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Vatican launches revamped Latin journal

'Latinitas' focuses on literature, history, science

08 November, 15:45
Vatican launches revamped Latin journal (ANSA) - Vatican City, November 8 - The Vatican on Friday launched a revamped version of its Latin-language journal "Latinitas" intended to draw new students to the official language of the Church. Edited by the Pontifical Academy for Latin, Latinitas is published four times a year and touches on literature, philology, history, the sciences and other disciplines. Particular attention is given to the Diarium Latinum, which deals with current issues in a journalistic style, organizers say. Unlike the original version of the journal, founded in 1953, the revamped format features articles in Italian and the world's most widely spoken languages languages in addition to Latin. At a Vatican presentation Friday, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, paraphrased Communist thinker and activist Antonio Gramsci on his interests in Greek and Latin.

"You don't study Latin or Greek to speak do so to come in direct contact with the civilization of two peoples who were the bedrock of modern society, that is, you study them to be yourself and to know yourself," he said. Ravasi, whose name came up among the Italian contenders for pope at the conclave that elected Pope Francis in March, recalled how a better understanding of Latin would have been useful when Pope Benedict XVI abdicated in February at a consistory by making an address in Latin. "I was there, and when the pope finished speaking a cardinal asked me 'what did he say?' 'He said he's stepping down,' I responded. 'No, you must not have understood!' was his reply". Also present during the momentous announcement was Giovanna Chirri, a veteran ANSA journalist who is proficient in Latin, and was thus able to break the story before anyone else.