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Study of Latin enriches Church, preserves culture

February 24, 2012

The Institute for Advance Study of Latin was established at the Pontifical Salesian University by Pope Paul VI, to preserve and expand interest in the ancient language. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Institute recently held a symposium on the use of Latin the Church, and the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano gave prominent coverage to one address.

Latin is not only the official language of the Church but also a storehouse of wisdom from a culture that underlies our own, said Celso Morga Iruzubieta, who went on to observe that many young priests and seminarians are rediscovering the riches of the language.

It is a decisively encouraging sign for the world and the modern Church, able to look at the study of the past not as superfluous or retrograde, needlessly focused on recuperating something which has faded, but as a return, direct and without intermediation, to a message of extraordinary doctrinal, cultural and pedagogical wealth. A signal of an intellectual heritage too vast, fruitful and rooted to let it be imagined any caesura of its roots.


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