Some bishops of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan (CBC-J) have held up publication of the Japanese translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) for more than five years, since the mid-1990s, when a Hungarian missionary-theologian and a Japanese nun, who were officially commissioned to translate it by the Standing Committee of the CBC-J in 1992, submitted the completed accurate translation to the CBC-J.

This shelving of the translation of the CCC has left Japanese Catholics straying like lost sheep without this inspiring summary of Catholic teachings, although the initial French version of the CCC was published by the Vatican on November 16, 1992.

The publication delay has sprung from a difference among the 19 Japanese bishops over whether it should accept some terms in the translation by Peter Nemeshegyi, S.J., former head of the Theology Faculty of Tokyo-based Sophia University, and Sr. Therese Takako Kikuchi of the Congregation de Notre Dame, according to the testimonies of Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, Bishop Emeritus Peter Takaaki Hirayama and several incumbent and former members of the secretariat of the CBC-J.

Sr. Kikuchi, a graduate of the Universite de Montreal of Canada, translated the entire CCC from French in three years and then Fr. Nemeshegyi, a dogmatic theologian, checked all the details of her translation and revised her translation carefully before submitting it to the CBC-J. Fr. Nemeshegyi is a polyglot extremely proficient in Japanese.

Sr. Kikuchi, the humble author of the book, " Saint Therese of Lisieux," studied theology at the Universite Laval and the College Dominicain De Philosophie et De Theologie, too. She translated all four parts of the CCC in three years -- by around the end of 1995 -- and handed over the completed translation of the four parts -- one by one -- to the CBC-J secretariat.

The selection of Sr. Kikuchi and Fr. Nemeshegyi was approved by the Standing Committee, a key decision-making body of the CBC-J, in the initial several months of the CBC-J presidency of Archbishop Francis Xavier Kaname Shimamoto, one of the most orthodox among Japanese bishops.

The Publications Department of the CBC-J Secretariat quickly sent Part 1 of the four-part CCC to Fr. John Bosco Masayuki Shirieda, S.D.B., who had been designated by the Vatican as the censor of the translation beforehand.  In an official reply from Rome, Fr. Shirieda, then an official at the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, said he confirmed the accuracy of the translation.

Fr. Shirieda was quoted by a source close to the CBC-J as saying in the reply, " There is no problem basically."  The source spoke on condition of anonymity.

But the CBC-J Secretariat stopped sending the remaining three parts of the CCC to the Holy See, because Bishop Paul Shinichi Itonaga began to vehemently oppose the selection of the duo, Sr. Kikuchi and Fr. Nemeshegyi.

The bishop's objections continued even after the Holy See-censor's approval was given to Part 1 of the CCC.

The CBC-J set up in 1997 the Catechism Censorship Commission by naming the three bishops -- Bishop Itonaga, Bishop Peter Takeo Okada and Bishop Joseph Satoshi Fukahori -- as its members.

After this, the three bishops began rewriting the translation. They completed the revision in September 1998, according to the November 1998 issue of the Bulletin of the CBC-J, a monthly publication of the episcopal conference.  The November issue reported the decisions of the Standing Committee at its October 8 meeting.

The Bulletin says, " In September, the chairman (Bishop Itonaga) of the Catechism Censorship Commission submitted a report to the chairman of the Standing Committee (Archbishop Shimamoto) in which he reported that the commission had completed the task of censorship entrusted to the commission.....The Standing Committee approved a request to disband the Catechism Censorship Commission and entrusted some remaining task necessary for the publication of the Japanese edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to the deputy chief of the CBC-J Secretariat (Fr. Peter Takehiko Ano)...." (1) 

Fr. Ano later told me in a telephone conversation on March 1 this year, " At that time, I told bishops that the revision work has not been completed."  He said he told the CBC-J that it is still necessary to adjust expressions and terms in the manuscript blue-penciled by the three bishops.

This is the reason why the CBC-J Standing Committee decided to give Fr. Ano a mandate to make the necessary final checkup and corrections of the revised manuscript.

Cardinal Shirayanagi told me in an interview on August 7, 1999, that the publication has been delayed because " A dispute arose over how some terms related to the liturgy should be translated."

" Bishop Itonaga of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Compilation of the Catechism is now dealing with the Catechism project," the cardinal said. " Fr. Ano of the secretariat of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan is directly in charge of the Catechism project," he said.

The Standing Committee instructed Fr. Ano to revise the Japanese translation of the CCC, while taking into consideration a list of substitute words for translation to replace traditional Catholic liturgical and theological terms, Fr. Ano said.

In a telephone interview on February 12 this year, Fr. Ano said, " I was given the terminology list and was instructed to revise Sr. Kikuchi's translation in accordance with it."

But he said he has received conflicting requests from several bishops concerning how to translate the term " sacrifice."   Some bishops demanded that the " sacrifice" be translated as " hoken (offering)," while some others asked him to translate it as " ikenie (sacrifice, victim)."

" Bishop Itonaga does not like some terms used in the Japanese translation of the Catecism of the Catholic Church (by Sr. Kikuchi and Fr. Nemeshegyi)," Bishop Peter Hirayama of the Oita Diocese said in a conversation with this writer on September 9, 2000.

But the ultimate cause of the delay in the CCC publication appears to be the objections of some theologians of the Liturgy Committee of the CBC-J to the dogma of the real substantial presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

This can be ascertained from their books as well as from a list of substitute words used for the translation of key traditional theological and liturgical terms, compiled by the Terminology Study Commission of the CBC-J, headed by Bishop Fukahori, former head of the Liturgy Commission.

The creation of the Terminology Study Commission was proposed by the Liturgy Commission, which includes Fr. Francis Yoshimasa Tsuchiya, S.J., the most influential liturgist in Japan.  The proposal was approved by the plenary meeting of the CBC-J on Dec. 13, 1994, according to the February 1995 issue of the Bulletin. (2)

These theologians of the Liturgy Committee deeply influenced the thinking of some bishops to the point of having the entire CBC-J approve their terminology list at a CBC-J plenary meeting on June 16, 1997, according to the July 1997 issue of the Bulletin.

--- (3)

The same issue of the Bulletin published the extremely problematic terminology list.

These theologians' writings attest that they have also downplayed and obliterated the doctrine on the essential difference between the universal priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood of Catholic priests.

Their writings attest that they are reluctant to accept the dogma that it is only through the ministry of validly ordained Catholic priests that Jesus Christ changes the substance of bread into the substance of His Body -- in which His divinity and human nature really exist -- when a priest says Mass in the person of Christ.

This terminology list in question provides substitute words for the translation for key Catholic terms to replace 23 traditional theological and liturgical terms.

The 23 include such crucial words as " sacrifice,"  " Eucharist" and " Eucharistic sacrifice."  The list gives 3 to 5 options as substitute words for each of the three key words. The options include equivocal words whose meanings do not correspond with those of the traditional terms.

The most theologically poisonous element of the list is that it recommends that translators use the term " offering (hoken)" or " present (sasagemono)" or " offering to a deity (sonaemono)" in translating the crucial Catholic term " sacrifice" into Japanese.

Although the list puts such traditional words as " victim (ikenie, gisei)" and " sacrifice (gisei)" among the options, the two words are added to the end of the list.

Into the bargain, some vocal episcopal bishops have urged Fr. Ano to use the term " hoken" to render the word sacrifice for the CCC, Fr. Ano said.

The three terms, " hoken, sasagemono, sonaemono (offering, present)" are not appropriate to mean a sacrifice, because their adoption would make it almost impossible to express the crucial dogma that the sacrifice of the Mass is essentially identical with the sacrifice of the cross, Fr. Francis Keisuke Uchiyama, a Passionist father, said. He is the translator of the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter " Salvifici Doloris."

The essential identity of the sacrifice of the Mass with the sacrifice of the cross results from the transubstantiation effected by the Divine power of Jesus -- the Primary Sacrificing Priest at all Masses -- who converts the substance of bread into the substance of His Body by using Catholic priests as His noble instruments.

The words " hoken" and " sasagemono" are not appropriate to mean the sacrifice of the Mass, because they usually mean gifts of nonliving, inanimate things to another, usually to a person with a socially high position.

Hoken and sasagemono can be money, rice, gold, jewelry or silk clothes. But the words are not usually used in Japanese society to signify the destruction or self-surrender of a person's life.

Since Jesus volunteered to give up his life on the cross to redeem us, a Japanese word that could designate His noble act of self-immolation must be used to translate both His sacrifice on the Cross and the Eucharistic sacrifice on the altar into Japanese.

