Rorate Caeli

Motu Proprio "Latina Lingua",
establishing the Pontifical Academy for Latin


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LITTERAE APOSTOLICAE
MOTU PROPRIO DATAE

"LATINA LINGUA"

De Pontificia Academia Latinitatis condenda

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1. Latina Lingua permagni ab Ecclesia Catholica Romanisque Pontificibus usque est aestimata, quandoquidem ipsorum propria habita est lingua, qui eandem cognoscendam et diffundendam assidue curaverunt, cum Evangelii nuntium in universum orbem transmittere valeret, quemadmodum in Constitutione Apostolica Veterum sapientia Decessor Noster beatus Ioannes XXIII iure meritoque edixit.

Enimvero inde a Pentecoste omnibus hominum linguis locuta et precata est Ecclesia. Attamen christianae communitates primorum saeculorum linguam Graecam Latinamque affatim usurpaverunt, cum illis locis in quibus morabantur universalia essent communicationis instrumenta, quorum ope Christi Verbi novitas hereditati obviam ivit Romani et Hellenistici cultus.

Romano Imperio occidentali exstincto, Romana Ecclesia non modo lingua Latina uti perrexit, verum etiam quodammodo custos eiusdem et fautrix fuit, sive in Theologiae ac Liturgiae, sive in institutionis et scientiae transmittendae provincia.

2. Nostris quoque temporibus Latinae linguae et cultus cognitio perquam est necessaria ad fontes vestigandos ex quibus complures disciplinae ceteroqui hauriunt, exempli gratia Theologia, Liturgia, Patrologia et Ius Canonicum, quemadmodum Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum II docet (cfr Decretum de Institutione sacerdotali, Optatam totius, 13).

In hac praeterea lingua, ut universalis Ecclesiae natura pateat, typica forma sunt scripti liturgici libri Romani Ritus, praestantiora Magisterii pontificii Documenta necnon sollemniora Romanorum Pontificum officialia Acta.

3. In hodierno tamen cultu, humanarum litterarum extenuatis studiis, periculum adest levioris linguae Latinae cognitionis, quae in curriculis philosophicis theologicisque futurorum presbyterorum quoque animadvertitur. Sed contra, in nostro ipso orbe, in quo scientia ac technologia praecipuum obtinent locum, renovatum culturae et linguae Latinae studium invenitur, non illis in Continentibus dumtaxat quae proprias culturales radices in patrimonio Graeco et Romano habent. Id diligentius est animadvertendum eo quod non modo academiarum provincia et institutionum implicatur, sed ad iuvenes inquisitoresque etiam attinet, qui ex diversissimis Nationibus et traditionibus proveniunt.

4. Quapropter necessitas instare videtur ut linguae Latinae altius cognoscendae eiusque congruenter utendae fulciatur cura, sive in ecclesiali sive in patentiore cultus campo. Ut hic nisus extollatur et evulgetur, consentaneum prorsus est docendi rationes adhibere aptas ad novas condiciones et provehere item necessitudines inter Academicas institutiones et inquisitores, ut copiosum ac multiforme Latini cultus patrimonium efferatur.

Ad haec proposita assequenda, Decessorum Nostrorum semitas calcantes, hasce per Litteras Apostolicas Motu Proprio datas hodie Pontificiam Academiam Latinitatis condimus, quae Pontificio Consilio de Cultura erit obnoxia. Eam regit Praeses, quem Secretarius iuvat et ii a Nobis nominantur, dum Consilium Academicum illis auxilium fert.

Opus Fundatum Latinitas, quod Pauli PP. VI chirographo Romani Sermonis die XXX mensis Iunii anno MCMLXXVI est constitutum, exstinguitur.

Decernimus ut hae Litterae Apostolicae Motu Proprio datae, quibus ad experimentum in quinquennium adnexum Statutum comprobamus, per editionem in actis diurnis "L’Osservatore Romano" evulgentur.

Datum Romae, apud Sanctum Petrum, die X mensis Novembris, in memoria Sancti Leonis Magni Papae, anno MMXII, Pontificatus Nostri octavo.


