THE HEAD OF the Vatican’s pontifical council for culture has announced the launch of a new academy for the teaching of Latin with a Tweet written in the ancient language.
“Hodie una cum Ivano Dionigi novam aperiemus academiam pontificiam latinitatis a Benedicto conditam, hora XVII, via Conciliationis V,” Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, an avid Tweeter, told his online followers.
The message translates as: “Today with Ivano Dionigi we will launch the new pontifical academy for Latin wanted by Benedict XVI at 1700 hours at number 5, Via della Conciliazione” – the main avenue leading to the Vatican.
Latin expert Dionigi is the new dean of the academy, which will promote written and spoken Latin in Catholic institutions like seminaries.
Pope Benedict XVI earlier this month announced the creation of the “Academia Latinitatis” to promote the study of Latin culture and language at a time when knowledge of Latin is rapidly being lost among Catholic clergy and believers.
Latin remains the official language of the Vatican but is now rarely used in Catholic ceremonies. Ever since being elected to the papacy, Benedict has promoted greater use of Latin as a way of countering divisions in the Church.