Pope Francis: Study Latin, Young People

From CNA: “Pope Francis: It’s Good for Young People to Study Latin.”

I agree! This isn’t about liturgy, it’s about stretching the brain and learning a language very important in the history of the church and western civilization. It’ll help you with your Italian, Spanish, French, etc. And just between you and I, it’ll help with your English grammar too!




  1. And your word definitions! I took 6 years of Latin. On average i consult a dictionary every 5 to 10 years.

    And i was one of the few people in my Archdiocese who could say the entire Mass (and may still be) in Latin when Pope Benedict publicized that the Latin Mass could be a different order.

  2. Although I am a big fan of Patriarch Maximos IV’s fight against Latinization during V2, this does not mean that I don’t value the importance of studying the Latin language!

    My interest in Patristic studies, specifically the Cappadocians, has lead me to focus more on Greek, but I have very much enjoyed my first semester of studying Latin at Collegeville. Although, I am not as excited about my Latin exam next Wednesday!

  3. And start young! I was blessed with a public school system that started mandatory foreign language instruction in 4th grade (by age 9-10) for at least six years, and three additional elective years. Latin wasn’t available until high school, unfortunately. I wish we had had a choice of language in elementary school (Spanish and French were imposed by an arbitrary sorting among the elementary schools and available teachers.) Children appear to have more plastic language skills. I think of the children of a friend of mine, who in addition to English and Mandarin, took up German, Japanese and Arabic. All before college.

  4. Competence in Latin can also make the prayers of the 2011 translation easier to parse and understand as they are read out. If I listen to the 2011 as a form of transliterated Latin, then render this back into English, many of the prayers make more sense.

    1. Or there is the possibility of doing what my wife does. She has Latin and is an ESOL (English for speakers of other languages – EFL as was) teacher.
      She marks the translations as though they were being submitted for an intermediate level examination.
      Very few would pass.

  5. Personally, I really enjoy studying Latin as I work on my master’s degree at Saint John’s. I think it helps orient myself not only to a deeper understanding of ‘churchy things’ but also to a different understanding of languages and the world that it stems from. It also is a gateway into more languages going forward!

  6. Did no one notice the grammatical blooper in this post?! “just between you and me,” not “you and I.”

  7. Between high school and college, I had eight years of Latin and six years of Greek. I have never regretted this education and have been able to make use of it in all sorts of ways and contexts (including in teaching). And I agree that I never fully understood the structures of English grammar until freshman high school Latin and could experience an inflected ;language.

  8. In the good old days, Latin used to be a tonic for the spiritual, intellectual and emotional growth of many holy men and holy women, here, there and everywhere.

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