The translation of "pro multis" as "for many" vs. "for all"
The dispute hinges upon the question, what is the substance of the form? (Changing those words to mean something different will invalidate the sacrament.) St. Thomas maintains that the substance of the form is the whole thing: "This is the chalice of My blood, of the new and eternal testament, the Mystery of Faith, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the forgiveness of sins."

St. Thomas, when regarding the shortened phrase, "This is the chalice of My blood," says that those words "denote" the change of the matter. He goes on to say that the words which follow do belong to the integrity of the form. This is from Article 3:

Quote:I answer that, There is a twofold opinion regarding this form. Some have maintained that the words "This is the chalice of My blood" alone belong to the substance of this form, but not those words which follow. Now this seems incorrect, because the words which follow them are determinations of the predicate, that is, of Christ's blood. Consequently they belong to the integrity of the expression.

And on this account others say more accurately that all the words which follow are of the substance of the form down to the words, "As often as ye shall do this," which belong to the use of this sacrament, and consequently do not belong to the substance of the form. Hence it is that the priest pronounces all these words, under the same rite and manner, namely, holding the chalice in his hands. Moreover, in Luke 22:20, the words that follow are interposed with the preceding words: "This is the chalice, the new testament in My blood."

Consequently it must be said that all the aforesaid words belong to the substance of the form; but that by the first words, "This is the chalice of My blood," the change of the wine into blood is denoted, as explained above (Article 2) in the form for the consecration of the bread; but by the words which come after is shown the power of the blood shed in the Passion, which power works in this sacrament, and is ordained for three purposes.

It is possible that the Summa is not sufficient to resolve the matter. In Article 1, St. Thomas states that a priest using merely "This is my Body. This is my Blood," would confer the sacrament. But in Article 3, he states that the words which follow "This is my blood," belong to the integrity of the form. Is St. Thomas saying that you can change the substance of the form to mean something else and still confer a valid sacrament?

It makes more sense when you keep in mind the reality of the sacrament: not just having Christ's body and blood present with us, but the "unity of the mystical body." So the substance of the form must in some way signify the unity of the mystical body, which "for all" does not.
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Re: The translation of "pro multis" as "for many" vs. "for all" - by charlesh - 12-30-2010, 01:36 PM



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