VATICAN CITY — On Saturday the Vatican published — in Latin — Pope Benedict XVI’s document establishing the “Pontifical Academy for Latinity,” a title meant to project the fact that it won’t be concerned only with the Latin language, but also with the Latin culture and literature that are part of the Western cultural and intellectual heritage. (See CNS STORY: Pope establishes pontifical Latin Academy)
Until the academy’s establishment was announced Saturday, the Vatican’s Latin scribes were doing double-duty as the manpower behind “Latinitas,” a Latin-studies journal.
U.S. Msgr. Daniel B. Gallagher is one of the seven staff members of the Vatican Secretariat of State’s Office of Latin Letters, which translates papal correspondence and documents into Latin, which is still the official language of the church.
Msgr. Gallagher said it was significant that the papal document was signed Nov. 10, the feast of St. Leo the Great, “whom most of us consider to be the most outstanding Latin stylist.”
CNS interviewed Msgr. Gallagher in September. You can watch the video here:
Earlier, Msgr. Gallagher and some students at the Pontifical North American College in Rome spoke to CNS about their interest in Latin studies: