Pope Establishes Pontifical Academy for Latin

By Fr LW Gonzales On November 10th, 2012

Pope establishes new Pontifical Academy for Latin

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday issued the Motu Proprio Latina Lingua, which establishes the new Pontifical Academy for Latin. The Academy is meant to promote the knowledge and study of the Latin language and Latin literature, from classical times to the present day.

“The Latin language has always been held in high regard by the Catholic Church and the Roman pontiffs,” writes Pope Benedict.

He pointed out Latin and Greek were used in the early Church, being the universal languages of the time, and since then the Church has made Latin “her own language.”

The Holy Father writes, “After the demise of the Roman Empire, the Church of Rome not only continued to make use of the Latin language, but also became in a way its guardian and promoter, both in theology and liturgy, and in formation and the transmission of knowledge.”

Pope Benedict said a good understanding of Latin is more necessary than ever in the Church, due to its importance in studying Theology, Liturgy, Patristics, and Canon Law.

He said a “superficial” knowledge of Latin can be detrimental to the philosophical and theological training of future priests.

However, the Academy is also meant to serve the wider society.

“in our own times…there is a renewed interest in the Latin language and classical culture, and not only on those continents that have their cultural roots from the Greco-Roman heritage,” Pope Benedict writes. “Such interest is all the more significant because it involves not only the academic world, but also young people and scholars from very diverse nations and traditions.”

The new Pontifical Academy will be under the Pontifical Council for Culture, and replace the Latin Foundation established by Pope Paul VI. The President of the Academy will be Professor Ivano Dionigi, while the Secretary will be Father Roberto Spataro, S.D.B.

Its mandate includes producing publications, hosting conferences and seminars, and promoting Latin in the new media.

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One Response to “Pope Establishes Pontifical Academy for Latin”

  1. Repugnance to Latin has led us here.

    A Bishop’s “right and duty” of supervising the liturgy in His See.
    By Hugh N. Cry

    Canon 838.1 — The supervision of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church which resides in the Apostolic See and, in accord with the law, the diocesan bishop.

    and furthermore,

    Canon 839.2 — Local ordinaries are to see to it that the prayers and other pious and sacred exercises of the Christian people are fully in harmony with the norms of the Church.

    Okay, that’s what Canon Law states. Let’s delve into the meat of it shall we? This means that local bishop, in accord with the Apostolic See, is responsible for the liturgy in his diocese. Let’s just concentrate on the Latin liturgy. Our present Holy Father has stated that when referring to the traditional Latin Mass (aka Tridentine Mass, Extraordinary Form), one cannot state that it is a different rite than the Novus Ordo Mass (aka Mass in the vernacular, Ordinary Form). Rather, it is to be considered another “form” of the same rite, hence, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.1.
    So, the two are of the same rite of the liturgy. That’s handy. One would conclude, therefore, that the local bishop should be able to supervise either of the two. Some questions, however, follow:
    1. Has your local bishop celebrated the Extraordinary Form?
    2. Has he sat in choro?
    3. Has he voluntarily contacted local groups that promote the extraordinary form?
    4. The Eucharistic Celebration is to be carried out in either the Latin language, or in another language provide the liturgical texts have been lawfully approved.3. Is your local bishop, let alone the average priest, well versed in Latin2., the official language of Holy Mother Church?

    If the answer is No to any of these, how is the bishop able to fulfill his right and duty in accordance to his right and duty? If the bishop isn’t proficient in either form, then how is he able to govern? Too many times we adherents to the traditional Latin Mass have to suffer the indignation of those who are ignorant or remiss in their duty.

    1. Letter to the bishops on the occasion of the publication of Summorum Pontificum.
    2. Canon 249
    3. Canon 928