It’s no joke. The Devil hates Latin.

 

Take it from Fr. John Zuhlsdorf who posted this on 16 February 2016:

I have attended a couple workshops on exorcism.  I have spoken with exorcists.   Again and again I have heard – and said – how the Devil hates Latin.  This is more than a witticism.

Over at NLM I found yet another confirmation that the Devil hates Latin.    There is a piece about a talk given by the priest who was the inspiration for the movie The Rite.  Read the whole thing, but this is the part that most interested me:

However, he did explain that the Rite of Exorcism is only said in Latin. One reason is practical – there is no approved translation in English as yet. He gave another reason why he was so strongly in favor of the use of Latin in the Rite of Exorcism: “The Devil hates Latin, it is the universal language of the Church.” I asked him about this afterwards, and he repeated it, saying that his personal experiences as an exorcist who has performed many, many exorcisms have convinced him of this. He told me he had heard from exorcists who did exorcisms in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese (the only approved vernaculars for this Rite) that Latin was the most effective language.

And there are a lot of people out there, liberals mostly, who hate Latin.

What does it mean for the identity of Catholics in the Latin Church when they almost never hear any Latin and have even been led to disdain it?

Let’s all recite together the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel just to irritate the Enemy, and throw some Holy Water around while you’re at it:

8421387623_240f94df2bSancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio.
Contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur.
Tuque princeps militiae caelestis,
Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo
divina virtute in infernum detrude.
Amen.

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55 Responses to It’s no joke. The Devil hates Latin.

  1. Michael says:

    He also hates Pope Saint John Paul II as well, according to Fr. Gabriele Amorth:

    https://churchpop.com/2015/06/07/st-john-paul-ii-romes-chief-exorcist/

    Interesting that the common factors in the efficacy of these (and the intercession of Our Lady of course) is purity and humility – the use of Latin represents purity, insofar as refers to a clear, unchanging means of expression for the Church’s teaching and worship; and humility, in that its usage brings to mind its having been hallowed by countless others throughout the ages, and thus causes us to reflect on the fact that we are part of something greater than our current concerns, something which should respected not tinkered with according to passing fashions.

    Saint John Paul was of course a tireless promoter of the virtue of purity, and always showed great humility before the Truth, ever acting as its servant, striving to let its light shine out to others; and this despite his strong personality and natural propensity for ‘taking the stage’ – even if his person attracted great attention, he always strove to redirect that attention to the One who is Truth, Light and Love.

    Our Lady is the exemplar of both purity and humility, and as the article says, the demons are particularly scared of her intercession because she is a ‘mere’ creature! Yet because in everything she said ‘let it be done to me according to thy word’, her humanity was able to reach its full potential, magnifying the Lord in everything she did and does. The devil hates God’s being glorified, but how he must hate this when done through a creature, and even more so by that creature’s exercising true humility and purity of heart!

  2. ginnyfree says:

    Very nice. It is very true – the devil hates Latin. I heard that a few years back and set about learning it. God bless. Ginnyfree.

  3. toadspittle says:

    I hated Latin myself, as a boy. Largely because the Latin master was a pea-brained sadist called O’Shea.
    Now I hate Swahili. Ugh! Simply hate it! That and Welsh. Horrible, hateful, languages, both of them!….Silly, isn’t it?
    For example, the Swahili for “dog,” is “mbwa, and the Welsh for “toad,” is “llyffant”
    How hateful can languages get? The Devil only knows.

  4. toadspittle says:

    “And there are a lot of people out there, liberals mostly, who hate Latin.”
    We must not let statements, like this, go unexamined. It is utter nonsense of course, but what is Father Z trying to articulate?
    I think he must mean there are some people who object to the use of Latin, on the grounds that it is “exclusionary,” or “divisive,”or something. Which, if so, is also utter nonsense.
    Nobody, in their right minds, or even otherwise, “hates” a language. Before French, then English, became the “universal” languages, Latin was a very useful, vital in fact, accomplishment. Even now, I personally regret I din’t take more trouble to learn it. I thought it was “pointless.” But I didn’t “hate” it. “Hated” being taught it, because then – as now – I was lazy and stupid.
    It’s like saying you “hate” the colour red, because it’s the colour of United’s football shirts. (Hating United is perfectly reasonable, of course.)

    As to the Devil “hating Latin,” I suspect more likely he would actually enjoy using it, be fluent in it, and have no problem whatever employing its sonorous subtleties to persuade naughty clergymen to commit sin.
    But I don’t know.

  5. Tom Fisher says:

    Silly old Devil, I enjoyed Latin. Hated French. Perhaps the Devil would enjoy the Amores? He probably got forced to read Virgil.

  6. Michael says:

    The major reason the devil has a hatred of Latin is well summarised by Dr. Ed Peters in the comments section of the article:

    The devil hates Latin because the Church loves it.