BENEDICTUS PP XVI


[Published in L'Osservatore Romano, Year CLII, n, 260 - November 11, 2012 issue]

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[Update: translation]


Apostolic Letter

given motu proprio

LATINA LINGUA

of the Supreme Pontiff

BENEDICT XVI




1. The Latin language has always been held in very high esteem by the Catholic Church and by the Roman Pontiffs. They have assiduously encouraged the knowledge and dissemination of Latin, adopting it as the Church’s language, capable of passing on the Gospel message throughout the world. This is authoritatively stated by the Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia of my Predecessor, Blessed John XXIII.

Indeed the Church has spoken and prayed in the languages of all peoples since Pentecost. Nevertheless, the Christian communities of the early centuries made frequent use of Greek and Latin, languages of universal communication in the world in which they lived and through which the newness of Christ’s word encountered the heritage of the Roman-Hellenistic culture.

After the fall of the Roman Empire of the West, the Church of Rome not only continued to use Latin but, in a certain way, made herself its custodian and champion in both the theological and liturgical sectors as well as in formation and in the transmission of knowledge.

2. In our time too, knowledge of the Latin language and culture is proving to be more necessary than ever for the study of the sources, which, among others, numerous ecclesiastical disciplines draw from, such as, for example, theology, liturgy, patristics and canon law, as the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council teaches (cf. Decree Optatam Totius, n. 13).

In addition, precisely in order to highlight the Church’s universal character, the liturgical books of the Roman Rite, the most important documents of the Papal Magisterium and the most solemn official Acts of the Roman Pontiffs are written in this language in their authentic form.

3. Yet in today’s culture, the danger of an increasingly superficial knowledge of Latin may be noted in the context of the widespread weakening of humanistic studies. This is also a risk in the context of the philosophical and theological studies of future priests. Moreover in our own world, in which science and technology play such an important role, there is a renewed interest in the Latin culture and language and not only on those continents whose culture is rooted in the Greco-Roman heritage. This attention seems all the more meaningful since it not only involves academic and institutional sectors but also concerns young people and scholars from very different nations and traditions.

4. It therefore appears urgently necessary to support the commitment to a greater knowledge and more competent use of Latin, both in the ecclesial context and in the broader world of culture. In order to give relevance and resonance to this undertaking the use of didactic methods in keeping with the new conditions and the promotion of a network of relations between academic institutions and scholars is particularly appropriate so as to make the most of the rich and multiform patrimony of the Latin civilization.

To contribute to attaining these goals following in the footsteps of my venerable Predecessors, today, with this Motu Proprio, I establish the Pontifical Academy for Latin, under the Pontifical Council for Culture. It is governed by a President assisted by a Secretary, who are appointed by me, and by an Academic Council.

The Latinitas Foundation, erected by Paul VI with the Chirograph Romani Sermonis of 30 June 1976 is hereby replaced.

I order that this Apostolic Letter in the form of a Motu Proprio, with which I approve the attached Statutes ad experimentum, for five years, be published in L’Osservatore Romano.

Given at St Peter’s in Rome on 10 November 2012, the Memorial of St Leo the Great, the eighth year of my Pontificate.


BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

[Translation - and text of Statutes in English - provided by the Holy See]



* * *

[Statutes of the new Pontifical Academy:]



Pontificiae Academiae Latinitatis Statutum

Art. I
Pontificia Academia Latinitatis conditur, cuius sedes in Statu Civitatis Vaticanae locatur, quae linguam Latinam et cultum promoveat extollatque. Academia cum Pontificio Consilio de Cultura copulatur, cui est obnoxia.

Art. II
§ 1. Haec sunt Academiae proposita:
a) ut linguae litterarumque Latinarum, quae ad classicos, Christianos, mediaevales, humanisticos et recentissimos pertinent auctores, cognitionem iuvet studiumque provehat, praesertim apud catholica instituta, in quibus vel Seminarii tirones vel presbyteri instituuntur atque erudiuntur;
b) Ut provehat diversis in provinciis Latinae linguae usum, sive scribendo sive loquendo.

