Vatican, Nov. 28 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) encouraged the use of Latin in the Church, and the study of Latin by young people, as he met on November 28 with the members of the Latinitas Foundation, a group dedicated to the promotion of Latin.
Latin should not merely be conserved, the Pope said; its use should be encouraged and spread, particularly among the young. He explained that "the great treasures" of the language must not be lost, nor should Catholics lose the habit of using Latin as the official language of the Church. The Latinitas Foundation was instituted in 1976 by Pope Paul VI to encourage the study of both classical and Church Latin, as well as the use of Latin in ecclesiastical life. In his apostolic constitution Veterum Sapientia of 1962, Pope John XXIII confirmed the role of Latin as the international language of the Catholic Church. Latin is also the official language of the Vatican city-state.