Gisei and ikenie have been used to mean a sacrifice for several centuries, so the two words are appropriate to signify both a self-surrender of a life by Jesus on the cross and the sacrifice of the Mass. For example, a 13th-century work of literature, Uji Shui, uses the term ikenie to mean the sacrifice of a wild boar offered to a deity. (4)

This is the reason why the Catholic Church in Japan has used the two words for almost 100 years to signify the sacrifice of the Cross and the essence of the Eucharist -- from the period when Western missionaries began re-evangelizing Japan with a fresh translation of Catholic books following the 1873 abolition of the 260-year government ban on Christianity.

When Fr. Emile Raguet, M.E.P. a Belgian missionary, translated the New Testament in 1910, he translated Saint Paul's reference to the sacrifice of the cross (letter to Corinthians, 5-7) as " ikenie" by consulting a trilingual Japanese intellectual. All japanese translations of the Bible, including those of Protestant Bibles, uses the term " ikenie" or " gisei" in rendering the word sacrifice in Saint Paul's passage in question.

" The term sacrifice must be accurately translated as 'ikenie' or 'gisei'.....The fate of the Catholic Church in Japan will deeply depend on the issue of what word will be used to translate the term in the upcoming translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church," Fr. Uchiyama said.

This is because the Modernist theology that denies the transubstantiation, the virgin-birth of Christ, the divinity of Jesus and the historicity of many Biblical accounts of Jesus's life are poisoning not a few theologians and priests due to persistent efforts by some influential Japanese theologians to spread their heretical ideas, he warned.

For example, Fr. Peter Fumiaki Momose, S.J., the current president of the Theology Faculty of Sophia University, who attended the Terminology Study commission, wrote in his famous book " Kiristo wo Manabu (A Study of Christ, Christology from Below)" as follows; --(Note 5)

" There is no need to interpret the phrase 'The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1-14)' from which the traditional concept of the Incarnation was derived, as meaning that the Eternal Logos descended from Heaven onto this actual world and became a human being."

In another book " Christ and His Church, A Commentary on the Catholic Catechism" (Page 77-78), this theologian wrote as follows;  (Note 6)

" Christ offered his sacrifice once and for all in a definitive manner in the course of history, so in each Mass His sacrifice is never made present repeatedly, again and again."  The Pious Society of Saint Paul published the 11th edition of this book on Oct. 10, 1998.

The terminology list recommends that Catholic writers translate the term " Eucharist" as " Thanksgiving (kansha)" and the word " Eucharistic sacrifice" as " offering of thanksgiving (kansha-no-hoken)," while giving some other options for translation.

These recommended words could hamper readers' understanding of the sentences that use them as their subjects when explaining the character and essence of the sacrament of the Eucharist or the Mass.

These equivocal words for translation come at the top of the list, while the list does not authorize the use of the traditional word " Seitai no gisei" to translate the key term " Eucharistic sacrifice."

The terminology of the list has been since applied to at least one crucial liturgical publication -- the Japanese translation of the typical edition of the Ordinal issued by the Vatican in 1994. (The Ordinal is the book containing the rites, prayers, and essential forms for the conferring of sacred orders.)

The terminology list could inflict extremely serious damage on the Catholic Church in Japan, because the CBC-J approved in 1997 a proposal to apply the terminology to all publications of the CBC-J, including the Roman Missal whose orations and texts are now being revised by the member theologians of the Liturgy Commission.

The July 1997 issue of the Bulletin says, " The Standing Committee, on behalf of the entire Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, approved a proposal to use the following terms as the official ecclesiastical terms which should be used in all publications to be published by the Publications Department of the CBC-J." --(7)

" When I first read the terminology list, I immediately realized that the list is an embodiment of the theory of Fr. Tsuchiya," a Tokyo diocesan priest said. " I felt that the list was compiled on the basis of Fr. Tsuchiya's theory, because I have long known his theory."

Fr. Tsuchiya has long asserted that the term, “sacrifice,” should be translated as an “offering (hoken)” on the ground that Japanese people have historically not been a cattle-breeding people, but an agricultural people.

He also wrote in his famous book, the " Tenrei no Sasshin (The Innovation of the Liturgy)" , " The Latin word, ‘sacrificium,’ has long been translated here as ‘gisei and ikenie,’ but the word has come to be translated as a " hoken" under the new Liturgy, as the sacrifice is merely one of a range of forms of offerings and because the word signifies offerings of the rites of pagan-religions and offerings of the rites performed during the age of the Old Covenant." --- note (8)

Fr. Tsuchiya told a debate meeting on Nov. 28, 1998 at the Shirayuri College in Tokyo that the word sacrifice should not be used in Catholic publications and the Liturgy, because the concept of sacrifice is not agreeable to the sense of Japanese people who have historically been an agricultural people. The concept of sacrifice has derived from the culture of nomadic races and hunting people, he asserted.  (9)

Fr. Tsuchiya also emphasized that the Church should use the word " offering of thanksgiving" in rendering the word " Eucharist," which has been long translated as " Seitai."

