The new English Roman Catholic translation of the Opening Prayer for Sunday (and hence this week) has come under some criticism:

O God, who in the abasement of your Son
have raised up a fallen world,
fill your faithful with holy joy,
for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin
you bestow eternal gladness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ..

I was made aware of the criticism through referral being made to my comments.

A lot of the criticism is being levelled on the word “abasement”. But what intrigues me is actually the word “for”. I think that this translation not only is poor English, but it doesn’t make sense (including theologically), and it doesn’t actually translate the Latin (which is supposed to be the whole point of this new exercise, isn’t it?!)

Here’s the Latin:

Deus, qui Filii tui humilitate iacentem mundum erexisti,
fidelibus tuis sanctam concede laetitiam,
ut, quos eripuisti a servitute peccati,
gaudiis facias perfrui sempiternis.

The hinge, to me, appears to be the word “ut”. And, help me here people, I think it means “so that” in this sentence. But the Vatican appears to have made a complete mess of it, and now we ask God “fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness.” Ie. “fill us with joy because you fill us with joy”!!!

ICEL in 1998 first presented the Vatican with:

God of power,
who raised up a fallen world
through the lowliness of your Son,
grant to your faithful people a holy joy,
so that those whom you have rescued from the slavery of sin
may delight in the happiness that never ends.

That wasn’t good enough for the Vatican. So ICEL and the English speaking Bishops’ Conferences in 2008 presented the Vatican with:

O God, who in the abasement of your Son
raised up a fallen world,
grant your faithful people a holy joy,
so that those you have snatched from the slavery of sin
you will bring to enjoy eternal happiness.

Even the ever-careful-to-translate-the-Latin-literally Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has

O God, who raised up a fallen world by the abasement of Your Son,
grant holy joy to Your faithful,
so that You may cause those whom You snatched from the servitude of sin
to enjoy delights unending.

Every translation other than the authorised one, including mine, has “so that…”

The Vatican insists not only on English as no one speaks it, but over-ruling the English-speaking bishops of the world to give us theological and conceptual nonsense which doesn’t even abide by its own rules of accuracy of translation.

Or am I missing something?

[see further here and here]

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