    There is a lot more that can be said about the particular nature of Latin as a language, its clarity and stability etc, but it all comes back to this I think. Unfortunately many in the Church over the last few decades have indeed come to hate the use of Latin anywhere in Church life, precisely because it represents a key part of the world they have rejected – the ‘pre-conciliar’ world, which has been left behind in favour of an ‘opening up’ to the gifts of secular modernity, a world of ‘dialogue’ and ‘accompaniment’, but most of all a world that is anthropocentric not theocentric.

    A couple of comments from another article about Latin (specifically its usage in the Mass) describe this reaction well:

    A strong case can be made that a loss of reverence and a sense of the sacred has contributed to the reduction in Mass attendance. And the use of Latin, with its dignity and solemnity, was for centuries an integral part of the Church’s celebration of the Holy Sacrifice that brings heaven down to earth, sets hearts afire with the Holy Spirit and brings believers into the most intimate communion with the Lord Jesus.

    and…

    Of course, the best approach for any priest would be to patiently catechize the faithful of his parish as to genuine nature and purpose of the Mass, the meaning of authentic liturgical rituals and symbols, and the illegitimacy of the liturgical innovations made in the late 60s/early 70s, in that the immense majority of them were neither sanctioned by nor called for by the Council Fathers or the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Then he would gently re-orient things toward their proper end and re-establish the proper forms. But, let’s face it, no matter how patient, gentle, charitable or clear the priest, the members of the parish with a modernist agenda will immediately begin to raise hell and scream that he is “trying to turn back the clock to the pre-Vatican II Church”, when in fact all he is trying to do is set the correct time and get the hands of the clock moving again, rather than stuck in the 60s and 70s where most U.S. parishes have remained for the past 40+ years.

    http://www.ipadre.net/2015/01/if-you-want-to-attract-people-to-mass-get-rid-of-latin/

    The devil hates Latin because the Church loves it. ‘Progressive’ Catholics hate it because it represents everything they have tried to jettison in order to shape the Church into something human-centred, sentimental and led solely by the spirit of the age.

  7. Tom Fisher says:

    A strong case can be made that a loss of reverence and a sense of the sacred has contributed to the reduction in Mass attendance

    There seems to be a general feeling among devout Catholics that the changes which came in the wake of Vatican II had something to do with the collapse of Catholicism in the west. — However (western) Christianity as a whole seems to have suffered a collapse since (roughly) the mid 20th century. And arguably the Catholic Church has simply been part of a larger trend. The Devil may well hate Latin. But it seems possible that worrying about the linguistic preferences of Satan, is not entirely productive.

  8. Robert says:

    Why can’t you simply look at Calvary! The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the execution on the gibbet was under Rome and its vernacular language was Latin.
    Look the Temple blood sacrifices of the pascal lamb obviously these rites were not Latin. Israel handed over the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God to Rome (Latin) . The Old covenant was fulfilled by Christ and replaced by the New and this was of Rome.
    The Blood Sacrifice of the pascal lamb was only done at the Temple. This hasn’t happened sisnce Titus flattened the Temple.
    You have to look and learn from the Passion to begin to understand the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Church was born under Rome who executed the pascal lamb.
    It really is simply.

  9. Tom Fisher says:

    To be fair Robert, Latin was adopted only after several generations had gone by, and for entirely pragmatic reasons. The universal language of the Church in its early period was Greek, which was the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean. The Eastern Orthodox will, to this day, happily talk your ear off about the fact that they retained the ‘universal language of the Church’. — And given it’s the language of Paul and the evangelists, it’s hard to deny they have a point. But that is a digression.

  10. toadspittle says:

    “The devil hates Latin because the Church loves it.”
    That would be a very childish attitude on behalf of one who is feared for his cunning, and is known as “The Father of Lies.”
    But then. perhaps Satan is lying as usual – and really loves Latin as much as the Church does.
    What an absurd concept “hating” a partcular language is.
    As daft as saying, “I hate water,” or whatever.

  11. Michael says:

    Tom @ 10:52:

    Yes, I think the claim that if these changes hadn’t occurred, the collapse simply wouldn’t have occurred at all, or wouldn’t have been anywhere near as bad as it has been, is incorrect – collapse in the Church has been, as you say, part of a wider trend in the West.

    Having said that, one can see how much easier it would be for secular and/or Protestantised modes of presenting (and even understanding) the Faith to be adopted when aspects of the Mass that safeguard and transmit a sense of reverence and God-centredness (e.g.; the use of Latin and plainchant, ad orientem worship, etc) are removed. If the central act of the Catholic Faith, that which embodies all that it stands for, is divested of elements which in principle could act as bulwarks against the spirit of the age, it is surely understandable why many think that these changes at least contributed to the pace and extent of the collapse within Catholicism.

    Yes, some collapse would have been very likely anyway, but if the changes post-Vatican II hadn’t happened, one can see how, in theory at least, this could have softened the blow greatly, and kept a great many more people from being given over to either a heavily diluted faith, or none at all. We can’t know this for sure of course, as things happened the way they did and that’s that, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me to suggest that the preservation of aspects of Catholic worship that cultivate reverence might have helped a fair bit along the way.