§ 2. Ut haec proposita consequatur, Academia studet:
a) scripta, conventus, studiorum congressiones, scaenica opera curare;
b) curricula, seminaria aliaque educationis incepta procurare, etiam iunctis viribus cum Pontificio Instituto Altioris Latinitatis;
c) hodierna quoque communicationis instrumenta in discipulis instituendis adhibere, ut sermonem Latinum perdiscant;
d) expositiones, exhibitiones et certamina apparare;
e) alia agere ac suscipere ad hoc Institutionis propositum assequendum.

Art. III
Pontificia Academia Latinitatis Praesidem, Secretarium, Consilium Academicum ac Sodales, qui Academici quoque nuncupantur, complectitur.

Art. IV
§ 1. Academiae Praeses a Summo Pontifice in quinquennium nominatur. Praesidis mandatum in alterum quinquennium renovari potest.

§ 2. Ad Praesidem spectat:
a) iure Academiae, etiam coram quavis iudiciali administrativaque auctoritate, sive canonica sive civili, partes agere;
b) Consilium Academicum et Sodalium Congressionem convocare eisque praesidere;
c) Congressionibus Coordinationis Academiarum Pontificiarum Sodalis loco interesse atque cum Pontificio Consilio de Cultura necessitudinem persequi;
d) Academiae rebus agendis praeesse;
e) ordinariae administrationi, Secretario opem ferente, atque extraordinariae administrationi, suffragante Consilio Academico necnon Pontificio Consilio de Cultura, consulere.

Art. V
§ 1. In quinquennium a Summo Pontifice nominatur Secretarius, qui in alterum quinquennium confirmari potest.
§ 2. Praeses, si forte absit vel impediatur, Secretarium delegat, ut ipsius vice fungatur.

Art. VI
§ 1. Consilium Academicum constituunt Praeses, Secretarius et quinque Consiliarii. Consiliarii autem a coetu Academicorum in quinquennium eliguntur, qui confirmari possunt.
§ 2. Consilium Academicum, cui Academiae Praeses praeficitur, de maioris ponderis quaestionibus, ad Academiam attinentibus, decernit. Ipsum Rerum agendarum ordinem comprobat, quae a Coetu Sodalium tractanda erunt, qui saltem semel in anno est convocandus. Consilium a Praeside convocatur semel in anno atque quotiescumque porro id saltem tres Consiliarii requirunt.

Art. VII
Praeses, suffragante Consilio, Archivarium, qui Bibliothecarii partes quoque agit, atque Thesaurarium nominare potest.

Art. VIII
§ 1. Academiam constituunt Sodales Ordinarii, qui numerum quinquaginta non excedunt et Academici vocantur, quique studiosi sunt cultoresque linguae ac litterarum Latinarum. Ii a Secretario Status nominantur. Cum autem Sodales Ordinarii octogesimum aetatis annum complent, Emeriti fiunt.
§ 2. Academici Ordinarii Academiae Coetui, a Praeside convocato, intersunt. Academici Emeriti Coetui interesse possunt, at sine suffragio.
§ 3. Praeter Academicos Ordinarios, Academiae Praeses, Consilio audito, alios Sodales nominare potest, qui "correspondentes" nuncupantur.

Art. IX
Aboliti Operis Fundati Latinitas patrimonium inceptaque, compositione editioneque commentariorum Latinitas addita, in Pontificiam Academiam Latinitatis transferuntur.

Art. X
Quae hic expresse non deliberantur, Codice Iuris Canonici et Status Civitatis Vaticanae legibus temperantur.

28 comments:

New Catholic said...

Strictly, it should be "Pontifical Latinity Academy". After some hesitation, we chose Pontifical Latin Academy (perhaps "Pontifical Academy of Latin Studies" or "of the Latin Language") to keep it in line with the most influential language academies, such as the French Academy and the Royal Spanish Academy.

Paulus said...

Latinitas laudatur et alget.

David Werling said...

"...quemadmodum Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum II docet."

Yes, of course.

I said the sky is red one hundred times yesterday, and I'll be darned, but I got up this morning and it's still blue.

Flambeaux said...

Te Deum laudamus

sam said...

The only way to promote Latin and make it useful to the Church, is to use it as the primary language of studies for priests and religious, and to make it their daily language.

The language will promote unity in the Latin Roman Catholic Church. The priest, religious, and even the faithful will be taught the faith properly and without the ambiguity of translations.

