Benefits of Studying Latin

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
I can't say I've heard it in the past several hundred years, but reviving old usages may be a pet project of some, and not necessarily one doomed to failure in all instances.
 

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius

Terry S.

scurra
Staff member
Odd then that he speaks it in The Exorcist and Father Karras exorcises using English.

I think Father Karras' attempts in English are a bit of poetic licence on the part of the author/director. The English translation of the Rite of Exorcism didn't exist at that time. It was the last of the rites to be revised following Vatican II, and the approved English translation is very recent.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
I think Father Karras' attempts in English are a bit of poetic licence on the part of the author/director. The English translation of the Rite of Exorcism didn't exist at that time. It was the last of the rites to be revised following Vatican II, and the approved English translation is very recent.
You'd think the director might have wanted to have the priest say the exorcism in Latin rather than English to suggest his authority over the demon. But maybe the director wasn't too hot at Latin at school or something, and he wanted to tell everyone what a diabolical language he thought it was.
 

Terry S.

scurra
Staff member
Well, Father Karras was a 1970s Jesuit. It was in keeping with his character that he be ignorant of all things Latin.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
Latin seemed generally in decline in the '70s, and probably before that. My own school dropped both it and German from foreign languages, for example.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
and he wanted to tell everyone what a diabolical language he thought it was.
LOL.

Terry S., what are your thoughts (being a Catholic) on the effectiveness of prayers in Latin versus English (or other vernaculars)?
 

Terry S.

scurra
Staff member
Latin seemed generally in decline in the '70s, and probably before that.

Definitely. Plus, the Jesuits after the Council went stark raving mad over all things new, polyester and goofy. They couldn't have denied their heritage any harder, and especially the Latin bit of the Latin Church.

On the secular side, wherever Latin was dropped as a University entrance requirement, its demise in schools followed hot on its heels.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
In the States Latin never was a university entrance requirement at most if not all institutions, but even modern foreign languages are comparatively rarely specified by individual colleges for entrance or graduation. And most of the teaching is exceptionally ineffective, whether at school or higher level.
 

Terry S.

scurra
Staff member
Terry S., what are your thoughts (being a Catholic) on the effectiveness of prayers in Latin versus English (or other vernaculars)?

The language doesn't make any difference to efficacy. Public prayer in Latin provides all sorts of social benefits in terms of unity in a diverse Church. It also guarantees, in the case of sacraments and sacramentals, that a valid form of the prayer is being used as opposed to a defective translation. These are not unknown unfortunately. Lastly, Latin (in most cases) stops idiot clergy ad libbing and afflicting the People of God with their impromptu ravings and cravings.
 

Terry S.

scurra
Staff member
In the States Latin never was a university entrance requirement at most if not all institutions,

That is something I didn't know. I would have thought it would be otherwise given the early dates of the founding of some of those universities.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
I was hoping I'd get away with a sweeping statement. I think Harvard did have such a requirement at one point, and perhaps other early institutions, but I'm not sure when they abandoned it. I suppose I'm thinking more of the 20th century, and in particular the second half, when it simply wouldn't have been possible to take Latin at many otherwise good schools that dispatched pretty much their entire output to so-called good universities.
 

Cassia

New Member
It doesn't just expand one's vocabulary; it makes English words much more meaningful. For example, knowing that the name "Lucifer" means "Bearer of Light," or that piety comes from pietas, which encompasses the hierarchy of duty: gods, country, family, and self. Some of the many derivatives, I think, have become somewhat watered down with our everyday usage, but knowing their original meaning makes them much more vivid.
 
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