by Dennis Smolarski SJ
I found it interesting that Pope Francis used as a key thought in the beginning of his homily to the new Cardinals a line from the collect of Sunday’s Mass, “be ever attentive to the voice of the Spirit.”
The problem is that “attenti alla voce dello Spirito” only appears in the Italian (paraphrase) version of the Collect. The Latin (which is what the Pope proclaimed) reads “Prasesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut, semper rationabilia meditantes, quae tibi sunt placita, et dictis exsequamur et factis.” (The current English Missal has, “Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, always pondering spiritual things, we may carry out in both word and deed that which is pleasing to you,” and all three texts were printed in the booklet given out at St. Peter’s and available on the Vatican website.)
So the pope several times in the homily referred to a text that is not based in the Latin (and probably would never have passed Vox Clara’s scrutiny). “The voice of the Spirit” is not a bad image and Pope Francis used it well. But I wonder if he realized that it was not based on the “official” Latin Collect of the liturgy of the day! I wonder how many of the other language translations that appear on the Vatican website containing his homily had to be translated from the Italian for the purpose of the homily translation, rather than going to an “official” Missal!
Dennis Smolarski SJ works at Santa Clara University.