Friday, November 23, 2012

Quote check: Calling on TCF readers for help

I read the Pope's Infancy Narratives in about a day and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm a little perplexed, though not surprised, by the media response. More on that to come in my review which I'll publish in the near future. For now, I need some help. In countless stories, I have found the following quote:

"No one will give up the oxen and the donkey in their [sic] Nativity scenes" (Time, Telegraph, UPI, Christian Post).
"No nativity scene will give up its ox and donkey" (Daily Mail, Guardian, Catholic Herald, Catholic News Agency/EWTN).

Each says the Pope wrote it, each in the format of a direct quote, and I realize that he wrote it in German, but which is correct? The closest thing I can find is:

"No presentation of the crib is complete without the ox and the ass" (p. 69).

That's quite different. Am I missing something? Are there three different English translations? What is going on? The Daily Mail story was positively sardonic and dripping with anti-papal bitterness.

I will give $5 to the first person who can find the aforementioned quote for me. It would seem that it should be on p. 68-69, but it is not.

Great book! Review coming soon!