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Translation error causes mass pulping of Vatican books

14th April 2011

A book outlining the Catholic Church's teachings, which was launched in the Vatican yesterday, contains translation errors which suggest the church has changed its stance on the use of contraception.

As a result thousands of copies of the new book will have to be pulped.

The book, entitled YouCat, which is short for Youth Catechsim – was written in German and, amongst other things, addresses the issue of contraception for young Catholic couples.

In the original work, natural family planning taking into account a woman’s menstrual cycle was seen to be condoned by the church.

However, the Italian translation suggested married couples could 'use contraceptive methods'.

The translation implied that the Catholic Church had backtracked on its opposition to condom use and other forms of contraception.

The error echoes one made in 1631, when Robert Barker and Martin Lucas issued a reprint of the King James Bible that omitted the word ‘not’ from ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’.

Known as The Wicked Bible or The Adulterous Bible, the book was widely circulated at the time, but a year after it was released the publishers were fined GBP 300 and deprived of their printing licence.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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