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New Vatican office to promote Latin language studies

Catholic World News - November 12, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has established a new Pontifical Academy for Latin, to encourage and spread interest in the Latin language.

With a motu proprio Latina Lingua, released November 10, the Pontiff set up the new Vatican office under the jurisdiction of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The new Pontifical Academy is a response to “an apparent pressing need to encourage commitment to a greater knowledge and more competent use of Latin, in the ecclesial environment as well as in the world of culture at large.”

“The Latin language has always been held in high regard by the Catholic Church,” the Pope wrote. Tracing the history of the Church’s involvement with the language, he said that today the Catholic Church has become the “custodian and promoter” of studies in the Latin language.

A thorough knowledge of Latin language and culture is essential to the study of many different fields, particularly among the ecclesiastical disciplines, the Pope said. Unfortunately, he said, understanding of Latin has suffered in past years because of a “generalized deterioration in humanistic studies,” resulting in “an increasingly superficial knowledge of Latin.” More recently, he said, a “renewed interest” has sparked efforts to encourage Latin studies.

The president of the new academy is Professor Ivano Dionigi of the University of Bologna; the secretary is Father Roberto Spataro, a Salesian.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Nov. 12, 2012 9:14 PM ET USA

    Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes.

  • Posted by: Sed contra - Nov. 12, 2012 8:24 PM ET USA

    Actually, the Holy See did announce the names of the president and secretary on the same day that the Motu Proprio was published. The president is Prof. Ivano Dionigi, and the secretary is Fr. Roberto Spataro, S.D.B.

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