The Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, founded in 1954 by Pope Pius XII, realeased a statement on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, warning that the decreasing knowledge of ancient languages –such as Latin and Greek - are jeopardizing serious historical studies.
In a statement released on Friday, the Committee explains that it was instituted by Pius XII, and follows in the footsteps of the earlier Cardinals’ Commission for Historical Studies, created by Pope Leo XIII following the opening of the Vatican Secret Archives.
“The tradition established in 1954 by Pius XII, who called upon eminent scholars from various countries representing the different disciplines of historical sciences, continues today.”
“Since historical sciences must face the ever growing problem of ignorance of the classical languages which is starting to threaten their very existence, the PCSS is taking upon itself the duty of stopping this unfortunate void.”
“A historical science that, instead of basing itself directly on the Latin and Greek sources, trusts only more or less reliable traditions, can not be considered serious and this would involve, at the same time, the end of western culture and learning itself,” the Committee’s statement warns.