Latin in the Vatican

Robert S. Wachal robert-wachal at UIOWA.EDU
Fri May 18 14:43:53 UTC 2001


Dear Patricia,

I have acknowledged your assistance in a review of LANGUAGE MYTHS that will
appear in AMERICAN SPEECH, and I thank you very much.

if you have any ttrouble pulling up the attachment, let me know and I will
resen as a regular e-mail.

Thanks,

Bob

At 12:30 PM 2/9/01 -0500, you wrote:
>        I don't know when Latin ceased to be the "lingua franca" of the
>Vatican, but can direct Bob Wachal to the person who will definitely know
>the answer.  He is Father Reginald Foster, an American priest who has
>worked in the Vatican's secretary of state office for many years as one
>of the Pope's Latin language secretaries.  He also teaches Latin at the
>Gregoriana, the pontifical university in Rome and runs his own summer
>school for serious students of Latin.   I studied with Reginald and know
>him quite well.  I'm sure he'd be glad to answer your question.  You can
>reach him by mail:
>        Reginald Foster
>        Piazza San Pancrazio, 5A
>        00152 Roma
>        Italy
>
>        I can tell you that all important Vatican documents used to be
>promulgated in Latin.  Now the original of a document is written in the
>language of whoever is heading up the committee working on that document.
> It is then translated into the other major languages including Latin.  I
>can also tell you that Reginald  Foster and his officemate converse in
>nothing but Latin.  The ATM machine near their office has the prompts
>written in Latin.  So, lovers of Latin, take heart.  Latin isn't dead
>yet.
>        Patricia Kuhlman (lurker)
>        Brooklyn, NY
>        pskuhlman at juno.com
>
>On Thu, 8 Feb 2001 22:19:01 -0500 Thomas Paikeday
><t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA> writes:
>
>> This question has been begging for an answer for a day and a half
>> and,
>> as a lover of Latin, I feel bad about it.
>>
>> How about this conjecture for an answer: Latin ceased to be used as
>> a
>> lingua franca since the mid-Sixties, soon after Vatican Council II.
>
>> "Robert S. Wachal" wrote:
>> >
>> > When did Latin ceased to be used as a lingua franca in the
>> Vatican?
>> >
>> > Bob Wachal
>
>
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