He studied theories on the liturgy at the Liturgy Institute in Trier, Germany, and has exerted his deep influence over the CBC-J and the Japanese theological community for decades in his capacity as a key member of the Liturgy Commission of the CBC-J and as the president of the Faculty of Theology of Sophia University. -- (10)

At the debate, Tsukuba University Professor Emeritus Paul Akio Sawada warned that if the Catholic Church in Japan stops using the word sacrifice (gisei and ikenie), it would cause many Catholics to forget the truth that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is made present in each Mass and Jesus instituted the Eucharist to perpetuate His Sacrifice of the Cross. When asked to respond to his warning on this danger, Fr. Tsuchiya sidestepped the point. - (11)

Professor Sawada, a student of the now-deceased Professor Hubert Jedin of Bonn University, warned in his article in a Catholic magazine that a loss of faith in the essential identity of the Sacrifice of the Mass with the Sacrifice of the Cross could lead to undermining or destroying Faith in the Triune God.---(12)

Sophia University Professor Emeritus Chin Eisho also dismissed Fr. Tsuchiya's argument as illogical, because Japanese people have historically eaten wild animals such as wild boars, deer, birds and fish throughout the centuries, while Shintoist priests at the Ise Shrine, a major shrine of Shintoism, have long offered valuable fish such as sea breams to a Shintoist deity.

" If Japanese people had historically refrained from eating protein-food like the meat of wild animals and fish and sought to subsist only on rice, the Japanese race would not have been able to survive and exist until now," said the professor of physics, who is a devout Catholic.

" The two words, ‘hoken’ and ‘sasage,’ only mean an act of offering or inanimate things offered, so they neither connote nor suggest anything about what was offered on the cross," the professor said.

" Because Jesus redeemed mankind by giving up his life on the cross, any theory that His Sacrifice of the Cross should not be translated as ‘ikenie (sacrifice) ’ is nonsensical," he said.

Even a Shintoist priest from Ise Shrine which has deep ties with Japan's Imperial Family substantiated Profesor Chin's explanations that Shintoism has a tradition of offering the sacrifice of living creatures to a deity.

Still today, Shintoist priests there offer sea breams, chickens and other living creatures to please, thank and praise the gods, the priest said. He said these Shintoist offerings are presented to the gods to ask for divine blessings such as bumper crops and abundant fish catches. " We call these offerings 'shinsen (food for the gods)', "  he said.

But there appear to be deeper theological reasons why Fr. Tsuchiya and other influential theologians in Japan have vehemently opposed the use of the word " sacrifice" in describing the Sacrifice of the Cross and the essence of the Eucharist.

Fr. Tsuchiya strongly suggested that the objective efficacy of the seven sacraments should be questioned in Chapter 9 of his above-mentioned 478-page book, the " Tenrei no Sasshin."  Chapter 9 is entitled, " The Holy Eucharist in Modern Times."  -- (13)

In the same chapter, he wrote one should not accept the Church dogma that the sacraments communicate graces to their recipients by the power of the sacramental rite performed by a validly ordained priest (ex opere operato) in the sense in which the dogma was defined by the Church.

In presenting his doubt on the dogma, Fr. Tsuchiya interprets the formula (ex opere operato) in a sense different from the sense in which the dogma was defined by the Catholic Church. This is serious in view of his far-reaching influence on seminarians and priests as the former president of the Faculty of Theology at Sophia University.

His paragraphs in Chapter 2 and Chapter 9 give the strong impression that he supports the view of Protestant Reformers who recognized only a subjective psychological efficacy in the seven sacraments.

The following are the direct quotations from his book, which has long been used as a textbook at the Faculty of Theology of Sophia University.