  12. GC says:

    Michael @10:03
    Unfortunately many in the Church over the last few decades have indeed come to hate the use of Latin anywhere in Church life, precisely because it represents a key part of the world they have rejected – the ‘pre-conciliar’ world, which has been left behind in favour of an ‘opening up’ to the gifts of secular modernity, a world of ‘dialogue’ and ‘accompaniment’, but most of all a world that is anthropocentric not theocentric.

    Michael, I am reminded at once of an “article” on ucanews, that purports to be Asian Catholic news, but which is largely the product of an ageing American Maryknoll “ordained minister” residing, probably very comfortably, in Tokyo. It refers to Laudato Si.

    As Pope Francis tries to wean the Catholic Church from the top-down, centralized way of life and thought that has characterized it for the past few centuries and bring us back to a more traditional form of Church life, he is looking to the voices of communities throughout the world. That is symbolized in his not using the Vatican’s official language, Latin.

    For Latin is more than a language. It is a sign of the centralization of the Church of Rome in Rome. That is one reason that traditionalists hold to it so tenaciously in the liturgy. It is not that they think God does not understand or hear prayers in other languages; it is that Latin symbolizes a model of the Church, a model that has more and more obviously passed its use-by date. Mortus est lingua mortua, the dead language has died.

    http://www.ucanews.com/news/mortus-est-lingua-mortua/73821

    Unfortunately, the ordained minster’s Latin itself is substandard in his mortus est etc. (even though it consists of only 4 words!) and makes him a very commendable candidate for a Monty Python spoof (vide. Life of Brian). I suspect he wasn’t aware of that, but I could be wrong? Whatever, I think the American ordained minister’s knowledge and appreciation of Latin is coterminous with his ability to use Google Translate.

    A shame really.

  13. Michael says:

    An interesting point there GC! It does seem that Latin’s association with centralisation is very likely another reason it is disliked by many (as well as its association with tradition, orthodoxy and clear teaching) though I never would have thought to make the connection between this and Pope Francis’ desire to decentralise, like the ordained minister.

    Of course, how much this corresponds to what the Holy Father actually thinks or is trying to do is something of a mystery, but given his pronouncements on Church government, and his desire to ‘reach out to the margins’ etc, and his ambiguous* relationship with the TLM, it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise if there was something to this. What it definitely does show is that his pontificate has very much given the impression that a brave new Church is only just around the corner, and the project to convert Catholicism into Anglicanism is nearing its completion. C.f.; one of the comments to this article:

    This is the most interesting article I have read about the encyclical. Hope the trend of decentralization continues, the new Roman missal is discarded, and women (at least celibate women) can be ordained to the priesthood soon.

    It also, IMO, shows the extent to which Latin is associated with all the things that progressives hate – i.e.; sound doctrine, fealty to an authority which can’t be negotiated according to passing whim, reverent worship…

    *Ambiguous because, despite the suppression of FFI and his condemnatory comments/insults regarding traditionalist in general, he does seem to have taken quite a relaxed approach to the use of the Extraordinary Form in general, and has made conciliatory moves towards the SSPX:

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2015/07/09/an-extraordinary-turn-of-events/

  14. Robert says:

    Most people skim the mystery’s without looking at God’s Providence. God is Omnipotent and Omnipresence. You must look at ALL the details. Consider that Heaven knew that at Fatima 13 October 1917 that it would be raining!
    Now look again at the Passion. Israel rejected the Messiah and handed him over to Rome to be executed on a Tree. Israel rejected the Lamb of God and instead their pascal lamb was an animal. The execution was OUTSIDE of Jerusalem. Israel closed their City against Heaven and evicted the Trinity.
    Rome through Pilate declared Christ was Innocent. Therefor they executed the Innocent (Sinless) One. The Church was born on Calvary and that Body had been excluded from Israel, that Body had been handed over to Rome. Israel handed the Mystical Body to Rome.
    Yes Greek was the common language but Greece was a province of Rome. The Greek translation of the Hebrew was the Septuaguint was already available. The New Testament was in Greek but the vernacular common language of The Roman Empire Latin. Latin is simply the language of Rome.
    The Anathema on Babel is confusion of tongues But with Rome there was for centuries this common language of Latin in the Church. A common language is essential for common understanding and a common Faith.
    In 1960’s Babel reared its head again with the vernacular in the Mass. Emmerich vision of Babel!

  15. GC says:

    Michael @19:28

    Yes, the ordained minister in Tokyo is much too obsessively partisan and hung up. He needs a good quiet think about Latin in the history, worship and piety of the Church and also in its intellectual and spiritual life over the millennia. It will do him much good and give him much greater breadth of understanding.

    Even the Catholics of Japan, where the Maryknoll ordained minister is stationed, are part of the above history, as we here are also. There was an abundance of conversions in Japan in the 16th-17th century, such that the government there felt the Church had to be put done ruthlessly. But there were no Japanese language liturgy or papal documents.

    Silly article, actually.

  16. Tom Fisher says:

    The New Testament was in Greek but the vernacular common language of The Roman Empire Latin.

    Robert, as far as I understand (and hopefully someone with expertise can correct me or confirm this), Latin was never the common vernacular in the eastern empire where Christianity was born, and its earliest texts written. — I’m not trying to make any polemical point, its just a point of interest

  17. Tom Fisher says:

    if the changes post-Vatican II hadn’t happened, one can see how, in theory at least, this could have softened the blow greatly, and kept a great many more people from being given over to either a heavily diluted faith, or none at all

    Michael, I take your point. — It would be very interesting (and I don’t have access to any) to see some data about (western) Catholic Church attendance and practice between, say, 1920 and 1960. it might throw some light. I’m emphasising a broader trend, and you’re emphasising the drastic changes post VII. I’m sure someone has don solid research on this stuff

  18. Robert says:

    Tom
    Yes I appreciate the position of the Greek language and what you are saying is true, the New Testament was written in Greek.
    But the Conversion of the Roman Empire to Christ was an extrodinary achievement. The East West split of that Holy Roman Empire was sadly later echoed, and again vernacular languages, in the Reformation.
    Christ reverses All things and one of these is the anathema against Babel. The vernacular languages and nationalism are a feature of the fragmenting of the mystical body of Christ. We should see the teaching of the Holy Ghost in this unification under the language of the Church which is Latin. Latin the language of the Church under the Popes and the Bishops in Communion with them. So Latin has for centuries been the hammer of the demon! The language of the Church.

  19. Michael says:

    Tom @ 06:50:

    Yes, it would be interesting to see such data, and I am sure solid research has indeed been done. Even if, as I would imagine they probably would, show fairly stable numbers with respect to Mass attendance etc over this period, there would still be the question about how much of this was purely nominal. I imagine that the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ allowed a lot of people to do what they had already been wanting to do for some time (i.e.; the broader trend being discussed).

    On the flip side, the same ‘spirit’ may well have led many who would otherwise (given time) have persisted in their faith and been drawn deeper into it, into the kind of doctrinal vagueness and egocentric spirituality that did emerge in the wake of the Council. I guess what I’m getting at is that, no matter how many studies of the periods leading up to and just after Vatican II one conducts (and there are no doubt some good studies out there)*, they can only tell us so much – what happened happened, and in the final analysis we can only really argue the case as to what would have happened in hypothetical terms.

    *Evidence from the effect Summorum Pontificum has had now is useful, but even this can’t tell us about what effect a maintaining of the status quo wrt worship would have had back then.

  20. toadspittle says:

    “But the Conversion of the Roman Empire to Christ was an extraordinary achievement.”
    Course it was .But stop changing then subject . We were talking about language, here.
    “The vernacular languages and nationalism are a feature of the fragmenting of the mystical body of Christ.”
    Total gibberish.

  21. Tom Fisher says:

    The vernacular languages and nationalism are a feature of the fragmenting of the mystical body of Christ.

    They are two very different things, separated by more than a millenium. And they do not signify fragmentation of the Church.

    Nationalism (in the modern sense) is a 19th century phenomenon, and thoroughly post-reformation.

    The vernacular languages of western Europe developed in the wake of the collapse of the western empire. But they did not reflect a “fragmenting” of the Church. The Irish Church was a beacon of Catholic scholarship on the fringes of Europe — Irish monks traveled throughout Germany, Italy, etc. But the vernacular language of their society was Old Irish. In England Alfred led a minor renaissance of Catholic learning, the language of scholarship was Latin, but the vernacular was Old English.

    It is a modern fallacy to think that a diversity of vernacular languages is inconsistent with membership of a single universal Church, with a single unifying ecclesiastical language.

    Vernacular languages didn’t fragment the Church, and nationalism developed after the fragmentation had already occurred

  22. Tom Fisher says:

    Total gibberish

    That’s too harsh Toad. But Robert was certainly totally wrong

  23. toadspittle says:

    Tight, Tom. Sorry, Robert.
    How do I know it isn’t raining in heaven, right now? I don’t.
    It would make fairly good sense if the Mass was only said in English universally, these days.

  24. Robert says:

    Toad and Michael
    How easily you are distracted away from looking at the Cross.
    Gibberish Toad follow your word back to Gibbet and there is your answer!
    All four Gospels have the sign placed above Our Lords Cross (gibbet, Written by Pilate (Roman). The three languages? Luke tells Us Greek, Latin, Hebrew. (Christ the KING)
    Purple the Popes wore the purple mantle. Purple the colour of the Bishops.
    Rome crowd Our Lord, Dressed Our Lord and Executed Our Lord.
    Rome and its language is the Language of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Babel the anathema of Double speak (the language of Masonry) .
    French Revolution and the Enlightenment that swarmed from that Revolt and Imprisoned the Popes! Your Caves and their dating flows from the Science of the Enlightenment! Naturalism (Evolution, Dawkins etc..)

