Latin: The Dead Language to Rise Again?

Posted on April 22, 2005

According to the BBC, Latin is about to make a big comeback. The new Pope Benedict XVI is said to have been a liberal in his youth who favored Vatican II and saying Catholic mass in the vernacular rather than in Latin. But now the new Pope is said to favor Latin masses over the Polish preferred by John Paul II. They may even hold meetings in Latin. As a result, classicists are in high demand in Italy to explain what people are talking about at the Vatican.

Latin language courses at the Papal University are already oversubscribed. Italian schools dropped Latin as a compulsory language many years ago and classics pundits are being called in to explain the terminology on television. Vatican watchers are reaching again for their Latin primers.
And, as every writer knows, Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur. Or something like that.


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