" Since Scholastic Theology was introduced... the Church began to perform sacramental rites by believing as if , in the sacraments, the graces given by the work of God in the past were united with prescribed things (prescribed sacramental words and materials) comprising the things perceptible to the senses, while believing as if the graces could be obtained by the work performed by a human."  -- (Note 14)

" But the formula maintaining that the Sacraments operate by the power of the completed sacramental rites (ex opere operato) and the doctrine upholding their validity (validitas) are imperfect legal expressions which attempt to mean that the work of God is experienced in a symbolical manner collectively by people who are present on the venue (where the sacraments are conferred).  The Catholic theories on the sacraments do not hold that those expressions signify the essence of the sacraments."   (Note 15)

" ...German theologian Odo Casel distinguished between mere recollections and remembrance (memorial) during the Liturgy. He made it clear that the former activity is to recognize anew an event of the past as an occurrence of the past, while the latter is to interpret an event of the past as an event which is present here and now (that is, the activity of making present)..." ----(Note 16)

" The term presence (praesentia) means being present in time and being together in the same place, and the term " repraesentatio" means that a person experiences the presence." ---- (Note 17)

The term, experience, in this context of his writing is equivocal. In writing this, Fr. Tsuchiya did not make it clear whether the word, experience, implies a subjective, psychological experience or an objective experience.

With these equivocal explanations, Fr. Tsuchiya obscures the beautiful truth that the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is made present in each Mass because Jesus transubstantiates the bread and wine into His Body and Blood through the ministry of Catholic priests.

Although the Catholic Church has long used the word " repraesentatio" to designate the objective reality that Jesus makes present His Sacrifice of the Cross on the altar of the Mass, the explanation of the " repraesentatio" by Fr. Tsuchiya gives the impression that the Catholic dogma on the renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross in each Mass should be interpreted in the sense of merely experiencing a subjective, psychological phenomenon.

As a result, Fr. Tsuchiya ends up by obliterating the beautiful Catholic dogmas that the Eucharist objectively contains sanctifying grace which it signifies and that the Eucharist confers the sanctifying grace to Catholics who are in the state of grace.

The same danger is contained in the writings of many theologians influenced by Odo Casel and other theologians. To cite an example, Fr. Augustinus Takehiro Kunii, a Passionist father, wrote as follows in an article in the New Catholic Encyclopedia of Japan -- (Note 18)

" Anamnesis (memorial, remembrance, doing by memorizing) is not only to recall to mind an event of the past subjectively, but also makes present the great act of the Salvation, through remembering it, as a present act of grace."

This theologian is the head of the Eucharistic Prayer Subcommittee of the Liturgy Commission of the CBC-J. At present, he teaches at the Theology Faculty of Sophia University. He also once studied at the Liturgy Institute in Trier.

What has increased the Catholic Faith-destroying power of Fr. Tsuchiya's book is the imprimatur given by Bishop Paul Kazuhiro Mori.  This has led seminarians and other Catholics to drop their guard against the book.

These theories have already exerted a serious impact on the Church in Japan, because Fr. Tsuchiya and Bishop Lawrence Satoshi Nagae, the then chairman of the Liturgy Committee of the CBC-J, jointly translated and published the Japanese version of the Roman Missal in 1978.  In the process, the two rendered the word sacrifice into " Sonaemono (offering to a deity)" in a sentence of the Roman Missal.

To cite an example, Fr. Tsuchiya and Bishop Nagae translated that beautiful oration of supplication toward the Heavenly Father in the Eucharistic Prayer 1 " Te igitur.....accepta habeas et benedicas haec dona, haec munera, haec sancta sacrificia illibata (We humbly pray and implore You..... to be pleased to receive and bless this gift, this present, this holy unblemished sacrifice)" as simply " Please receive and bless this precious offering (Sonaemono)."   (Note 19)

Bishop Dominic Yoshimatsu Noguchi said in an interview before his death, " There were bitter squabbles about the liturgy of the Mass during meetings of the episcopal conference" in the 1960s.

In translating the formula (prescribed words) of the consecration into Japanese, " a bishop rejected the form 'This is my Body' and demanded changing the form into the narrative " Now, this became the Holy Eucharist,' " Bishop Noguchi recalled.

" At that time, Cardinal (Joseph Asajiro) Satowaki declared to the bishop at a meeting of bishops that the use of such a form would be heretical," the bishop said. He declined to identify the bishop who demanded altering the form of consecration.

The term " form" means the sacramental words which specify the function of the " material" (e.g., bread and wine in the case of the Eucharist) and confer on it the power of sanctifying. (In the case of the Eucharist, the " form" is the words used by Jesus in instituting the Eucharist).

" Disputes continued at the episcopal conference for one month. Cardinal Satowaki, who was then an archbishop, remained adamant in defending the traditional form of consecration and had the dissident bishop accept the form,"  Bishop Noguchi said.

