Bishop's pastoral published in French

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"Every home now stands in the pathway of this attack on our children's innocence and purity. If we are not vigilant, our sons and daughters will pay a steep and heartrending price."

So writes Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde in his second pastoral letter, Bought with a Price: Every Man's Duty to Protect Himself and His Family from a Pornographic Culture, originally released in 2006 as part of his new evangelization initiative. Rereleased in English and Spanish last year, this month marked the 80-page letter's French debut.

Last March, Éditions des Béatitudes, a Catholic publishing house run by the French religious community of Beatitudes, contacted Soren Johnson, the bishop's special assistant for evangelization and media, to obtain the rights for a French edition of Bought with a Price.

"The publishing house is committed to translating works by important (Catholic) thinkers, such as (French author) Father Jacques Philippe," said Johnson, "so it is an honor for Bishop Loverde's letter to (be among these works.)"

The publishing agreement was finalized last June and, in mid-February of this year, the French edition was completed. Cécile Logeart, who previously translated other titles from English to French for Éditions des Béatitudes, translated the letter.

Though Bought with a Price, or Rachetés à grand prix as it is called in French, is the first title written by a Virginia Catholic figure that Éditions des Béatitudes has translated, the letter is not its first American title.

"As a Catholic publisher based in the United States, I can say that we have enjoyed a very good relationship with Éditions des Béatitudes over 20 or more years," said Father Michael Goonan, general director of the Apostolate Society of St. Paul in Staten Island, NY. "We have published North American editions of some of their titles, and they have published editions in France of some of our titles."

Other American authors in the French publishing house's title list hail from Wisconsin to California and beyond.

While Éditions des Béatitudes repackages the books for a French audience, the publishing house strives to maintain the original story, tone and overall message in its translations. Whether reading Bought with a Price or Rachetés à grand prix, the reader will learn of the damaging effects of pornography and how to prevent or ameliorate them through Christian teaching and forgiveness.

Bernard E. Doering, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, recently said the following of religious translation:

"Translating religious material is no different than translation in general. The art of translation - and, when done well, it is an art - requires a thorough knowledge of both languages and cultures, plus extreme diligence in transmitting the original communication from one culture to the understanding of another."

Find out more

To learn more about Éditions des Béatitudes, go to editions-beatitudes.fr. To order the English or Spanish edition of Bought with a Price, go to arlingtondiocese.org/letters/store. To learn more about the new evangelization initiative, go to arlingtondiocese.org/purity.

Stoddard can be reached at cstoddard@catholicherald.com.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015