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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:23 PM


Pope Benedict launches Latin academy at Vatican

10 November 2012 Last updated at 08:04 ET

Pope Benedict XVI has approved the launch of a new Latin language college in the Vatican.

The Pontifical Academy for Latin will promote the knowledge and study of the language from classical times to the present day, said the Vatican.

The Pope said the Church was the "guardian and promoter" of Latin and that a good understanding of it was more important than ever.

The Church officially abandoned the use of Latin in Masses in the 1960s.


I really dislike the Tridentine Mass but Latin is an imortant language. So, good for him.

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Reply Pope Benedict launches Latin academy at Vatican (Original post)
rug Nov 2012 OP
tjwmason Nov 2012 #1
rug Nov 2012 #2
mykpart Nov 2012 #3

Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:20 AM

1. I agree that it's an important language.

It's a pity that the knowledge of Latin is bound up with the old-rite of Mass in many people's minds. I've been to the new-rite in Latin many times, and it's important to note that there can be a unifying value to having some parts in Latin where there is a congregation with more than one mother-tongue, during Easter and on major feasts my congregation sings the Lord's Prayer in Latin (for example).

It's also impossible to read about the history of the Church to a high level without a good knowledge of Latin as the entire theological and philosophical tradition was in Latin until recently.

Interestingly I was chatting to a Capuchin Friar recently (one who wouldn't dream of using Latin in the liturgy) - he trained in Rome 'back in the day' and he explained how all of the lectures were in Latin, but that there was an entire system of repetitors who would give a follow-up in the various vernaculars; these days all of the lectures are in Italian, but the system of repetitors has vanished and so there's a seminarians' black-market in translated lecture notes to fill the gap in the system.

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Response to tjwmason (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:08 AM

2. I can't imagine learning anything in a language I dodn't know fluently.


Thanks for that insight.

There is a regular Latin Mass at a small church not far from here. It's been so long since I attended Mass in Latin that I should check it out again. A couple of my kids have been curious about it so I guess I'll drag them along.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:20 AM

3. You're right - it is important.

Since it is a dead language, its meaning doesn't change thru colloquial usage, so when explaining points of doctrine it is more precise. Although I sometiimes wonder why our doctrine should be so complex. But that's another discussion. Good for Benedict.

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