Cardinal Satowaki, S.T.D., now deceased, is the very person who invited Saint Maximillian Kolbe to come to Japan as a missionary when the saint visited him to ask for his opinions about the saint's plan to go to China as a missionary. The cardinal, then a seminarian studying theology in Rome, recommended that Saint Kolbe come to Japan, because the Japanese military was then engaging in various incursions in China.

The Catholic Church has long taught, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that priests cannot perform valid sacraments unless they use a valid material and a valid form for each of the seven sacraments.  If that dissident bishop had succeeded in persuading the CBC-J to accept that heretical form, the Japanese Catholic flock would have been stripped of the Eucharist, because transubstantiation cannot occur with the use of any heterodoxical form.

This episode attests that the dogmas of the transubstantiation and the real sacramental presence of Jesus in the Eucharist was under attack by at least a bishop - as early as the 1960s.

Since Bishop Lawrence Nagae, now deceased, influenced Japanese liturgists and some bishops profoundly, his " disciples" appear to be trying to obliterate the dogma of transubstantiation and the Real Presence by altering the meaning of the CCC, the Roman Missal, and other official Church publications.

During the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Nagae addressed the plenary session of the Council, urging peer bishops to alter the Latin Mass into the Mass in the vernacular. At a news conference in Rome, he reportedly called for eliminating the practice of genuflections from the liturgy.

Bishop Nagae was a member of the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Concilium), whose Secretary was Archbishop Annibale Bugnini. In an interview before his death, Bishop Nagae said, " I was given a post in the Concilium because of my remarks at the plenary session of the Council."

Bishop Nagae said in an interview article in the Japan Missionary Bulletin (Winter 1990, Page 305, Tokyo) about the contents of his address during the General Session at the Second Vatican Council as follows;

" Like the wording of the proposal itself, all opinions had to be stated in Latin. I spoke advocating, as a Japanese bishop, that the use of Latin be discontinued, and that each country should use its own language for the liturgy. I was later twitted by the bishops for using fluent Latin to advocate its abolition !”

Bishop Nagae wrote in his book, " Shingaku Shohinshu (Theological Essays), a Selection, private publication, Urawa, 1996" as follows; (Note 20)

" After the Age of the Apostles, the Church has re-interpreted the Bible to respond to questions from each age's people when necessary and in view of the Tradition which had been accumulated until each age.....We cannot properly answer questions from modern men if we repeat the interpretations of doctrines on angels and transubstantiation, given in the Middle Age ...without changing them.”

In the Foreword he contributed to Fr. Tsuchiya’s book, ( “Tenrei no Sasshin (The Innovation of the Liturgy),” Page 3, Tokyo, 1985, Oriens), Bishop Nagae wrote as follows;

" There is the old city called Trier in the Rhine district of West Germany near the border with Luxembourg…..This town has a Liturgy Institute known for its high academic level. Fr. Tsuchiya went there to study and received guidance from Professor Johannes Wagner and Professor Balthasar Fischer. When the Second Vatican Council got under way, these famous professors were appointed as expert members of the Liturgical Commission in Rome and participated in the drafting of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and the typical edition of the Roman Missal. Since I belonged to the same commission, I used to exchange friendly words with these professors.”

" After Fr. Tsuchiya completed his studies there, he returned to Japan to teach theories on the Liturgy at the Theology Faculty of Sophia University. When a series of liturgical innovations began after the Vatican Council, he was appointed by the Episcopal conference as an expert member of the CBC-J Liturgy Commission and a member of the Secretariat of the CBC-J Secretariat. He was commissioned to grapple with the difficult task of compiling the Japanese translation of the Roman Missal. In doing so, the knowledge he obtained in the Liturgy Institute in Trier and the advice he got from the institute appear to have helped him very much.”

Meanwhile, the fact that the CBC-J gave Fr. Ano a mandate to revise the manuscript which had been drastically blue-penciled by the three bishops may be a result of Divine intervention, judging from his remarks.

Fr. Ano said, " Even concerning some paragraphs containing the word sacrifice which some bishops urged me to translate as an offering (hoken), I translated the word as 'ikenie' based on my sense," he said.

But Fr. Ano's remarks do not warrant any optimism in view of the simmering difference among Japanese bishops over how to render the term.

Should the episcopal advocates of the term " hoken (offering)" remain adamant in demanding that the sacrifice of the Mass be translated as " hoken" and -- if their demand is met with other bishops opting to silence themselves for fear of angering their peers -- then that beautiful Article 1366 of the CCC on transubstantiation would be translated as follows;

" The Eucharist is an offering, because it symbolizes the offering of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit."

