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Vox Audita Perrit, Literra Scripta Manet....
The heard word is lost, the written letter remains...
Moving website domains is a gruelling experience. Just thought you should all know. Anyway, Like a Moth has a new home. I changed some of the fanlisting codes and made new banners for the quiz, fixed the broken links. A good afternoon's work.

I read in the paper this morning that the Catholic church is putting the Latin language on 'life support', as it were.

AMONG the rank and file, you'd expect a poor show of hands on the question of who could distinguish the Latin vocative from the nominative.

Surely, however, you would get a better showing in a room full of 241 Princes of the Catholic Church, all listening to Cardinal Angelo Scola, Patriarch of Venice, give the opening address at the Vatican's Synod of Bishops last month.

Apparently not. Cardinal Scola's address had his audience quickly reaching for headphones so they could understand what he was saying to them.

Now the church is trying to place Latin -- a language not in huge demand outside the Vatican and rarely spoken fluently even within the church -- on a life-support machine.

One of the Synod's 50 "propositions" to Pope Benedict XIV is that the language should feature prominently in masses at major international events attended by Catholics speaking many different languages.

In Australia, Latin remains in the realm of the better-than- average school pupil, the classics-hungry tertiary student and a handful of the very faithful at churches such as the Maternal Heart Church in Lewisham, Sydney. That is one of several Australian Fraternity of Saint Peter churches, an international order started by John Paul II in 1988 with the sole purpose of keeping Latin mass alive and providing a common tongue among people of different languages.

In the 2001 Australian census, 205 people said they spoke Latin in the home, among other languages. Department of Education, Science and Training figures from last year showed 410 Year12 students across the country were studying Latin.

And every Sunday, about 150 members of the order of Saint Peter take mass in Latin at the Maternal Heart Church.

"They mainly don't speak Latin, but worship in it," Father Laurence Gresser told The Australian. "We find those in the church who are attracted to Latin do so because it gives a greater sense of the transcendent; they feel closer to God.

"We have a wide cross-section of the community -- people from Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, The Philippines, China -- with Latin the common tongue, just as it used to be," Father Gresser said.

"We all get to worship in the same language and no one is excluded."

Yes, I'm sure there are a few people I know (including myself) that come under the category of 'classics-hungry tertiary student'. I'd love to be able to speak it fluently. On Compass a few months ago, they had the Vatican's chief expert in Latin talk about his job and he conducted his entire interview in the language. It sounded beautiful.

*wonders who the 205 people who speak Latin in their households are* Do we have ancient Roman time travellers in our midst? Perhaps a few scholars who've come from the middle ages/renaissance?

And now, I should endeavour to work more on my Very Important Paper. And squeeze in some more study for the ancient history exam tomorrow.

On a final note, I wish the weather would make up its mind about whether it's going to be sunny or pouring rain. *sigh*

Current Mood: working working
Current Music: Simon and Garfunkel- Wednesday Morning, 3 am

3 comments or Leave a comment
thousand_miles From: thousand_miles Date: October 25th, 2005 11:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey the site looks great. I thought I'd point out that the black letters are a bit difficult to read with the green background. It's just a minor point. Cool site though!
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: October 25th, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for pointing that out. It's probably time for me to make a new layout for the site, the current one I did a year or so ago. Something for me to do on my summer break. :)
carolinebishop From: carolinebishop Date: October 25th, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I know at least 10% of those who speak Latin in their households...I used to go to a spoken Latin convention in Kentucky, run by the people that put the Dr Seuss books in Latin--and there was this little girl, about 4 years old, who would come. Her mother had taught her Latin and English simultaneously, and I swear to God she could speak it better than us. Pretty sad notion.

But I think it's good that the Catholic Church is trying to revitalize it.
3 comments or Leave a comment