    “..In 1689 Margaret Mary Alacoque had addressed to Louis XIV, the King of France, with the Lord’s requirement of the consecration of France to His Sacred Heart. This requirement has been ignored. As a result, exactly one hundred years later, the French Revolution happened. And about three and a half years after the Revolution’s inception the King was beheaded. ..”
    In August 1921 Our Lord gave a message to Lucia (of Fatima).
    “..Our Lord complained to me, saying: “They did not wish to heed my request!… Like the King of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars, and persecutions of the Church: the Holy Father will have much to suffer..”

  25. kathleen says:

    Father Peter Carota* (from the ‘Traditional Catholic Priest blog) also wrote about the devil’s hatred for Latin in November 2014, and how only once the devil succeeded in getting it removed was he able to reap its evil fruit!

    “At the exact time that Latin was being removed from the Catholic Church’s Sacraments, all hell broke out in the world. Many attribute the break down of society and the down fall of the Catholic faith to the “drugs, sex and rock n roll” revolution of the late 60’s. I contend that it was the devil, and his friends (demons), who brought on the revolution.

    Remember that the devil hates Latin and the sacred ancient Latin Sacraments, Rites and prayers of the Catholic Church. So you can see that it was precisely when Latin was being removed, (1965-69), that all hell broke loose.

    Many ask why the devil hates Latin and why it is used in Exorcisms and has power over the devil. The answer is that ecclesiastical Latin is a sacred language that was reserved only for the divine service of the Church of God, in prayer and in the Sacraments.”

    http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2014/11/16/latin-mass-latin-exorcism-latin-sacraments-crush-the-devil/

    * Please offer a prayer for Father; he is seriously ill.

  26. toadspittle says:

    “Many attribute the break down of society and the down fall of the Catholic faith to the “drugs, sex and rock n roll” revolution of the late 60’s. I contend that it was the devil, and his friends (demons), who brought on the revolution.”
    Heresy! It was Elvis. And his friends

  27. GC says:

    Many ask why the devil hates Latin and why it is used in Exorcisms and has power over the devil. The answer is that ecclesiastical Latin is a sacred language that was reserved only for the divine service of the Church of God, in prayer and in the Sacraments.

    I think that this is very true, but to divine service, prayer and sacraments I would add Christian thought and teaching of the faithful in writing and preaching. Ecclesiastical Latin is a hybrid of Classical and popular Latin through which the Church sought not to be too distant from that Latin spoken by the ordinary people, while preserving a lot of the formality and beauty of the classical authors. As was only appropriate and necessary.

    Church Fathers such as Cyprian, Tertullian, Ambrose and Augustine even added new words to it that were needed to express the Christian truths and derived them from terms used in the Greek Scriptures and Fathers.

    I think too that so many silly goats these days go on too much about Latin being a “dead” language. Latin is very much alive still in the neo-Latin languages and local dialects of Europe (French, Spanish etc.) and in Latin America, North America, Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean and the creoles there. These are surely just later forms of Latin if one adopts a sensible perspective.

    Modern English also is quite “Latinic”. It is very much in the Latin world. For example, they say Milton, a great Latinist, wrote great Latin poetry, except that he often used English words instead. And the translators that gave us the King James Bible were all Oxbridge Latin scholars. And it shows.

  28. toadspittle says:

    “The answer is that ecclesiastical Latin is a sacred language that was reserved only for the divine service of the Church of God, in prayer and in the Sacraments.”
    That reminds me of when I was a toadpole, and the Maths teacher wryly noted, “Some people think Latin is only useful for school mottoes, and naming racehorses.”
    Not many people know that Latin was Montaigne’s first language. before he learned to speak French.

    “…they say Milton, a great Latinist, wrote great Latin poetry, except that he often used English words instead.”
    Yes, but…that would be nonsensical, unless… or else …Oh, never mind.

  29. Robert says:

    The Passion opened Heaven and Satan’s stronghold on Fallen Man!
    Latin and the Romans were the instruments of the execution. The Crowning the proclamation of Kingship. The lancing and opening of the sacred Heart and the sacred Blood.
    Latin is the Triumph of Our Lord over Satan!

  30. toadspittle says:

    “Latin and the Romans were the instruments of the execution.”
    Latin is not, and never was, the “instrument” of anything, any more than German was the “instrument” of Nazism, or Russian of Communism.
    Latin is neither “good’ nor “bad.” And to “hate” it is idiotic. Latin is simply a language, a vehicle. It can be employed for all manner of purposes. Same as a computer. We might “hate” things that we see, or read, on our screens, but to “hate” the computer itself is absurd.
    Does the Devil “hate” computers as well? Or does he “hate” stamp collecting, possibly?
    This is all so silly.

