The Pope is planning to set up a new pontifical Latin academy in the Vatican to restore the use of the ancient Italic language, the Vatican has said. The new academy, Pontificia Academia Latinitatis, would “promote the knowledge and speaking of Latin, particularly inside the Church.” Until the Second Vatican Council reforms in the 1960s, Vatican documents were only published in Latin. Pope Benedict is keen to increase the popularity of Latin as the official language of the Roman Catholic Church, as he believes that the more people understand Latin, the easier it will be to explain the teachings of the Church.
As a language student, it’s useful to know the basics of Latin as the foundations and roots of words of many other languages stem from Latin. I’m not sure that the Pope’s plans are intended for this purpose, or indeed aimed at everyone, but the news has inspired me, at least, to learn a little more Latin!