I was discussing the new English translation of the Roman Missal with a Priest friend the other day and he made a startling suggestion. He had recently attended a talk on this issue by a theologian of impeccable orthodoxy. This theologian asserted that the deliberate alteration of the words of institution so as to change their meaning would invalidate the consecration. The only reason, he argued, that the translation of ‘pro multis’  as ‘for all’ did not invalidate the consecration was that the words were pronounced by the priest under obedience. Were it not for this factor the alteration of the Lord’s words would vitiate the intention to do what the Lord had instituted, to ‘do this in memory of me’.

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Certainly, the change of ‘many’ to ‘all’ is far from theologically neutral as the Roman Catechism teaches.

“The additional words ‘for you and for many’, are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race.”

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The implications of this are quite disturbing. It seems really very likely that many liberal priests will refuse to use the corrected words of institution come November. If the above claims are correct this will mean that many liberal priests may soon be offering invalid masses.

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