If they’d write in decent Latin, things would be different!

The noted Latinist (and noted quirky personality) Fr. Reginald Foster, O.C.D., appeared in his regular feature on Vatican Radio (podcast link) Friday. Since Pope Benedict is making a state visit to Germany soon, the interviewer Sr. Veronica asked Fr. Foster to describe a famous battle between the Germans and the Roman Empire.
After describing the results of the battle (“the Germans beat the pants off of them”), he went on with some funny remarks about the expressiveness of Latin:

“You can say everything marvelously: except this kind of jargon, this philosophical jargon that’s going around, like how the politicians here in Italy talk, you know that kind of stuff — ugh, that’s terrible, I mean ‘la realizzazione della programma… da questo piano di lavoro’ – agh, shut up! …

“If the encyclicals were written in Latin, … you couldn’t do this, because Latin doesn’t allow you, y’know, just to blah blah blah, you just can’t blah in Latin, which is what they’re doing, you see, so they write it — and the worst is in, well, French, Italian, you see — and it just kind of dribbles on and on, and I’m supposed to put this dribble, dribble, and dribble into Latin! …

“They say this crummy thing in Italian, and I said, I can say this infinitely better in Latin, and people would agree! … At least your sentences are clear and concise, and solid as a rock, whereas these other people are dribbling, dribbling around, and blah blah blah blah — you don’t know what they’re talking about…. If they would write in decent Latin, things would be different, but they refuse!”

Here’s a clip with the interview.

They may have to give this up at some point.

The graphics department at EWTN stuck the “Gospa” of Medjugorje on their highlights flyer for the summer. Are they back to promoting the would-be apparition, or was it just an inadvertence?
Oh, well, it’s no big deal: maybe they’ll give it up if and when the Vatican finally rules the case false.
For now, I call this: putting the “Ew!” in EWTN. :-)
(h/t: semperficatholic)

Categorized as Amusements

Defect in form

A Vatican Secretariat of State press release came out over the weekend. It’s a policy statement about a relatively minor matter: organizations named after Popes.

Recent years have witnessed a great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father. There has also been a desire to use the Pope’s name in the title of universities, schools or cultural institutions, as well as associations, foundations and other groups.
In light of this fact, the Holy See hereby declares that it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and, therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church. Occasionally, in fact, attempts have been made to attribute credibility and authority to initiatives by using ecclesiastical or papal symbols and logos.
Consequently, the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff (his name, his picture or his coat of arms), and/or the use of the title “Pontifical”, must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See.

(emphasis added)
Here’s what I find odd: that a statement from the Vatican is using a modern word such as “logo”. I feel as if the word were invented practically yesterday. As it happens, “logo” only dates to 1937, which seems way too recent for an institution with 2000 years behind it.
Surely there should be some rule that the Vatican doesn’t use words that aren’t at least 100 years old.