  31. Michael says:

    Some more interesting comments on the whole ‘how much did significant changes in worship effect a collapse in Western Catholicism’ debate at the Countercultural Father blog. On the fact that so many turn to chatting directly after Mass, seeing the church as little different from any other meeting place, he writes:

    The liturgy is the most obvious example. The change from a hieratic language to a domestic language is part of that process of domestication. So, too, is the change of his role, from the emphasis on being a sacrificing priest, to being the presider at the communal gathering. Likewise the opening up of the sanctuary, converting it from a sacred space to a stage. And, I would argue, so is the simplistic notion of participation that has been imposed on us since the 1960s.

    http://ccfather.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/taming-god.html

  32. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 20:25 yesterday

    Despite all the explanations surrounding this subject from various commenters above, you still don’t ‘get it’, do you Toad? I give up.
    _______

    Michael @ 21:29 yesterday

    Thank you for that excellent link, worthy of a post all on its own!😉

    Ben truly hits the nail on the head in linking the abandoning of ‘the sacred language’ and imposition of getting people to participate on ‘the sacred space’ of the altar since the 1960s, to the lack of reverence in and after Holy Mass – something we are all so familiar with these days.

    Loud chatting as soon as the priest has left the altar after Mass has long been a complaint of mine! Anyone wishing to extend their thanksgiving to God for the joy of having received Him in Holy Communion would have to be blind and deaf to shut out the noise and movement all around! It’s quite impossible to pray with such a din going on… and very annoying too, an aggravating sentiment which also puts a stop to prayer.

  33. Michael says:

    It is indeed Kathleen – glad you enjoyed it!

    As I was saying in discussion with Tom earlier, it is very difficult to say just by looking at statistics and social studies in order to see how much liturgical changes contributed to what happened in the Church thereafter, and even looking at the effects the TLM has now can only tell us so much, but it does seem to me that the case for a connection between the two can be very reasonably made, when one considers the particular virtues of the TLM and the particular effects that the changes ushered in in the ‘spirit’ of Vatican II actually had.

    As Ben outlines so well, there does seem to be a correlation between the type of changes effected, and the observable reasons for people’s loss of interest in what makes the Church the Church, leading to them treating it and their life within it as merely membership of a social club, support group or cultural affiliate of some kind.

  34. kathleen says:

    Hahaha – so true!

    Is it really any wonder that the greatest stumbling block for the devil – whose aim it is to weaken people’s faith until it all but disappears, by introducing banalities into the most holy – is the awe and reverence surrounding the Church’s ancient use of the sacred ecclesiastical language of Latn in Her Liturgy and Sacraments (and Exorcisms)? And not only there, but as GC points out above, also the use of Latin in all “Christian thought and teaching of the faithful in writing and preaching” prior to Vatican II.

  35. Robert says:

    Languages in terms of the Faith.
    The Bible is an Book where the authorship is discerned through the interlinking and interlocking of subjects/prophecy/key words.
    Two keys words are for this time
    1/ Babel (the anathema on those trying to reach Heaven to the exclusion of God ) Self interests creating diverse languages/dialects/nationalism.
    2/ Sodom and Gomorrah. Unbridled Beastlity
    The Curse of Babel and before there had been one language on the Earth. At Pentecost notice listeners heard the Apostles in their own tongues. In other words there was no language barrier with Holy Ghost at Pentecost. St Pio was known to be heard in diverse and different languages in Confession.
    Emmerich vision of the Church and the comment Babel is a commonly known prophecy. We all understand that diverse and different languages creates a communication barrier. Latin was present On Calvary (and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is Calvary!). The Church spoke a common and Universal language Latin until 1960’s.
    How can the sheep hear the shepherds Voice with a diversity of tongues?

  36. toadspittle says:

    “Latin was present On Calvary… ”
    Are we correct in assuming that? I wouldn’t be surprised if the “Roman” soldiers there had never heard a word of Latin in their lives. Can’t know that for sure, of course.

    In what language did Pilate interrogate Christ?

  37. toadspittle says:

    “How can the sheep hear the shepherds Voice with a diversity of tongues?”
    I’ve never met a shepherd with a “diversity of tongues.” Or do you mean the sheep, Robrot?
    Bah.
    Either way, it’s not important, because shepherds don’t bother talking to sheep.
    They talk to their dogs, and the dogs tell the sheep what to do – in no uncertain terms.

  38. GC says:

    Toad @ 10:32
    Actually, I think you’ll find the common soldiery (“soldiewy” as Pontius Pilate said in Life of Brian) did use Latin mainly of a rough and ready sort. It wasn’t like Cicero, for example, or Virgil. All those butch Illyrians , Germans and stuff thrown together in boot camp.

  39. GC says:

    Toad @ 11:32

  40. Robert says:

    Toad the writen Latin inscription nailed by Pilate to Our Lords Cross. Three languages Latin, Greek and Hebrew. All four gospel writers refer to this!

