatio from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.


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  1. Pádraig McCarthy says:

    Minor correction: the Latin is “Pro multis”, but the Italian is “per tutti.”
    The revised Irish translation is “ar son moráin” – “for many”. I prefer (and still use) the previous translation: “ar son an chine dhaonna” – “for the human race.”

  2. Jo O'Sullivan says:

    I read almost everything that appears on this site (except when it becomes too “heady”) and, though I don’t often respond in writing to what I read, I have my internal response. Sometimes it’s a “Yes! That’s what I think too!” and sometimes it’s a “That person has a very different world view than mine”. But THIS particular posting had me fairly jumping out my seat, punching the air and screaming “Pope Francis sees it like I do!” (metaphorically).
    I have long been seeking an explanation as to why the Our Father would suggest that our loving God might lead us into temptation. It’s like suggesting that one of my kids would turn to me and say “Now, don’t lead me astray Mam”. It just wouldn’t happen! My kids would always have trusted me enough to know I would never do such a thing (consciously, anyway).
    Because I never got a satisfactory explanation – just some profound theology, incomprehensible to the average Jo, I simply stopped praying the Our Father in English. When the rest of the congregation recites the “And lead us not into temptation”, I simply say to myself “Ná lig sinn i gcathu” which translates as “Don’t let us (fall) into temptation”. Much more satisfactory!
    And on the pouring out of His blood for the MANY or for ALL, I cringe every time I hear “For Many”. I must confess, I judge priests by the words they use there. When I hear a priest “defy” orders and continue to say “For ALL”, I cheer him inwardly and he goes up a step in my estimation. And when a priest I had previously regarded with respect says “For MANY”, he goes down a notch or two in my estimation.
    I’ll now await with baited breath till Pope Francis gets rid of the separation of body and spirit again and I can go back to saying “And also with you” aloud rather than quietly to myself.

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