Hopefully this baby step will be acted on and not just simply issued.

The Pope will need to lead by example on this one.

LJC said...

First blog to post an english translation gets 7 internetz... go!

Frugifex said...

Art II par. 1 b) ... to promote the use of Latin in writing and in speaking. Hey Catholics: are you listening? Are you paying attention, traditionalists?

Petrus Radii said...

Melior fuerit, si linguam medii aevii latinam docuerit, et minus si latinitatem veterum Romanorum sicut hoc documento demonstrato. Fundatio academiae nihilominus actus maxime laudendus est.

hebetissimus said...

Domne Petre,

Nonne postulatur in constitutione papae Joannis XXIIIi alumnos erudiri latinitate tam antiquorum scriptorum quam medioaevalium qui maxime proferant exempla sequenda vel imitanda?

Daniel Arseno said...

Hebetissime: Noli praevaricari. Clarrissima enim constitutio apostolica Veterum Sapientia ita ludibrio habetur ut quasi signum facta est spernendae Sancti Patris auctoritatis. Neque dubito quin Academia ista nihil magni navatura sit dum episcopi in diocesibus suis iussa Sancti Patris detrectare pergunt.

Daniel Arseno said...

Petre: Utinam, si latinitatem foedam colis. Ego quidem puriorem sermonem Romanorum necnon Patrum latinorum malo.

sam said...

The statute of the Pontifical Academy of Latin

Art. 1
The founding of the Pontifical Academy of Latin, whose is located in the State of Vatican City, is to promote and give rise to the use of the Latin language and culture. The Academy will be joined and subject to the Pontifical Council for Culture.

sam said...

Art. II
§ 1. These are the objectives of the Academy:
a) The literary language of Latin, as found in the Classic period, the Christian period, the Medieval period, the humanities, and the recent work of authors. Shall help lead the pursuit of knowledge, especially in Catholic institutions, in which both seminarians and priests are trained and educated;
b) That it may lead to different branches in the use of the Latin language, either in writing or speaking.

§ 2. To achieve these objectives, the Academy seeks to:
a) To encourage the written works, conventions, academic meetings, and theatrical works;
b) To provide courses, seminars, and other educational initiatives, and also join forces with the higher Pontifical Institute of Latin;
c) To use in spoken Latin dialogues, the modern means of communication that are used by students in educational institutes;
d) To prepare expositions, exhibitions, and contests;
e) To achieve by any means, which drive or support the purpose of the Academy.

sam said...

Art. III
The Pontifical Academy of Latin comprises of a president, a secretary, and the members of the Academic Council, and also termed academics.

sam said...

Art. III
The Pontifical Academy of Latin comprises of a president, a secretary, and the members of the Council of the Academy, and also named academics.

Art. 4
§ 1. The president of the Academy is named by the Supreme Pontiff for a period of five years . The mandate of the president may be renewed for another period of five years.

§ 2. Pertains to the President:
a) Has the right to represent the Academy, before any judicial or administrative authority, either canonical or civil;
b) To preside over the members of the Council of the Academy and to convoke their meetings;
c) To coordinate meetings and take part as a member of the Pontifical Academies, and to pursue a relationship with the Pontifical Council for Culture;
d) To preside over the affairs of the Academy;
e) To bring accord in both the administration of the ordinary, with the help of the Secretary, and in the administration of the extraordinary, with the support of the Council of the Academy, as well as the Pontifical Council for Culture.

sam said...

Art. V
§ 1. The Secretary is named for a period of five years by the Supreme Pontiff, and may be confirmed for an additional period of five years.
§ 2. If the President is absent or impeded, then the Secretary is delegated to perform in his place.

sam said...

Art. VI
§ 1. The Council of the Academy is constituted of a President, a Secretary, and five councillors. The councillors are elected for a period of five years, and a group of academics can also be confirmed.
§ 2. The Council of the Academy, which is appointed by the President of the Academy, decides on important questions pertaining to the Academy. The agenda is approved by the President, which shall be treated in the meeting of its members, the meeting is convoked at least once a year. When the Council under the President meets once a year or at any time, it requires at least three councillors.

sam said...

