Latin to undergo Renaissance under plans drawn up by the Vatican
2012 09 01

From: telegraph.co.uk



The Holy See has aligned itself unwittingly with the likes of London mayor Boris Johnson, an enthusiastic proponent of the classics, in calling for Latin to be given greater contemporary relevance and for more teaching in schools and universities.

Vatican officials want to see the language of Cicero and Caesar spread beyond the walls of the tiny city state, the only place in the world where ATM cash machines give instructions in Latin.

They say Pope Benedict XVI is preparing to establish a new pontifical academy for the study and promotion of Latin, to be known as the "Pontificia Academia Latinitatis".

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the academy will be staffed by "eminent academics of various nationalities, whose aim it will be to promote the use and knowledge of the Latin language in both ecclesiastical and civil contexts, including schools."
Latin remains the official language of the Roman Catholic Church and the idea is that if more people understand it, it will be easier to explain and disseminate the Church’s teachings.

But Vatican translators have had to use ingenuity when rendering modern concepts into the ancient language of the Roman Empire.

In 2003 the Vatican published a lexicon of 15,000 Latin terms for modern-day words.
A photocopied document is rendered as "exemplar luce expressum", while a parachute is an "umbrella descensória".

In the unlikely event that a Catholic priest needs to use the word "hot pants" in Latin, he would have to say "brevíssimae bracae femíneae".

If he was writing about a mountain bike he would use the words "bírota montāna" while if he needed to ask someone to send an email, he would request an "inscriptio cursus electronici".

When Vatican officials translated an encyclical written by the Pope about the environment, they rendered alternative energy sources as "fontes alterius generis".

Latin’s prominence as the language of the Catholic Church has been watered down since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.
Before that, priests of different nationalities had an advanced understanding of a language which the rest of the world regarded as dead or dying.

"When I was a young seminarian I was once on the border of Italy and Austria, where we met a group of priests. We spoke not in German or in Italian but in Latin," Father Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman, told The Daily Telegraph.

"There is certainly a desire for more people to learn and understand Latin. From the Church’s point of view, the more people who speak Latin, the better."

Source: telegraph.co.uk



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Left and their big fat multi-cultural lie
2014 08 30
Picture the scene; a taxi is pulled over by an officer from South Yorkshire Police who finds a half-naked 12-year-old in the back of the cab so drunk or drugged that she can hardly stand. When interviewed, the taxi driver is found to have pornographic pictures of the girl on his phone. The officer hands back the phone and – no ...
Left and their big fat multi-cultural lie
2014 08 30
Picture the scene; a taxi is pulled over by an officer from South Yorkshire Police who finds a half-naked 12-year-old in the back of the cab so drunk or drugged that she can hardly stand. When interviewed, the taxi driver is found to have pornographic pictures of the girl on his phone. The officer hands back the phone and – no ...
Rotherham - Child sacrifice to diversity god
2014 08 30
It is sad to see how the once great nation of England has fallen. Britain now rivals North Korea for totalitarian control. If you are White, the wrong word can send you to jail. If you are non-White you are free to rape and kill the native British with impunity. If Henry the VIII came back from the grave, he could ...
Hungary’s Orban Bashes Liberal Immigration Policy
2014 08 29
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday lashed out against immigration, setting one of the main policy objectives of his next term in power after winning parliamentary elections in April. “The goal is to cease immigration whatsoever,” said Hungary’s prime minister. “I think the current liberal immigration policy, which is considered obvious and morally based, is hypocrite,” Mr. Orban said. At a ...
China’s “Duplitecture” Cities Mimic the World’s Greatest Architectural Hits
2014 08 29
The best knockoffs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China’s knockoffs go way beyond fashion. There are knockoff Apple stores that look so much like the real thing that some employees believe they are working in real Apple stores. And then there are entire knockoff cities. There are Venices with ...
More News »