"For All" v. "For Many"
Bishops Fear Correct Translation Might be "Giving In" to "Lefebvrites"

Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.

(www.RemnantNewspaper.com) Have you seen in the June proceedings of the US Bishops' Conference, on the authority of Cardinal George, no less, that the main reason our shepherds are refusing to go back to "for many" instead of "for all" in translating the words of consecration of the chalice "pro multis" is precisely to slap traditionalists in the face? 

Far from showing any pastoral concern to bring back traditionalists who have gone into sedevacantism and/or at least material schism over this issue, their attitude seems solely self-righteous and self-serving.

I had long thought that maybe their unwillingness to restore "for many" was based on their ignorance of just how much "for all" has scandalized traditional Catholics. I'm afraid it's much worse than that: they are well aware of this widespread traditionalist anguish, but don't care!

They don't even bother to pretend that the translation decision now depends on objective linguistic scholarship. No, Cardinal George assures us that the main reason the key committee has opted to stay with "for all" is that going back to "for many" at this stage might seem like giving in to the "Lefebvrites" and other traditionalists who claim "for all" invalidates the Mass!

Whatever happened to our bishops' awareness of St. Paul's teaching in I Corinthians 10: 23-29 about charitable concern for the over-sensitive or scrupulous consciences of Christians scandalized by the practice of eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols? In itself, the practice is not wrong, says Paul, because those idols are objectively nothing; but you don't eat such meat under circumstances where you are going to shock and scandalize other brethren who sincerely see things differently. Likewise, the "for all" translation is not objectively invalid, but going back to "for many" would not only be in line with Tradition (and all the published Scripture versions of Jesus' words at the Last Supper!), it would overcome a major obstacle that many over-scrupulous Catholics find in accepting the validity of the vernacular Mass.

But among our gentle and loving Shepherds of Christ's flock, a petulant (childish?) insistence on "not giving in" - not even yielding one inch! - to the despised traditionalists evidently takes priority over even that reconciliation and Church "unity" which, in the 'ecumenical' context, justifies (in the sight of most modern bishops) any number of unheard-of novelties.


Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.