Art. VII
The President assisted by the Council may name an Archivist, who also acts as the librarian, and a Treasurer.

sam said...

Art. VIII
§ 1. The ordinary members of the Academy may not exceed fifty named academics and votaries who are interested in the Latin language and literature. They are nominated by the Secretary of State. And when an ordinary member completes eighty years of age, he becomes an Emeritus.
§ 2. The ordinary meeting of the academics to illuminate on an item of the Academy, are convened by the President. An Emeritus of the Academy may attend the meeting, but may not vote.
§ 3. In addition to the ordinary academics and to the President of the Academy, other members in the Council Hearing may be appointed who can be called upon.

sam said...

Art. IX
Initiatives in the "lost work" of the Latin heritage, and the publication of additional Latin commentaries, are transferred to Pontifical Academy of Latin.

sam said...

Art. X
What is here does not expressly consider the Code of Canon Law nor is it controlled by the laws of the State of Vatican City.

sam said...

Here's the full text with some corrections:


Pontificiae Academiae Latinitatis Statutum
The statute of the Pontifical Academy of Latin

Art. I
The founding of the Pontifical Academy of Latin, whose is located in the State of Vatican City, is to promote and give rise to the use of the Latin language and culture. The Academy will be joined and subject to the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Art. II
§ 1. These are the objectives of the Academy:
a) The literary language of Latin, as found in the Classic period, the Christian period, the Medieval period, the humanities, and the recent work of authors. Shall help lead the pursuit of knowledge, especially in Catholic institutions, in which both seminarians and priests are trained and educated;
b) That it may lead to different branches in the use of the Latin language, either in writing or speaking.

§ 2. To achieve these objectives, the Academy seeks to:
a) Encourage the written works, conventions, academic meetings, and theatrical works;
b) Provide courses, seminars, and other educational initiatives, and also join forces with the higher Pontifical Institute of Latin;
c) Use in spoken Latin dialogues, the modern means of communication that are used by students in educational institutes;
d) Prepare expositions, exhibitions, and contests;
e) Achieve by any means, that which drive or support the purpose of the Academy.

Art. III
The Pontifical Academy of Latin comprises of a president, a Secretary, and the members of the Council of the Academy, and also named academics.

Art. IV
§ 1. The president of the Academy is named by the Supreme Pontiff for a period of five years . The mandate of the president may be renewed for another period of five years.

§ 2. Pertaining to the President:
a) Has the right to represent the Academy, before any judicial or administrative authority, either canonical or civil;
b) To preside over the members of the Council of the Academy and to convoke their meetings;
c) To coordinate meetings and take part as a member of the Pontifical Academies, and to pursue a relationship with the Pontifical Council for Culture;
d) To preside over the affairs of the Academy;
e) To bring accord in both the administration of the ordinary, with the help of the Secretary, and in the administration of the extraordinary, with the support of the Council of the Academy, as well as the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Art. V
§ 1. The Secretary is named for a period of five years by the Supreme Pontiff, and may be confirmed for an additional period of five years.
§ 2. If the President is absent or impeded, then the Secretary is delegated to perform in his place.

Art. VI
§ 1. The Council of the Academy is constituted of a President, a Secretary, and five councillors. The councillors are elected for a period of five years, and a group of academics can also be confirmed.
§ 2. The Council of the Academy, which is appointed by the President of the Academy, decides on important questions pertaining to the Academy. The agenda is approved by the President, which shall be treated in the meeting of its members, the meeting is convoked at least once a year. When the Council under the President meets once a year or at any time, it requires at least three councillors.

Art. VII
The President assisted by the Council may name an Archivist, who also acts as the librarian, and a Treasurer.

sam said...

Art. VIII
§ 1. The ordinary members of the Academy may not exceed fifty named academics and votaries who are interested in the Latin language and literature. They are nominated by the Secretary of State. And when an ordinary member completes eighty years of age, he becomes an Emeritus.
§ 2. The ordinary meeting of the academics to illuminate on an item of the Academy, are convened by the President. An Emeritus of the Academy may attend the meeting, but may not vote.
§ 3. In addition to the ordinary academics and to the President of the Academy, other members in the Council Hearing may be appointed who can be called upon.