  41. GC says:

    kathleen @ 09:27
    the use of Latin in all “Christian thought and teaching of the faithful in writing and preaching” prior to Vatican II.

    Although Catholic theologians probably wrote more in German or French mainly in the century before this.

    Still for centuries the Western Church used Latin as if it were her blood, body, mind and soul to unite the Mediterranean, Germanic, Slavic, Celtic and various other peoples of Europe and North Africa in a single Church and common effort. And it also served to unite her later with her Asian, African and New World missions.

    I suggest that if some moderns want to throw that all out, leaving hardly a trace of it, which they obviously do, then we don’t have much of the Catholic Church left. Only some sort of group fit for a kind of Facebook existence.

  42. toadspittle says:

    “Although Catholic theologians probably wrote more in German or French mainly in the century before this.”
    Although no doubt there is an extensive list of Catholic theologians writing and preaching in Latin between, say, 1860 and 1960.

  43. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 09:27:

    Yep! I think we can break it down to this – the devil hates sanctity, and this, in the context of the Mass particularly, but also as the common language of the Church’s holy doctrine, is precisely what Latin represents. I like the imagery GC uses above of Latin being the blood, body, mind and soul of the Western Church – a vehicle common to the whole Body of Christ able to carry and unite all the other languages and cultures that live within her.

  44. GC says:

    Michael @ 21:52 February 22, 2016
    I like the imagery GC uses above of Latin being the blood, body, mind and soul of the Western Church – a vehicle common to the whole Body of Christ able to carry and unite all the other languages and cultures that live within her.

    Michael, I think now I should have just left it as “blood”. Blood courses through the whole body, supplying what it needs to remain alive. Hence the science of serology.

    While following today certain unsavoury ongoing events in Australia I quite accidentally came upon these rather long quotes from Lord Macauley (the historian/essayist/whig statesman,1800-1859) about the Catholic Church. A terrible misfortune, that Ecclesiastical Latin, that! As we shall see …

    There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church…The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs…The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique, but full of life and youthful vigour. The Catholic Church is still sending forth to the farthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustine, and still confronting hostile kings with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila. The number of her children is greater than in any former age. Her acquisitions in the New World have more than compensated for what she has lost in the Old. Her spiritual ascendency extends over the vast countries which lie between the plains of the Missouri and Cape Horn, countries which a century hence, may not improbably contain a population as large as that which now inhabits Europe… Nor do we see any sign which indicates that the term of her long dominion is approaching. She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s.

  45. toadspittle says:

    “The number of her children is greater than in any former age. Her acquisitions in the New World have more than compensated for what she has lost in the Old.”
    Nicely put.
    Elegant English all round, in fact…
    “And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s.”
    That will be our Tom, I expect.

  46. Michael says:

    GC @ 11:32:

    I quite agree, and I certainly had blood foremost in my mind when thinking of the way in which Latin acts as a vehicle for those many cultures – coursing through the Body as you say, and uniting, vivifying and redistributing new elements as it goes. A very potent and apposite image.

    And a magnificent quote there from Lord Macauley! Particularly appropriate (wrt his mention of Augustine’s landing in Kent) given that today is the anniversary of the death of Saint Ethelbert of Kent, 1400 years ago. As Fr. Hunwicke notes, this introduced into Anglo-Saxon Christianity what would be perhaps its most distinctive characteristic for some time thereafter – its Romanitas:

    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/saint-ethelbert-of-kent1400-years.html

  47. toadspittle says:

    “November 7. While walking about the town, (Florence, 1838/9) I picked up a little Mass-book … ….. It seemed to me inferior to our Communion Service in one most important point. The phraseology of Christianity has in Latin a barbarous air, being altogether later than the age of pure Latinity. But the English language has grown up in Christian times ; and the whole vocabulary of Christianity is incorporated with it. The fine passage in the Communion Service : ‘ Therefore with Angels, and Archangels, and all the company of heaven ‘ is English of the best and most genuine description. But the answering passage in the Mass : ‘ Laudant Angeli, adorant dominationes,, tremunt potestates, cseli Ccelorumque virtutes ac beata
    Seraphim ‘ would not merely have appeared barbarous, but would have been utterly unintelligible, a mere gibberish, to every one of the great masters of the Latin tongue, Plautus, Cicero, Catullus. I doubt whether even Claudian would have “understood it.”

    …From Macauleys’s Letters and Diaries. Interesting. All Greek to Toad, of course.

  48. GC says:

    The fine passage in the Communion Service : ‘ Therefore with Angels, and Archangels, and all the company of heaven [we laud and magnify thy glorious name]‘ is English of the best and most genuine description.

    And out of those eighteen words of the best English fully six are directly derived from Latin. Not surprising as this is an Anglican abridged translation of the end of the preface in the Latin Mass.

