FROM OUR ROME CORRESPONDENT IN a Motu Proprio entitled Studia Latinitatis, Pope Paul has created a new Pontifical Institute for the study and preservation of the Latin Language. The document is dated February 22, the anniversary of Pope John's Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia on the role of
▪ Latin in the Church.
The new foundation will be called the Pontifical Institute of Latinity, and the move is seen by Vatican sources as designed to ensure that the primacy of Latin as the Church's official language is not too heavily overshadowed by the introduction of mothertongues into the liturgy.
The Mow Proprin expounds the principles contained in Pope John's Constitution and offers a solution for the problems of putting into effect, namely the preparation of a select body of Latin teachers.
The new Institute will have its headquarters in Rome. It will offer a four-year course of academic studies and will come directly under the Sacred Congregation for Seminaries and Universities. This authority will appoint the President and professorial stall.
These, together with the students, will be drawn from all parts of the world. Bishops and religious superiors will be asked to send their seminary teachers to the Institute for finishing courses.
Greek will be included in the curriculum. and special funds are being allotted to maintain the new venture.
The Salesians have offered a fine building for its headquarters, and two leading Salesian scholars —including the Chancellor of their university — will lend their services as officials of the institute.
The work of the Latinity Institute may serve to meet the fears of those who feel that the introduction of vernacular into the liturgy may whittle away the unifying function of a universal Church language. Latin will continue to be used for official documents, of course, and in preparing and maintaining basic liturgical texts.