Monday 21 October 2019

Here is the Vatican City news - in Latin

The Vatican. Stock photo: despositphotos
The Vatican. Stock photo: despositphotos

Philip Pullella

Friends, Romans and Latin lovers - lend the Vatican your ears. Vatican Radio is starting a regular news bulletin in the language of Caesar and Cicero.

Called 'Hebdomada Papae, Notitiae Vaticanae latine reddiate' ('The pope's week, Vatican news in the Latin language'), it is the latest in a series of initiatives to broaden use of Latin, once a staple of education and the language of all Roman Catholic services.

This month, 'Hebdomada Aenigmatum', a new book of crossword puzzles in Latin and ancient Greek, said to be the first with no help or definitions in modern languages, hit book stores in Italy.

The weekly Vatican Radio broadcast, which starts today, will run for five minutes and be followed by a half-hour show with Latin conversation - and tips in Italian on using the language of ancient Rome in a modern setting.

"We wanted the official language of the Church to be experienced in news just as it is in the daily broadcast of a Mass in Latin," said Andrea Tornielli, the editorial director for Vatican communications.

The programme will be produced by the radio's news team and the department that translates and writes official documents in Latin.

Luca Desiata, who published the crosswords book in Latin, said the internet has revived interest in the language just as schools around the world stopped teaching it.

Irish Independent

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