Rorate Caeli

Summorum Pontificum finally made available in major languages in Vatican website!

After 6 years of its being available in the Latin official text and in Hungarian translation, after complaints from many quarters, the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI, which recognized the right of priests to celebrate the Traditional Mass (the Ancient Roman Rite)* and make use of the liturgical books of the Traditional Roman Rite, as they were in force in 1962, is now finally made available in several modern languages:

[*Currently available to all priests of the Latin Church, without authorization, except, from tomorrow, to those who are members of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Tip: Secretum meum mihi]

Note: we take the call from a reader in comments, and ask those with good knowledge of the Latin language to examine the translations for accuracy. If you find aspects that could bring about problems, just send them to us by e-mail.


  1. Time to sing a Te Deum! ☺

  2. Great news, but I wonder at the timing. A few weeks after it has been questioned as possibly a dead letter because of the FFI events.

  3. It was remarkable that for six years Summorum Pontificum was available only in Hungarian at the Vatican website. Thanks to Rorate we could download a copy in Engilsh when we had problems with our ex-parish. Why has the Vatican relaxed the information black-out now? Perhaps because now the universality of SP has been spoiled by the unjust prohibition against the EF mass for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

    I will be particularly interested to know what will happen to the EF mass of the FFI in Rome at the church of the Annunziata in Lungotevere Vaticano 1. Employees of the Vatican worship there and if the mass is still offered in spite of Pope Francisco's interdiction of the EF mass for FFI it might indicate that some other priests in the Vatican are not willing to give up easily. If there any readers that attend that daily mass please report.

  4. Could someone analyse the translations and make sure there isn't any loose attempt to change the intention of the original Latin? If so, it would explain the timing well.

  5. I think they are trying to say that SP will NOT be scrapped, probably because of the strong conservative reaction. This is good news. What happened to the FFI is unacceptable and trads must protest and resist, and I think there's someone listening in the Vatican. Pozzo back at the PCED, Guido Marini still in his post, and now SP made available in all major languages... It's not ending up so bad. Let's wait, pray, and hang on with the traditional apostolate. Peace

  6. The portuguese translation is very good. Nothing to complain about.

  7. Spanish translation is fine, no complaints.

  8. Why has there been no coverage of the Institute of Christ the King being kicked out of one of their parishes in the LaCrosse Diocese right on the heels of the FFI scandal?

  9. I think they made available the translations after the italian blogger Sandro Magister wrote about it in his post about Franciscan Friars a few days ago. He is widely Read in the curia.

  10. Yes, it's probable, though influential Italian journalists had mentioned this long ago. It is also my impression that the staff translating texts for the website has increased considerably in the past year, which allows for the quick translation of most recent addresses and homilies.

  11. Per Article 1, doesn't look like they will ever be able to forbid the EF (i.e. Tridentine 1962 Missal)...only way I see is if they come right out and Abrogate the EF.
    So fear not, even if they come down on the FFI & other Indult Orders, the Priests and Faithful can still attend the EF because the Missal was never Abrogated.

  12. Anonymous7:56 AM

    From a cursory look at the English translation, it seems to me that in the English text several expressions are softened or watered down - and there are some additions to the Latin. I'll check the English against the Italian and French translation as well and report back to you later on today. Any specific email address?
    Thanks, Luciana Cuppo

    1. Lacrimarumvalle at gmail dot com

  13. Anonymous10:43 AM

    Mi sono presa la briga di guardare intanto la traduzione del non vult dell'art. 7

    In italiano, inglese e francese, la traduzione è corretta.

    Nelle altre lingue (ho inserito nell'ordine: portoghese, spagnolo, tedesco), è rimasto il non può che Papa Benedetto aveva cambiato in non vuole dato che conosceva la mens dei vescovi...

    Se não puder dar provisão
    Si no puede proveer
    Wenn er für eine Feier dieser Art nicht sorgen kann

    Ma al di là di questi e forse altri dettagli, staremo a vedere il seguito...

  14. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Errata corrige:

    Anche nel testo italiano c'è non può, invece di non vuole...

  15. Anonymous3:14 PM

    This may be the first instalment of a long, long, long series of comments but, my friends - you asked for it, so here it goes. The numbers correspond to the lines of the Latin text in paper (print-out) form.

    3: and "the good of all his holy Church" - and "to the advantage (utilitas) of all his holy Church."
    4: the punctuation should be: 'the principle "according to which each particular Church, etc."
    8: ad fidei integritatem tradendam: 'in order to hand down the integrity of faith' [the "may" weakens the concept]
    9: talem debitam curam adhibuerunt: 'exercised such due care' ["to show concern" does NOT mean that one really IS concerned, and if you have to pay a bill, are you asked the proper amount or the DUE amount? the whole idea of OBLIGATION is watered down here]
    9: nomen excellit sancti Gregorii: 'the name of Saint Gregory is outstanding' [omitted in the English text]
    12: uti in Urbe celebrabatur: 'as it was being celebrated in Rome' ["as celebrated in Rome" does not make clear that Pope Gregory made the Mass celebrated in his time, and going back to the Apostolic tradition, the norm for the Roman rite].
    14: illam quoque saluberrimam Regulae sententiam: also that famous and most salutary maxim of the Rule
    15: ut operi Dei nihil praeponatur: "that nothing is to be given priority over the work of God" [yet another example of watered-down translation. If I have to choose between vanilla and chocolate icecream, and PREFER vanilla, this does not mean that chocolate icecream is inferior to the vanilla one, but simply that I like vanilla better. St. Benedict, however, was not talking about preferences, but about PRIORITIES, and God is priority number one].
    17: constat = it is a fact
    19: stimulare = to provide the stimulus, roborare is 'to strenghten', 'fecundare' is 'to make fruitful.' It seems to me that the English ('to inspire', 'to confirm' and 'to enrich') is yet another example of softened meaning.
    22: exhortante - well, the Council of Trent exhorted people.
    Again, this is a bit more than "to express a desire".
    23: the Latin says that liturgical books were 'emendati' by Saint Pius V. I would be very careful - in fact, I would not - translate 'emendare' with 'to correct.' The English word is 'to emend'. There is a difference: 'emending' means to fix a text where it's wrong, but without altering it - except for the obvious mistakes. 'To correct' allows for changes to be made simply because the teacher thinks that something should be changed. I am strongly tempted to say that, where St. Pius V emended, Bugnini corrected - and we see the results.
    25: patet eminere Missale Romanum: 'the Roman Missal is clearly outstanding', not "a particular place belongs to the Roman Missal.

    Well, that was page 1. More to come, Luciana Cuppo

  16. Anonymous6:41 PM

    This is page 2.

    Line 1: 'ritus librosque liturgicos determinaverunt' is '[the Roman Pontiffs] determined the liturgical books and rites'. "Determined" disappeared from the English, to be replaced by "clarified" - not the same; and it has always been the Pope's business to determine matters pertaining to the liturgy. It seems to me that "liturgical" refers to both rites and books, not to books alone.
    2: 'ac deinde cum ineunte hoc nostro saeculo ampliorem iam complexi sunt redintegrationem': 'and then when, at the start of our century, they undertook a broader restoration'. Now look at the English: 'in order to ensure that the rites and liturgical books were brought up to date and when necessary clarified.' This business of bringing up to date and clarifying when necessary is simply not in the Latin. The Oxford Latin Dictionary defines 'redintegratio' as (1) restoration, (2) renewal, (3) revival. No updates and no reforms; and the restoration happened AT the start of the century, not from then on.
    5-6: 'debita observantia et reverentia' is 'the due observance and reverence'. Observance is more than respect: it means that you have to obey and follow a rule.
    11: 'Pope John Paul II approved', but 'recognovit' means 'reviewed.'
    14-15: 'not a few of the faithful continued to be attached', but in Latin: 'remained and continue to remain attached.'
    15: '[John Paul II] concerned for their pastoral care' is 'moved by pastoral care for these faithful'
    17: 'exarato' means 'drafted', not 'issued.'
    20: 'all the faithful who sought it' should be 'all the faithful who requested (or: petitioned for] it.'
    27 (Art. 1): The Roman Missal is not 'revised' but 'newly published' by John XXIII.

    Page 3
    11-12 (Art. 5.2)'can take place on weekdays': I would prefer 'may'. 'Such a celebration may also take place'. Not 'a' celebration, but 'one such celebration may also take place.'
    20 (Art. 6): 'approved by the Apostolic See'. The Latin, and other translations, say 'recognized.'
    23: 'non vult' is translated with 'does not wish.' Very polite, but the Latin says, 'is not willing'.
    25 (Art. 8): 'episcopus qui vult' is 'a bishop who is willing'. And, again, I would prefer 'may refer the matter' to 'can refer' (of course he can, meaning that he is capable of doing it, but the question is: does he have permission to do it? - and the answer is yes.
    30 (Art. 9.1): 'bono animarum id suadente' is 'if the good of souls suggests it', not 'if it is advantageous for the good of souls' (same remark in Art. 9.2)

    Page 4
    3 (Art. 11): 'officia et normas agendi' are 'duties and working regulations' ('working' is omitted).
    4 (Art. 11) 'Romanus Pontifex ipsi attribuere voluerit' is 'the Roman Pontiff may choose to assign to it.'
    7-8: 'we order that...take effect and be observed' should be 'we order established and in force, and be observed.'

    Luciana Cuppo

    1. Thank you. Not sure if there is a clear pattern there. But the confusion over 'restoration' is quite telling!

  17. texts of "Quo Primum" have been avaialable much longer than 6 years. We had this to hand in 1969 when the robber barons of the Pauline camp made their false assault on the battle lines of The Latin Mass. Ultimately, this is one of the major documents that validates all our claims to the latin Rite Mass.
    The SP has helped but it is insufficient alone. Its authority is rooted in earlier papal and conciliar documents.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!