Motu Proprio "Latina Lingua", establishing the Pontifical Latin Academy

The Pope has established an institute to promote the further use and understanding of Latin

How wonderful! The Moto Propio is an interesting read as well I think. Any opinions?


It appears from the article on the Catholic News Agency, that this was instituted so that we can gain a better understanding of the teachings of the Church. Perhaps our translations of early encyclicals and of the early Church fathers are less than what could be construed from the original Latin. I suspect that the translations we have are not lacking in content, but might there be richer meanings and contextual understandings that we can gain in Latin? I think it’s very interesting and it makes me want to do a crash course.

It looks like this will apply to the world of academia with little impact else where, except for a possible ripple effect to lower education.

If nothing else, maybe people will now learn what “E Pluribus Unum” means on the U.S. Dollar and U.S. Flag.

I thought that was Spanish. :o


I suspect that if it is absolutely limited to such a scope, there will not be much impact.

Attributed to certain branches of Latin scientific academia like medical, pharmaceutical and botanical names unless such archives are re-written for the sake modernity.

I should hope the Catholica Latina Lingua should remain and be a valued resource interest for many of the Faithful in the Church.

I think that was the point. This document is a commitment to the use of Latin as the theological standard. It would be like if we were to establish a commitment to standard English measurements during a time when there was a popular push for the metric system. Other languages will need to conform around the Latin, as we have seen in the updated English Mass translation. I can not help but think that this will make learning Latin at every level more desirable to many. If I lived in France, learning French would be more desirable than learning Spanish.

I think it is another attempt by the Holy Father to revisit Sacrosanctum Concilium in the hope that we might regain an authentic understanding of what the council actually taught:

"the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites." (Sacrosanctum Concilium 36).

I wrote something on it here which has an interesting quote and reference to Pope John XXIII’s pre-conciliar comments on Latin from Veterum Sapientia.

Now if only Pope Benedict XVI hangs on for a few more years and has the opportunity to appoint another leader or two like Archbishop Jose Gomez. God bless our Pope!

The article in our dicocesan paper said that the Academy will focus on the encouragement of the study of Latin in schools and universities to promote the knowledge of Latin in the upcoming generations.

Read the Moto Proprio for yourself, it’s not at all long

No.4 It therefore appears urgently necessary to support the commitment to a greater knowledge and more competent use of Latin, both in the ecclesial context and in the broader world of culture. In order to give relevance and resonance to this undertaking the use of didactic methods in keeping with the new conditions and the promotion of a network of relations between academic institutions and scholars is particularly appropriate so as to make the most of the rich and multiform patrimony of the Latin civilization.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit