2 October 2008

Any Padre Pio experts out there?

Let me explain my problem. I say my Divine Office according to the postconciliar Liturgia Horarum in Latin because that is what Vatican II mandated except in what it anticipated as the very rare exceptions when a cleric did not know Latin. When a new Saint is added to the Universal Calendar, I photocopy the new proper from Notitiae, the Vatican periodical which gives the official texts of the Acta of the Cogregation for Divine Worship and whatever, and gum it in.

This is where my problem starts. The typists who process these documents into print are manifestly a ropey and highly careless lot (presumably this is why, in the Collect for Padre Pio, the word presbyterum is misspelt). There's nothing new in this; indeed, the problem goes back to the 1987 edition of the Breviary, which is full of misprints - sometimes a word misspelt; sometimes an impossible punctuation; sometimes a couple of lines missed out. Some mistakes are easy to handle; for example 'italianisms' like spirito instead of spiritu; misto instead of mixto; ogni instead of omni. Others reduce the text to meaningless gibberish so that the only recourse is to go into Bodley and if possible look up the originals.

But even in this context, the Lectio Altera for S Pius of Pietrelcina is quite outstanding. I've counted five major grammatical errors of the most elementary nature: the sort of howlers I would not have expected my IV Form Latin set to make. What does this mean? That the quality of those who produce the official Latin texts of the Latin Church has plummeted to an even more appallingly low level than before? Or could it be that Padre Pio wrote his letters in Latin and that the mistakes are the Saint's own mistakes? Saintly mistakes, so to speak.

I would love to know.


Frank Rega said...

Fr. Hunwicke,
Padre Pio wrote his letters in Italian. There are four volumes of them.
Frank Rega

PaweĊ‚ Pojawa said...

If you wish, please take a look on how the text looks in the Textus Inserendi of 2005: Page 1, Page 2.

Not being fluent in Latin, I cannot judge the grammatical errors in the text of the reading.

I guess the translation reflects the rhythm of the original Padre Pio's Italian, rather than being polished Latin.