Thursday, May 23, 2013

News Flash: Change The Mass Translation--Jesus Did Die For All

Well, according to Pope Francis, the correct answer is a resounding 'YES'.

The following is the full text from Vatican Radio of Pope Francis' homily at yesterday's Mass.  A Huffington Post article covering this sermon is currently their number one read post. This sermon is sure to generate a great deal of conversation, if not angst, in the Catholic world.  When I first read this I couldn't help but reflect on the brouha over the new English translation and it's change from Jesus dieing 'for all' to Jesus dieing for 'many'. In Pope Francis' world Jesus died for all.  I doubt that in this particular case, this Pope's words are going to end this particular discussion. Judging from the headline that Vatican Radio chose to run, someone at Vatican Radio needed to change the emphasis of the Pope's homily because the headline does not exactly mention the idea that Jesus died for all--even atheists.  Bold parts of the article are in the original text.


Pope at Mass: Culture of encounter is the foundation of peace

(Vatican Radio) “Doing good” is a principle that unites all humanity, beyond the diversity of ideologies and religions, and creates the “culture of encounter” that is the foundation of peace: this is what Pope said at Mass this morning at the Domus Santae Martae, in the presence of employees of the Governorate of Vatican City. Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, concelebrated at the Mass.

Wednesday’s Gospel speaks to us about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”:

"The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”
“Instead,” the Pope continued, “the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”:

"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
“Doing good” the Pope explained, is not a matter of faith: “It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always.”

This was the final prayer of Pope Francis:

"Today is [the feast of] Santa Rita, Patron Saint of impossible things – but this seems impossible: let us ask of her this grace, this grace that all, all, all people would do good and that we would encounter one another in this work, which is a work of creation, like the creation of the Father. A work of the family, because we are all children of God, all of us, all of us! And God loves us, all of us! May Santa Rita grant us this grace, which seems almost impossible. Amen.”


"The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good."  This quote will most likely go over like a lead balloon in some areas of US Catholicism--even some very high ecclesiastical areas of US Catholicism. Especially when it's followed up by this quote: ""The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all!  

I've often thought that fully understanding the mission of Jesus in the way that Pope Francis articulated it yesterday is the demarcating line between those who understand Jesus' Way, and those who need the 'way' of Catholicism.  One is very inclusive and the other is very self justifying and exclusive.  As Pope Francis points out emphatically, Jesus very definitely came down on the side of inclusion. 
I suspect Pope Francis is going to get some blow back over this homily, but speaking of backs, on the thoughts he articulated in this sermon, I have his.


  1. Good news! For me, there is no purpose to a religion that does not contain within it a message for all humans. Let's hope there is a new and better, from a theological perspective, translation of the liturgy to English. Fix the problem with excluding women and you're almost there. Chucking the clunky cadence and stilted language would help too. I really dislike the google translation pushed on us last year.

  2. I cried when I read Pope Francis' words, I am a believer, but I have friends who are agnostic. I enjoyed telling them they were redeemed too! We had a good laugh and ended up reading the Huff Post's Jesus and the Poor quotes as I was telling my friends how Jesus sort of insisted we help the poor and they needed proof. Kind of unexpected, the whole thing.

  3. It is Good News and I am very grateful Pope Francis has spoken them. What he said is so needed to be heard and understood.

    At times I thought when PBXVI & his sspx party shifted things backwards and down into darkness and despair, changed the wording in the Mass from being the Good News (inclusive & for all "Jesus died for all - uniting us all to God and Christ) to the Bad News (exclusive club membership of the intolerant - not open to those of all faiths and/or no faith) that the Church went over the cliff into a nightmare of a hell scenario never to recover from its doom & gloom.

    The door was being sealed shut it seemed against the good in the Church and in the world. The good being shut out. And then comes along Pope Francis, resurrecting Jesus' words in this impossible situation on St. Rita's day to tell us this Good News. It is Good! I am Glad to hear it. And I thank Pope Francis and St. Rita for the reminder that all things are possible with God and nothing is impossible with God.

  4. You're right, this is what Jesus meant by Good News. It is good! I never really felt it before, I understood it intellectually, but now I feel it.

  5. The words most directly translate as "for the multitudes"

    For All is a much closer dynamic translation than "for many."

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this good news. It's very good to know that every one is welcome to enter the house of the Lord. Although it may seem impossible for some, this is a very good news and the perfect news to hear on the feast of St. Rita, Patron Saint of impossible things. It feels very good to read these specific words of Pope Francis "..because we are all children of God, all of us, all of us! And God loves us, all of us!" It gives me happiness and comfort.

  7. BronxirishcatholicMay 24, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    Your translation seems pretty obvious, and came to my mind at the time. It was obviously too straightforward for a hierarchy trying to create support for return to the Latin Mass by spreading the impression that the English language is, by its nature, inelegant.

  8. Yes, a very good step in a good direction. Hope it continues!

  9. Hey! Yeah man! Gimme that culture of ENCOUNTER! Let's get together for some good 'ol consciousness raising and rap. Dig? I'm on my way to San Francisco, but gotta stop off and buy some flowers for my hair first. I hear there's a 2-fer deal on peonies and pansies. If I sees ya, I feels ya! Peace.

  10. Hey Shmoopie, Does it make you feel good to think you punched some hippies today? Why don't you have a long hard look at Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" for a more accurate juxtaposition of what was happening in the 60's. (Read Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" first.) When we meet Lt. Col. Kilgore a Vietnamese village has just been destroyed. In the middle of the battle a Catholic priest is saying Mass on an overturned tombstone in the church graveyard. Come on back when you have some thoughts on that piece. But before you do google "Napalm Girl", Phan Thị Kim Phúc, who lives not far from me in the Toronto area today. Forty years ago she was the subject of this news film: And Shmoopie, if you have any heart at all, if you hear and believe any of the gospel at all, please donate to Kim's Foundation: Then say Peace!

  11. Powerful photo p2p. Those were days that seem to be getting slopped over and dumbed down. So dumb Schmoopie thinks Rap was part of the scene. Even Disco wasn't part of the scene. What does Tom Hanks say in Forest Gump? Oh Yea, "Stupid is as stupid does."

  12. The Shmoopie's of the world don't give a rats behind about Peace and Love or Flowers either. A scorched earth policy and a gun is their best friend & idea of peace.

    The Vietnam War era killed a lot of people and I knew some of them. I saw how it ruined people's lives & it had a very negative impact on my life personally and the lives of millions.

    So shmoopie, sorry you can't try to learn the dance of peace and would prefer the dance to hell, damnation and war.

    Might be a good idea for you go get those flowers and contemplate the maker of such beauty and wonder. I get the sense, however, that you would rather go to a gun show than a flower show.