Tag Archives: Vulgate



HEY! It’s the [472nd] anniversary of Sacrosancta, the first decree of the fourth session of the most sacred and ecumenical Council of Trent in 1546. This is my most favorite of all magisterial interventions. Be awed by the syntax in Latin. Be awed by the breadth, the heights, the profundity, the glory emanating from this decree. Let yourself be wrapped up it’s reverence before the Most Holy Spirit. Let yourself be brought to your knees. Unfortunately, rebel Martin Luther, ex-Catholic priest, would die just months before this was published, though I have to think that he was kept up to date on the ruminations for the first drafts, not easy if one is in bad health.

First the Latin…

Sacrosancta oecumenica et generalis Tridentina synodus, in Spiritu sancto legitime congregata, praesidentibus in ea eisdem tribus apostolicae sedis legatis, hoc sibi perpetuo ante oculos proponens, ut sublatis erroribus puritas ipsa evangelii in ecclesia conservetur quod promissum ante per prophetas in scripturis sanctis dominus noster Iesus Christus Dei Filius proprio ore primum promulgavit, deinde per suos apostolos tamquam fontem omnis et salutaris veritatis et morum disciplinae omni creaturae praedicari iussit; perspiciensque, hanc veritatem et disciplinam contineri in libris scriptis et sine scripto traditionibus, quae ab ipsius Christi ore ab apostolis acceptae, aut ab ipsis apostolis Spiritu sancto dictante quasi per manus traditae ad nos usque pervenerunt orthodoxorum patrum exempla secuta, omnes libros tam veteris quam novi testamenti, cum utriusque unus Deus sit auctor, nec non traditiones ipsas, tum ad fidem, tum ad mores pertinentes, tamquam vel oretenus a Christo, vel a Spiritu sancto dictatas et continua successione in ecclesia catholica conservatas, pari pietatis affectu ac reverentia suscipit et veneratur. Sacrorum vero Librorum indicem huic decreto adscribendum censuit, ne cui dubitatio suboriri possit, quinam sint, qui ab ipsa Synodo suscipiuntur. Sunt vero infrascripti. Testamenti Veteris: Quinque Moysis, id est Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium; Iosue, Iudicum, Ruth, quattuor Regum, duo Paralipomenon, Esdrae primus et secundus, qui dicitur Nehemias, Tobias, Iudith, Esther, Iob, Psalterium Davidicum centum quinquaginta psalmorum, Parabolae, Ecclesiastes, Canticum Canticorum, Sapientia, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Ieremias cum Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, duodecim prophetae minores, id est: Osea, Ioel, Amos, Abdias, Ionas, Michaeas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zacharias, Malachias; duo Maccabaeorum, primus et secundus. Testamenti Novi: Quattuor Evangelia, secundum Matthaeum, Marcum, Lucam, Ioannem; Actus Apostolorum a Luca Evangelista conscripti; quattuordecim epistulae Pauli Apostoli: ad Romanos, duae ad Corinthios, ad Galatas, ad Ephesios, ad Philippenses, ad Colossenses, duae ad Thessalonicenses, duae ad Timotheum, ad Titum, ad Philemonem, ad Hebraeos; Petri Apostoli duae; Ioannis Apostoli tres; Iacobi Apostoli una; Iudae Apostoli una et Apocalypsis Ioannis Apostoli. Si quis autem libros ipsos integros cum omnibus suis partibus, prout in ecclesia catholica legi consueverunt et in veteri vulgata latina editione habentur, pro sacris et canonicis non susceperit, et traditiones praedictas sciens et prudens contempserit: anathema sit.

Now my own slavish translation… NOT the usual translation!

The Most Sacred Ecumenical and General Tridentine Synod, convened legitimately in the Holy Spirit, with the three Legates of the Apostolic See presiding over it, is itself proposing for perpetuity in plain sight, so that, having cast down errors, the very purity of the Gospels may be conserved within the Church… [The purity itself of the Gospel…] which, before promised through the prophets in the holy Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth, and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten Traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Spirit dictating, have come down onto us, transmitted almost as if by hand… [The Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament — seeing that one God is the author of both — as also the said Traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ’s own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. [At this point, the list of books is provided. See the Latin.] If anyone, however, will not receive as sacred and canonical these same integral books with all of their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as are had in the Old Latin Vulgate edition, and will hold in contempt the aforementioned Traditions knowingly and with considered judgment: let him be anathema.

