The German Bishops' Conference has sent a letter to Pope Paul regretting the lack of interest in the study of Latin, es-• pecially in Catholic colleges and universities.
Their letter to Pope Paul was reprinted in the December 9 issue of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
The bishops described Latin as "the key to a whole civilisation — that of the West."
They suggested that Latin should be taught in _ a more "Tiaturar and "concrete" way to spur interest in it among students. Teachers, they said, should promote classroom dialogue in Latin and treat Latin as a living language.
In regard to the liturgy the bishops said the Second Vatican Council permitted use of the vernacular "only to make the sacred texts more understandable and easier for those who pray."
The change was allowed "only out of pastoral necessity and did not in any way cut into the principle that Latin is the language most natural and suited to Church life.
They added: "Those who pray with the Church know how much interior satisfaction is brought about by contact with the Latin of Leo the Great ... It is no little richness to pray with joy. One would say that the Latin of the liturgy shapes a particular mood."