Art. IX
Initiatives in the "lost work" of the Latin heritage, and the publication of additional Latin commentaries, are transferred to Pontifical Academy of Latin.

Art. X
What is here does not expressly consider the Code of Canon Law nor is it controlled by the laws of the State of Vatican City.

Hugh N. Cry said...

Repugnance to Latin has led us here.

A Bishop’s “right and duty” of supervising the liturgy in His See.


Canon 838.1 — The supervision of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church which resides in the Apostolic See and, in accord with the law, the diocesan bishop.

and furthermore,

Canon 839.2 — Local ordinaries are to see to it that the prayers and other pious and sacred exercises of the Christian people are fully in harmony with the norms of the Church.

Okay, that’s what Canon Law states. Let’s delve into the meat of it shall we? This means that local bishop, in accord with the Apostolic See, is responsible for the liturgy in his diocese. Let’s just concentrate on the Latin liturgy. Our present Holy Father has stated that when referring to the traditional Latin Mass (aka Tridentine Mass, Extraordinary Form), one cannot state that it is a different rite than the Novus Ordo Mass (aka Mass in the vernacular, Ordinary Form). Rather, it is to be considered another “form” of the same rite, hence, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.1.
So, the two are of the same rite of the liturgy. That’s handy. One would conclude, therefore, that the local bishop should be able to supervise either of the two. Some questions, however, follow:
1. Has your local bishop celebrated the Extraordinary Form?
2. Has he sat in choro?
3. Has he voluntarily contacted local groups that promote the extraordinary form?
4. The Eucharistic Celebration is to be carried out in either the Latin language, or in another language provide the liturgical texts have been lawfully approved.3. Is your local bishop, let alone the average priest, well versed in Latin2., the official language of Holy Mother Church?

If the answer is No to any of these, how is the bishop able to fulfill his right and duty in accordance to his right and duty? If the bishop isn’t proficient in either form, then how is he able to govern? Too many times we adherents to the traditional Latin Mass have to suffer the indignation of those who are ignorant or remiss in their duty.


1. Letter to the bishops on the occasion of the publication of Summorum Pontificum.
2. Canon 249
3. Canon 928

Miles Dei said...

"In hodierno tamen cultu"

I must say that cultus-us is not properly culture. The mind is only a figurative one and of a rare use. In latin culture has a proper word "cultura-ae".

There is some kind of tipical conciliar contradiction in this point (number 3) between what hapens with humanistic studies and the obsrvation as follow at "sed contra".

The translation of cultus as culture and not the educative labor or education of man (that i think is better as figurative) make bigger the contradiction.

If you translate "cultus" properly you can say that in the manner that the man (also the priest) is educated today the latin is weaken, but you can observe (without contradiction) that renewed interest in the Latin language the Pope affirms.


Congratulations for the correct translation of iure meritoque that the Osservatore Romano alterated in italian.

Patricius said...

Miles: Te fortasse falli credo. Nomen q.e. 'cultus' recte proprieque hoc in loco dicitur. Nomen vero 'cultura' actionem colendi ipsam sibi vult (necnon illius vocis usus crebrior signum habetur Latinitatis infimae). Tullius ipse vocabulum eodem in sensu ac hic apparet adhibet. Num cum eo quoque iugia concitare cupis? Oro, cum fidem nec mihi te habiturum credam, lemmata harum vocum apud lexicon a Ludovico et Brevi conscriptum inspicias. Si talis essem qui e longinquo in aliorum sermonem invehatur, forsitan aliquid super usu adiectivi q.e. 'hodiernus' dicerem. Sileam vero ob summum gaudium quo funditus me hoc instrumentum, hic nuntius, hae litterae apostolicae afficiunt.

sam said...

It seems that the Vatican has translated into English the Motu and Statutes.

My translation of the Latin statutes was off, I'll need to stick to my day job.

aw said...

I notice the moth proprio closes with the traditional formulary--in the 8th year of OUR PONTIFICATE.

I wonder why the Vatican translates this beautiful phrase as--in the 8th year of MY PONTIFICATE?

If one is going to promote Latin, an authentic translation is essential.