Note “almost as if by hand” since this is all about the Holy Spirit!

This is THE Counter-Reformation assertion by the Sacred Magisterium of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church against the heretics who reduce revelation to theology and inspiration to feelings, the dark arrogance having them rewrite and remove things from the Sacred Scriptures so as to assert merely themselves. This decree is CATHOLIC!

On a personal note, I was ordained a deacon on this day in the Twelve Apostles Basilica in Rome. Also, this decree became the center piece of the beginnings of a doctoral thesis (the first chapter being 256 pages), the story of which needs to be told one day, reaching as it does into the very heart of the intrigue of ecclesiastical politics and stirring the pot so much that… well, I’ll leave that for another day. Just note that this decree is still THE engine driving any true ecumenical dialogue, that is, which brings unity in truth and charity to those who sincerely follow Jesus.


Filed under Ecumenism, Holy See, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Spiritual life, Vulgate

Liturgiam Authenticam is a sad joke

sixtus v vulgata 1590 frontespizio

The spittle flecked nutties by ultra-traditional-ism-ists regarding never making any translation more precise, ever, are so incredibly misguided and ignorant that there is still, after all these years, unwavering and unqualified support for Liturgiam Authenticam, with those on the right saying that the attacks against it by the left are proof positive that it’s all good and must be supported. There are good things, but…

Those on the right who are naive and frightened of any kind of fight in this Church militant want nothing more than to hide behind anything whatsoever so as to feel safe, even if that requires surrender to the enemy, just as long as there is someone with hateful sarcasm and bitter cynicism telling them to do just that, because, you know, all that hateful bitterness is proof positive that someone is seriously on their side. But no one is on anyone’s side when sitting on a fence, particularly when that fence, these days, is made of razor wire. They are merely castrated cowards who know nothing, do nothing, except that they are always trying to please both camps, at least by continuing to know nothing and to do nothing, becoming useful idiots in this way.

Consider that Liturgiam Authenticam requires usage of the Nova Vulgata, whose textual critical principles are akin to those of Erasmus and Luther, so that the Nova Vulgata, however well intentioned back in the days of its being kick-started by Saint Pius X, turned into THE counter-counter-Reformation volley since the sixteenth century, even though it was finally published by Saint John Paul II. It is the Reformation all over again, but this time from within. And the useful idiot pundits merely say: “Well, I guess I never really looked into all that.” Right. That’s good enough, I guess, for the final judgment, right? You can’t just say that it’s all good because it’s in Latin. Nope. Doesn’t work that way.

Perhaps people should take such huge controversies a bit more seriously as they wade through the rivers of blood that have flowed because of these very questions. But we are the generation of being hip and clever because we are snarky and damning of all. And the darkness becomes all the more dark. And the channels for the blood to flow are being dug in just this way. How can we avoid the post-Reformation genocides that raged throughout Europe if we do exactly the same things that led up to those genocides?

As a cure, I recommend two things:

  1. “Humility, humility, humility,” as Pope Francis says. This changes everything.
  2. Give a flower to the Immaculate Conception. No, really, like a real flower. Go get a flower, at a florist if you have to, and put it in a vase, and bring it to a church, and put it in front of an image of our Lady, even on the floor if you have to.  This changes everything. As a blast from the past, here’s a flower sent in by a reader from half-way around the world:

flores holy spirit

Oh, and then, hey! Why not figure out the treasure map:

trent session 4 treasure map

There are rules for the treasure map. Most importantly, (A) and (B) of (1) and then (C) and (D) of (3) and not equated. (B) and (C) of (2) are equated, but only until 8 April 1546, not at any time afterward, that is, until there is a dogmatic decree about it. The last time that was attempted, that particular Pontiff abruptly died before he could accomplish it. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here are the rules:

