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It was only some time after Cardinal Norman Gilroy's imprimatur of 23 January 1970 to We Offer the Mass that the Nicene Creed's credo, correctly translated as "I believe", became "We believe."
Jack Nyman (October AD2000) rightly states that the Nicene Creed was originally in Greek and contained pistenome ("We believe").
A good friend, who is a senior priest of the Greek Orthodox Church, our sister Church since Vatican II, explains the change from pistenome to pisteuo ("I believe"):
"Almost every creed prior to Nicaea was a baptismal formula that was required to be recited by the candidate for baptism. Prior to baptism, believers or their sponsors were, as is the case to this day, required individually to recite the Creed in the presence of the Church. It was therefore a natural progression to the first person singular in fitting with a personal belief in the faith, as you also suggested."
The Apostles' Creed, as Mr Nyman states, always had the "I" form and was traditionally said at baptism and the ordination of a priest. The Orthodox Church has only ever had the Nicene Creed.
Rome is to be congratulated for returning accuracy to the English translation of the Latin of the Mass. Meanwhile, it is a disgrace that in so many dioceses the abuse of inclusive language - outlawed by Rome - still continues in the new Mass with apparent impunity.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 15 No 2 (March 2002), p. 15
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