Cardinals call on Pope to save Latin from last rites
By Martin Penner
Church needs lessons to revive its international language
*O TEMPORA, o mores! *The rolling thunder that is the Latin language is in such trouble, even in its last redoubt, the heirarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, that cardinals and bishops have begged Pope Benedict XVI to put it on a life support machine.
When Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Patriarch of Venice, opened the synod, he gave his address entirely in Latin, sending many of the 241 participants rushing for headsets to hear a translation. Nothing could have better illustrated the Church’s fading proficiency in its own language.
One of the synod’s 50 “propositions” to the Pope is that the language should feature prominently in Masses at major international events, where Catholics speaking many different languages are present.
It is expected to appeal to the Pope, who in June invited Catholics to pray in Latin whenever possible, emphasising its universal dimension. “Latin makes it easier for Christians from different countries to pray together, especially when they meet for special occasions,” he said .