This danger that the Japanese flock would be given such a heretical translation is real, considering that Fr. Joseph M Kazuo Osaka and Fr. Francis K. Hama translated the Latin verb " repraesentare (make present)" as " symbolize (arawasu)" when they translated the Denzinger-Schonmetzer in 1974.  (Artcile 1740, Council of Trent, 1562, A.D.,  Published by Enderle Bookstore Co., in Tokyo in 1974). There is also the fact that no theologian and bishop in Japan has pointed out this serious mistranslation of the Latin verb over the past 26 years by contacting the publishing house. The Latin verb should be precisely rendered as either " saigensuru" or " genzaikasuru."

The 26-year lack of any complaint about this serious mistranslation may substantiate some or all of the following five allegations.

(1) A major part of the theological community in Japan has been comfortable with this mistranslation due to their wrong interpretations about transubstantiation.

(2) Seminaries in Japan seldom use the Denzinger to train seminarians in dogmatic theology, because the importance of having seminarians understand dogmatic theology, especially that of Saint Thomas Aquinas, has been ignored or downplayed.

(3) Even some theologians with precise understanding of the dogmatic theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas did not have the moral courage to challenge the mistranslation of that crucial Article 1740 of the Denzinger with the imprimatur of Archbishop Shirayanagi (now cardinal.)  Also,

(4) Missionary theologians with a precise understanding of dogmatic theology did not have a deep enough understanding of the Japanese language.

(5) The anamnesis theory -- as explained above by Fr. Augustinus T. Kunii in the New Catholic Encyclopedia of Japan -- is gaining momentum among not a few theologians in Japan -- and perhaps in other parts of the world, too. This poisonous (and contagious) theory which obliterates the objective reality of transubstantiation appears to have been imported into Japan from somewhere.

Cardinal Shirayanagi said in an interview on August 7, 1999 with this writer, that he gave the imprimatur without reading the translated manuscript of the Denzinger because of his trust in the censor, Fr. Osaka.

But Sr. Kikuchi and Fr. Nemeshegyi accurately translated Article 1366 of the CCC as follows;

" The Eucharist is a sacrifice, because it makes present the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit."   In making this translation, the duo used the word (gisei) for " sacrifice," while translating " makes present" as " saigensuru."

It is still unclear whether the Japanese flock will be given a precise CCC translation or not, because Fr. Ano's manuscript may not be able to be published unless the three bishops of the now-disbanded Catechism Censorship Commission and other CBC-J bishops approve his manuscript. Although he used the term " ikenie" in rendering the word sacrifice, he still had to revise the manuscript under the constraints of the terminology list.

Since the list recommended that the words “Eucharist,” “Eucharistic celebration” and “Eucharistic sacrifice” be translated as “thanksgiving,” “rite of thanksgiving” and " offering of thanksgiving” while giving traditional words as usable options, the meaning of many sentences that use these words as their subjects or as a part of their predicates --- In Article 3 (The Sacrament of the Eucharist) of Chapter 1 of Section 2 of Part 2 --- can be obscured or obliterated --- if translators opt to use these wrong words instead of the traditional words which lay Catholics have long been accustomed to.

Another worry is that the theologians of the Liturgy Commission may be waiting to examine the results of Fr. Ano's revision work to “gun down” any term which contradicts their " theology."   Fr. Ano said he is now about to start a checkup of Part 4.

What complicates the problem further is the serious deterioration of the health of Fr. Shirieda, the censor appointed by the Vatican.

The presence of the terminology list in question poses, and will continue to pose, a far-reaching dangerous possibility that the meanings of key Catholic teachings may be presented in a different sense from that defined by the teaching authority of the Catholic Church in other upcoming Catholic publications of the CBC-J.

Unless the terminology list is invalidated, it could be abused to confuse and undermine many Catholics’ understanding of such key dogmas as transubstantiation through the upcoming Catholic publications of the CBC-J, including the Roman Missal, which is now being revised by the theologians of the Liturgy Commission, who once led the CBC-J to establish the Terminology Study Commission on Dec. 13, 1994.