    Yes, I’m sure Cicero and Catullus would have scratched their heads over angeli, archangeli, dominationes and Seraphim. They were both BC lads, long dead before Christ was even born, after all. I suspect too that those writing the Catholic liturgy in Latin how many hundred years later were not trying to write treatises on various subjects in the high literary style of classical Rome, but prayers for public Christian worship.

  49. Tom Fisher says:

    And she may still exist in undiminished vigour…

    It’s a lovely passage. But it might not be the unalloyed compliment you seem to think it is.

  50. Tom Fisher says:

    It seemed to me inferior to our Communion Service in one most important point. The phraseology of Christianity has in Latin a barbarous air, being altogether later than the age of pure Latinity

    Toad, There was no age of “pure Latinity”, and no falling away from it. As the centuries went by Latin simplified its grammatical structure, expanded its vocabulary, and generally became more able to deal with the abstract concepts needed arguing points of Greek philosophy / theology. There’s no objective reason to privilege the language of Cicero over, say, Augustine. — They’re simply very different. Macauley was just revealing his own bias

  51. toadspittle says:

    “And out of those eighteen words of the best English fully six are directly derived from Latin. Not surprising..”
    Not surprising, at all, as I’d imagine at very least 33% of all English words derive from Latin (via Norman) in any and every case. (Though I’m no etymologist.) But nobody’s trying to defend Macaulay, are they? Certainly not me. Never seriously read a word of him, myself.

  52. GC says:

    Around fifty percent of the thousand most common English words are derived directly or indirectly from Latin. That’s what the guy at the OED says anyway.

  53. kathleen says:

    Amazing to see that this article we published a week ago is still enjoying plenty of discussion. Just goes to show the keen interest in keeping the sacred ecclesiastical language of Latin alive in the Church!🙂

    I found this wonderful article from an anonymous “Poor Clare nun” on the USUS ANTIQUIOR blog the other day. Some of her points have already been mentioned by commenters above (especially by Michael in his beautiful insights), but I think the Poor Clare nun rounds it up so perfectly.

    So why does the devil hate Latin?

    ” […] Satan hates Latin because Latin promotes unity, especially the unity of the Church, Christ’s mystical Body. Unity among the members of His Body on earth, yes, but unity also among the past, the present and the future—in fact the whole Communion of Saints. Disunity is what the Devil is all about: he divides, scatters and confuses. His very title means just that (devil, diabolo, from the Greek dia ballein, “to throw apart”), like the old game of “52 pick-up” that children play. As Screwtape might have taught, anything that serves the principle of unity, especially unity of faith (unless it is faith in him and his empty promises), should be resisted, opposed, undermined. Latin does that, or at any rate it did. It promoted the unity of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Faith. And it could again. So therefore… Denigrate it as “dead,” convince people that it is unworthy of attention on that account, paint ugly caricatures of anyone with a fondness for it; do whatever it takes.

    As members of secular society, we are willing to put tremendous effort into learning second languages, or requiring our children to learn them, and for the sake of mere commerce and recreation. But we are members of Christ’s Body first, and the unity for which He prayed does not exist where His members do not—because they cannot—worship together. How much more willing we should be, then, to learn, or at least get familiar with, another language for the sake of worshipping as One in “the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the greatest, the most solemn and the most sublime of all those actions which can glorify God” (St. John Vianney).”

  54. GC says:

    Satan hates Latin because Latin promotes unity, especially the unity of the Church, Christ’s mystical Body. Unity among the members of His Body on earth, yes, but unity also among the past, the present and the future—in fact the whole Communion of Saints. Disunity is what the Devil is all about

    Yes, kathleen, that does seem to tie together most things said here very well indeed.

    Look at this:

    In addition, the Latin language “can be called truly Catholic.” It has been consecrated through constant use by the Apostolic See, the mother and teacher of all Churches, and must be esteemed “a treasure … of incomparable worth.” It is a general passport to the proper understanding of the Christian writers of antiquity and the documents of the Church’s teaching. It is also a most effective bond, binding the Church of today with that of the past and of the future in wonderful continuity..

    John XXIII said that in 1962.

  55. kathleen says:

    GC, together with Michael, you two must surely be the cleverest and most resourceful investigators on the Catholic blogosphere!
    You never fail to come up with informative links that correlate to and enhance the topics of the articles under discussion.🙂

    Veterum Sapientia, “On the Promotion of the Study of Latin”, and from Pope John XXIII no less, who some of us (kind of) thought was the original ‘culprit’ for the demise of Latin, looks like he was attempting to safeguard and protect its use. All to no avail in the end though… at least once the sublimely holy Tridentine Mass was replaced by the Novus Ordo vernacular Mass under Archbishop Bugnini & co! Latin became obsolete in practice in the years following V2 – what a tragedy!
    No-one obeyed the documents, like this ^^ one, that also stated:

    […]a primary place must surely be given to that language which had its origins in Latium, and later proved so admirable a means for the spreading of Christianity throughout the West.

    Happy days now that Latin is making a slow but strong comeback within the growing traditional circles of the Catholic world!

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