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Struggle over encyclical translation


Pope Benedict XVI's first major pronouncement has been delayed by an unprecedented tussle over the final wording between key Vatican departments and the Pope's German household staff.

A London Times report republished today in The Australian says that Vatican officials said the delay in publishing the encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, on the subject of love, was because of the Pope's busy schedule over Christmas.

Other Vatican sources said, however, that the reason was a disagreement over the translation of the final 50-page draft into various languages, including English and Italian.

Vatican sources said the tensions had been exacerbated by the fact that, although the Pope had written the first part of the encyclical in German during his summer break, the second part was an adaptation of a document left behind in Polish by the late John Paul II.

It had been passed to Vatican specialists for further revision but remained unfinished at the time of John Paul's death 10 months ago. The two parts had had to be "harmonised".

Benedict, responding to growing speculation about the delay, told pilgrims at his weekly audience on Wednesday that the release of the text, originally planned for early December, had been delayed until next Wednesday.

Benedict said it would discuss the concept of love "in its various dimensions", from "the love between man and woman to the love that the Catholic Church has for others in its expression of charity".

According to Italian media reports, the Pope says in the encyclical that eros risks being degraded to mere sex if it does not have a balancing component of spiritual love.

In an unusual move, the encyclical will be the subject of a Vatican-sponsored conference next week involving Liliana Cavani, the film director, and James Wolfensohn, the former head of the World Bank.

SOURCE
Pope's message on love hits snag (The Australian/The Times 20/1/06)

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20 Jan 2006