Pope says world needs more (literary) Latin lovers
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - "Pro Dei amore Latinam linguam discite".
If you don't know what that means, Pope Benedict is on your case.
In fact, he's not only on your case, he's on your declension, your conjugation, your tense, your person, your voice and your mood.
"Pro Dei amore Latinam linguam discite" means "For the love of God, study Latin!" And that is what the pope wants to see more of.
At the weekend, he started a new Vatican department to promote the study and use of Latin in the Roman Catholic Church and beyond.
The Vatican said the pope, who is clearly the literary kind of Latin lover, had instituted the Pontifical Academy for Latin Studies, placing it under the auspices of the Vatican's ministry for culture.
He said Latin, which is still the official language of the universal Church, was the subject of renewed interest around the world and the academy was mandated to encourage further growth.
Catholic seminarians studying for the priesthood were weak in studies of the humanities in general and Latin in particular. They would benefit from a deeper knowledge of the language and be able to read ancient Church texts in the original, he said. Continued...