1. Of three equivocations, only number (2) is valid.
2. Boxes (A) and (B) are from Sacrosancta, the first decree of the fourth session of the Council of Trent. This is a dogmatic decree.
3. Boxes (C) and (D) are from Insuper, the second decree of the same session. This is a disciplinary decree which does, nevertheless, have dogmatic content.
4. (A) refers to that which God has inspired in whatever original language, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, etc. That which is inspired is canonical. However, this is not to be found all in one manuscript, but, with the passage of the centuries, spread throughout many manuscripts, one phrase here, one there.
5. (B) refers to words and phrases used in the Latin Vulgate from the beginning until the publication of the decree. The Latin, a mere translation, is not inspired, but because of constant use by the Church, has a text which is more easily known, and can act as a sieve for the original language manuscripts.
6. (C) has the same content as that found in (B).
7. (D) does not have the same content as (B) and (C). Permission is given to print the best edition possible (see “potissimum”) to date. This recognizes that the project may be continue for a long time. [This is the sad state of the Nova Vulgata]
8. What is in (B) is a help to discover what is in (A); it would be advantageous to make good use of (B).
9. One cannot yet be sure what is in (B), as there are many manuscripts yet to consider.
10. Translations should be made only after the textual extensions of (A) and (B) have been duly studied.
11. Translations should be made from (A), noting that a correct sense of (A) can be found in (B).

/////// By the way, it’s just a coincidence, I’m sure, but it was when I was figuring all this out on the patio roof of the college at Saint Helen’s in Rome years ago that a sniper almost took me out. That makes it dramatic I guess. It never bothered me. I was on the top floor about 85 feet up, looking right at the guy:

sniper 2

He was across the railroad tracks in the always open roof window (427 feet away according to google maps):

sniper 1

Street level picture. At 85 feet up, none of the cables would be there.

He would have hit me smack in the heart. Good shooting, really. There’s a drop of quite a few feet at that range. Got out of the way just in time. A nano-second.

/////// It’s around the above treasure map that I wrote a 750 page ecclesiastical thriller (which now needs revising), Jackass for the Hour. One day… One day…

P.S. I’m sure there will be some people who will use the race-card against me, and say that all of a sudden I am racist because I don’t support certain aspects of Liturgiam authenticam. Really? Talk about tender snowflakes having a meltdown. No, I’m not against Cardinal Sarah! Take a breath!


Filed under The Father Byers Kryptos, Vulgate

Use the “Vulgate” or the inspired text?


While the Vulgate has “a” correct sense, which should not be not considered, one is to strive to get the fullest sense from the inspired text, whatever language that is, whether Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician. That‘s the teaching of the Church. We Catholics don’t consider the Vulgate to be inspired, as many non-Catholics think somehow that the King James Version is inspired. Some people complain that this is archeologism, a kind of heresy in their eyes even for the inspired Biblical text, but that’s when such complainers become heretics. The inspired text is part and parcel of the revelation, which is unchanging, complete. Yes, let’s see what Jerome did for textual criticism, for he was brilliant. But he himself wasn’t too concerned about the fullest sense, bowing instead to just wanting to keep the status quo inasmuch as he could, even against his better judgment. But that’s Jerome. Then there’s Augustine, who attacks the persnicketiness of language trolls. But then there’s the teaching of the Church about the beauty of what’s inspired. Let’s take everything we can from the Fathers and the Vulgate, but let’s also follow after the Holy Spirit, as those very Fathers of the Church would have us do. They would have wanted to know back in the day what we know about language today.

By the way, the Nova Vulgata is absolutely not the Vulgate!


Filed under Vulgate

Update: 03 The Father Byers Kryptos: Rules for the Treasure Map (Solution found!)

sixtus v

Question: Before moving on in this series to the intrigue, mayhem, violence, death, exhilaration, public and private revelation from on high, can anyone, say, in a sentence or two, summarize what the treasure of the treasure map is, and how it is that we are supposed to get to that treasure with the treasure map?

Solution found! Scroll down the comments. I refer to the contribution of elizdelphi. After that, the discussion gets quite refined. Great! But elizdelphi nailed it.

Following up on the first posts of this series (see the category The Father Byers Kryptos), these are my Continue reading


Filed under Holy See, The Father Byers Kryptos, Vulgate