When Bishop Joseph Kyujiro Matsunaga of Fukuoka wrote a Foreword in June 1999 to the second edition of the 1978 Roman Missal (in fact, the second edition is a sacramentary, as it includes the prefaces of the Eucharistic prayers, but does not include the readings of the Mass) after the initial edition was sold out, he wrote as follows in his then capacity as the chairman of the Liturgy Commission;

" The Japanese translation of the Roman Missal published on December 25, 1978 received only a provisional approval from the Holy See, because it did not carry the translations of all texts of the typical edition of the Latin Roman Missal. (Prot. CD 1074/78). In recent years, we have received many requests to publish the definitive edition, now that more than 20 years have since elapsed. This is the reason why the Liturgy Commission set up a study group for revising the Roman Missal in June 1994.  The group has begun a study aimed at publishing the definitive edition in view of the opinions and requests which have been sent to us so far." (21)

Unless God intervenes through good people with orthodox Faith, the theologians on the Liturgy Commission are likely to continue to influence the contents of key liturgical books to be used throughout Japan, because of the resolutions adopted at a plenary session of the CBC-J on January 26, 1993.

The March 1993 issue of the Bulletin of the CBC-J says, " The CBC-J will entrust the role of the committee of censors concerning the Liturgy to the Japan Catholic Liturgy Commission based on Article 1 of Canon 830 of the Canon

Law........" (Note




(1) The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan (CBC-J), " Kaiho (Bulletin)," a monthly publication. The November 1998 issue. Published by the CBC-J, Tokyo.

(2) The CBC-J, " Kaiho (Bulletin)." The February 1995 issue. Published by the CBC-J, Tokyo.

(3) The CBC-J, " Kaiho (Bulletin)." The July 1997 issue. Published by the CBC-J, Tokyo.

(4) Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (The Greater Japanese Language Dictionary). The Japanese equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary. Volume 2, Page 7. Published by Shogakukan Inc.

(5) Fr. Peter Fumiaki Momose, S.J., " Kiristo wo Manabu (A Study of Christ, Christology from Below)" Page 228. Tokyo, 1986. Published by the Pious Society of Saint Paul.

(6) Fr. Peter Fumiaki Momose, S.J., " Kiristo to Sono Kyokai, Catholic Youri Kaisetsu (Christ and His Church,  A Commentary on the Catholic Catechism)"   Page 77-78. Tokyo, 1988. Published by the Pious Society of Saint Paul.

(7) The CBC-J, " Kaiho (Bulletin)." The July 1997 issue. Published by the CBC-J, Tokyo)

(8) Fr. Francis Yoshimasa Tsuchiya, S.J., " Tenrei no Sasshin (The Innovation of the Liturgy)" Page 224, Tokyo, 1985. Published by Oriens, a research institute by the Fathers of the Scheut Mission Society.

(9) Professor Akio Sawada, " Vatican no Michi (The Way to the Vatican), a Catholic magazine. Page 21, Tokyo. December 25, 1998. Published by Keikichi Akabane.

(10) Bishop Lawrence Satoshi Nagae, " Foreword to Tenrei no Sasshin (The innovation of the Liturgy)" Page 3-4. Tokyo, 1985. Published by Oriens.

(11) Professor Akio Sawada, " Vatican no Michi (The Way to the Vatican), Page 21, Tokyo. December 25, 1998. Published by Keikichi Akabane.

(12) Professor Akio Sawada, " Vatican no Michi (The Way to the Vatican), Page 11, Tokyo. April 4, 1999. Published by Keikichi Akabane.

(13) Fr. Francis Yoshimasa Tsuchiya, S.J., " Tenrei no Sasshin (The Innovation of the Liturgy)" Page 317, Tokyo, 1985. Published by Oriens.

(14) ibid. Page 317

(15) ibid. Page 317-318

(16) ibid. Page 318

(17) ibid. Page 319

(18) Fr. Augustinus Tekehiro Kunii, C.P., " The New Catholic Encyclopedia of Japan" Volume 2, Page 166, The Kenkyusha publishing house. Sophia University. 1998.

(19) The Japanese Catholic Liturgy Commission of the CBC-J, " Roma Misa Tensho, (The Roman Missal)," Page 633, The Eucharistic Prayer 1, Tokyo. Published by the CBC-J. 1978

(20) Bishop Lawrence Satoshi Nagae, " Shingaku Shohinshu (Theological Essays, A Selection)" private publication, Urawa, 1996

(21) Bishop Joseph Kyujiro Matsunaga, " Foreword to the Misa no Shikishidai (The Order of the Mass)," Tokyo,  July 10, 1999,  Published by the CBC-J.

(22) The CBC-J, " Kaiho (Bulletin). The March 1993 issue. Published by the CBC-J, Tokyo.