I’ve just posted online a new edit of one of the most well-known and influential Papal addresses: the Address to Midwives by Pope Pius XII.
The other online editions of this Address are substantially incomplete:
They lack a large portion of the speech, over a dozen paragraphs, which I have now included in my edition of the Address. This was my main motivation for preparing this edition. I needed a complete and reliable English text of the Address for a book I am writing on abortion and contraception.
The other online editions of this address are all exact copies of some unknown source. They all omit the same set of paragraphs, and they all have the same typographical errors. For example, the phrase “after baying recalled to mind” should say “after having recalled to mind”. Most also include the typo in the Latin phrase generatio et educatio prolix, which should read: generatio et educatio prolis. PapalEncyclicals.net corrected this Latin typo when I pointed it out to them, but the other sites did not.
More importantly, the text in these other online editions has long been in need of editing. There were a number of places where the text was awkwardly worded, or grammatically incorrect.
I have added numbering to this new edition of the Address to Midwives, for easier reference to the document. I used the Italian edition of the text on the Vatican website, and simply numbered each separate paragraph in order, regardless of how long or short. The longer paragraphs, though, were broken up into lettered sections (a. b. c.).
I hope that this new edition will make the whole Address more accessible, so that its wisdom can continue to enlighten the faithful.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.