The first topic "is reserved to institutions (academies, schools, associations, foundations, research groups etc.) that are engaged in formative activity among the youth," the Prize's press release states.
The second is for scholars between the ages of 25 and 40 who have produced doctoral theses or publications on the theme in the last five years. The deadline for candidates and institutions to submit applications is May 12.
"After a thorough and detailed discussion among the members of the Academy, these two areas are chosen because they are seemingly inspiring," Fr. Spataro said. "Many researchers are studying the influence of Classical and Christian Latin throughout the centuries."
"Moreover, new and successful methodologies to teach Latin have been adopted in the last years over all the world," he continued, "especially the so-called 'natural method' according to which Latin should be taught as a spoken language."
Latin's role in the Church's liturgy is another important aspect of the language.
Fr. Spataro highlighted one point in particular: that the original editions of the liturgical books of the Roman rite are all written in Latin.
This is to ensure the "necessary unity in the Church's official prayer. As a matter of fact, modern translations of these liturgical texts are based on the original Latin one," he pointed out, so it is important that the Church has scholars to read and interpret them.
Fr. Spataro also pointed out that the number of groups who celebrate the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, or the Traditional Latin Mass, has seen continuous growth since Benedict XVI made it clear in 2007 that it had never been abrogated.
In this form of the Mass, Latin is used almost exclusively.
"This language, with its rhythm and melodic expression, contributes to create a fascinating atmosphere of sacredness and mystery and helps the celebrants and the participants to grasp the ungraspable, which is God himself," Fr. Spataro reflected.
In addition to his work for the Pontifical Academy for Latin, Fr. Spataro is also part of the Pontificium Institutem Altioris Latinitatis at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome.
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The institute, established by Blessed Paul VI in 1964, "is for the profound studies on Latin which in some way or another shapes the face of our Church today," he said.
"It is our greatest hope to introduce such wonderful language and tradition to the world," he continued. He hopes there will be "more and more students, both lay and clergy from all around the world, of different countries and cultural backgrounds, to come to study with us!"