Vatican launches Latin section on its website


The Vatican website has opened a Latin section for papal texts and religious resources translated into Latin.

The main site at links to the section under the Latin title “Sancta Sedes,” which means “Holy See.”  The section includes the Catechism, the Code of Canon Law, and the documents of the Second Vatican Council in the ancient tongue.

The New Vulgate Latin translation of the Bible, which had been published elsewhere on the Vatican website, is also included in the new section.

Pope Benedict XVI has long advocated the Latin language.  According to the BBC, Pope Benedict addressed cardinals of the Church in Latin shortly after he was elected to the papacy. 

Last year he granted blanket permission for all priests to celebrate the Mass in Latin from the 1962 Missal, which had been largely abandoned after the Second Vatican Council.

He has also encouraged the use of the language in seminaries.

The Pope’s official Latinist, American priest Father Reginald Foster, has long advocated the language.

“It's not like French and some of these philosophical languages where you can write a whole page and say nothing - in Latin you can't do that!” he said, according to BBC News.

Father Foster hosts Vatican Radio’s weekly program “The Latin Lover,” in which he explains the historical and contemporary uses of the language.  He also holds an internationally renowned tuition-free Latin program in Rome for several weeks each summer.

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