Image from the Ignatius Press website
Distribution of an Italian edition of a new youth catechism has been temporarily suspended because of a translation error concerning the church's teaching on contraception, reports the Catholic News Service.
According to Elena Cardinali, a spokeswoman for the Citta Nuova editorial group, "the product is temporarily suspended, but not halted," so that the Italian publisher can "examine the text".
The youth catechism, YouCat, was originally written in German and the work was supervised by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna. The Italian edition was translated by Pietro Podolak and translation revisions were overseen by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice, according to the credit pages in the book.
The error in Question 420 of the Italian edition, that suggests a married couple can use contraceptive methods, was not found in the original German text of YouCat nor in the US English edition, which was published by Ignatius Press.
The Catholic News Agency reports that Ignatius Press Founding Editor, Fr Joseph Fessio, said that the Italian translation "was really a mistaken understanding of the German".
According to Fr Fessio and Ignatius Press President Mark Brumley, the Italian version incorrectly translates the German word "Empfängnisregelung." Although the term literally means "birth regulation," in a general sense that can signify natural family planning, it is also sometimes used to refer to "birth control" through contraceptive means.
However, the Italian version of the YouCat does not translate the term according to what Fr Fessio says is its literal meaning. Instead, it renders the German word as as "metodi anticoncezionali," meaning "contraceptive methods."
Youth catechism's Italian edition suspended after translation error (Catholic News Service)
Youth catechism publisher says 'contraceptive' language not in original text (Catholic News Agency)