Catholic Mass attendance plummets in Poland

The original books of the Bible were definitely not written in Latin.

I would also think that Jesus and His Apostles are greater than the Johnny-come-lately Roman Empire. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes but it was easier in Latin since it was the international language.

Latin was the administrative language of the Roman Empire. It became the language of the Church once Christianity subsumed the Roman Empire. Greeks et al were writing in Latin, mostly to preserve Scripture, Church documents, and the Roman Canon. That they still survive until this day in their Latin form is a tribute to the genius and wisdom of Cicero et al, the early Church fathers, and the Catholic Church.

Johnny-come-lately Roman Empire.


Latin and the Roman Empire existed before Christ. In fact Pilate had the inscription above the cross written in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek. (We still see it today on most crosses abbreviated as I.N.R.I.)

People in the eastern half of the Roman Empire spoke Greek. Christians outside the Roman Empire (the majority of Christians by the 4th century) spoke and read Greek, Aramaic or their own native language (Chinese, Armenian, etc.).

The Church moved to Rome though, where Latin was spoken.

Yes, but the Roman Empire was not Christian until years after Jesus’ death. The beginning of the Christian Church was when Christ gave Peter the keys. Peter and the rest of the Apostles were the earliest form of the Church and they were all Jewish and spoke Aramaic. Id think the language of the earliest Church in its purest form would be the language of Christ and the Apostles. Latin stuff wasnt until way later.

Technically the Church moved throughout all of the world, wherever the Apostles went to spread the Gospel. There’s no denying that the Apostles’ official language was Aramaic, not Latin. The Apostles are the Church in its rawest and truest form.

That would be correct. Most of that area delved in Greek mythology, pagan worship, and corrupt moral values until it was Christianized. The Latin language was also Christianized to conform to the Church.

I would have no objection if the Maronite Rite were to be expanded into having the entire service in Syriac, a form of Aramaic, and perhaps doing the OT readings in Hebrew.

Odd, isn’t it when today it is so popular to place much emphasis on building of community. Our former parish had a Spanish Mass with only 40 people attending out of 700 families. Where was the opportunity to gather them into the general population?

Yes, and I’ve seen projections where in a decade or so, the hispanics will be in the majority as far as U.S. Catholics go.

Yes, that’s true. I have an old high school friend who is Evangelical. She went on a mission to Poland about a year ago. She’s been to Germany and Spain too. Do Catholics even do that? I’ve actually met a group of Germans who are in her denomination and came here to visit. When you say you’re a Catholic to them, they just look at you silently like you are a relic from a bygone age. Very nice people though. :wink:

The Church definitely needs work in Europe. And I do think it is very often a happy hunting ground over there for the corrupt and maladjusted simply because it’s so down and out of mainstream life and culture.

I also agree that Catholicism needs to keep a wary eye on Islamic fundamentalism. We Christians are at the martyrdom stage…I am not advocating for a return of the crusades here, but let’s find the golden mean on responding to Islam. We have to stand up to aggression and destruction of Christian people and their faith, no matter the source.

The Church was all over Europe and Asia (as far as China and India), not just in Rome.

Latin speakers/writers have always been only a minority within Christianity.

Not in 300-500 AD. Around then the Church was nowhere to be found in most of Europe. And it had a very very small or no presence in China and India.

Technically this may very well be true. But that’s because most were illiterate and spoke Vulgar Latin or the morphing of same into what we have today, the Romance languages, at least in Europe and eventually to the Americas. And don’t forget Africa, where the spread of the Latin Mass was most impressive.

That is not to say there was a lack of Latin writing. According to a book I was reading, the amount of writings in Latin up till the medieval period was 100 times the amount written by the ancient Roman writers. And the amount written in Latin from the medieval period until today is 100 times that up till the medieval period. And the vast majority of it has never translated into any other language. Some of it, like the Bible, has been translated and retranslated many times.

Supposedly the Vatican is in the process of releasing some 82,000 documents. It seems Latin translators have some work to do. Either that or more of us will just have to study Latin to know what’s in them.

By the fourth century there were more Christians outside of the bounds of the Roman Empire than within it. Armenia (not Latin speaking) was already a Christian nation in 301. There was a strong Christian presence in India and China by 500 (non-Latin speaking).

I’m not sure where you’re getting your Church history.

I think you’ve gotten to the heart of the issue, which is actually very similar in the U.S. And, IMO, the issue is the concept of a purely “neutral” state that is neutral to all values and religions. At some point, a foundation has to be laid. In Europe, that foundation has historically been the Catholic Church, but, although the framework is still largely shaped by a Christian conscious, it has been increasingly dismantled by secularization, which wants to establish all laws derived from the idea that in public life we should behave* etsi deus non daretur*, as if God didn’t exist. In the end, that establishes atheism as the de facto state religion. And that is what the Catholic Church is fighting. Not surprisingly, a secularized Europe (and America) is not happy with that.

Within Catholicism there is a role for a “healthy secularism”, since the laity live life in the world. And this freedom, inspired by reason, opens opportunities for dialogue with other religions, including atheism. AFAIK, historically this idea doesn’t exist in Islam which has existed with much less church/state separation. That’s not to say that terrorism has been brought about by Islam–which is a religion of peace, but it has a harder time articulating the role of the Church and the State, making it more susceptible to ideologies that are responsible for terrorism. And because of this it has a harder time entering into dialogue with other religions, whereas Christianity can easily do so because of the separation of religion and politics that has always been characteristic of it.

You’re forgetting that Christianity quickly spread to parts of the world where no Latin of any type (Vulgar or Romance) was written or spoken and the corner of the world were Latin or its derivatives were spoken was in the distinct minority, certainly up until the Arab Conquest. This is why, just to name a couple of example, the Creeds were composed in Greek and why the Bible was translated into Syriac and Armenian. People living in Persia, Mesopotamia, China and India didn’t understand Latin. You could argue that Latin became prevalent in the Western/Latinate Church, sure. But that’s only a piece of the history of the Church.

No dispute there

I would imagine, since Latin was the administrative language of the Roman Empire, those centers outside the empire spoke their own languages. I believe Veterum Sapientia addressed that the ancient languages of the East had their own attraction.

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