My translation of the doctrines of Trent

I’m about one third of the way through my current project: translating the doctrines of the Council of Trent — just the doctrinal teachings, not also the decisions on discipline — from Latin into English. It’s going well. I think that this new translation makes the teachings of Trent more approachable.

Example from my translation:

First of all, the holy Synod teaches and professes, openly and simply, that, in the nourishing Sacrament of the holy Eucharist, after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is truly, really, and substantially contained under the species of those sensible things.

For neither are these mutually repugnant: that our Savior himself sits always at the right hand of the Father in heaven, according to the natural mode of existing, and that, nevertheless, in many other places, He is sacramentally present to us in his own substance, by a manner of existing which, though we are scarcely able to express it in words, we are still able to conceive it, with an understanding illuminated by faith, and we ought most firmly to believe it to be possible for God.

For so all our forefathers, as many as were in the true Church of Christ, who discoursed on this most holy Sacrament, have most openly professed: that our Redeemer instituted this so admirable a Sacrament at the last supper, when, after the blessing of the bread and wine, He testified, in eloquent and plain words, that He was presenting to them His very own Body and His own Blood.

These words — recorded by the holy Evangelists, and afterwards repeated by Saint Paul, since they carry with them that proper and most manifest meaning according to which they were understood by the Fathers — it is indeed a most unworthy disgrace that they should be distorted, by certain contentious and depraved men, into fictitious and imaginary figures, by which the truth of the flesh and blood of Christ is denied, contrary to the universal understanding of the Church, which, as the pillar and foundation of truth, has detested as Satanic these fabrications devised by impious men, [since] She recognizes, with an ever-grateful and mindful assent, this most excellent benefit of Christ. [Trent, Decree on the Eucharist, Chapter I.]

This new translation offers modern language, is translated fairly literally from the Latin, and is a substantial improvement over the 1848 Waterworth translation.

I intend to assert a copyright on my translation work. I also intend to translate, if the Lord is willing, the doctrines of other Ecumenical Councils (though not, again, the disciplines). As for the Second Vatican Council, I don’t believe a new translation is needed. See the Vatican website for the current translation.

I also intend to publish two versions of the translation, with and without commentary.

Please support my work by buying some of my books.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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