VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is trying to resurrect Latin.
Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree Saturday creating a new pontifical academy for Latin studies to try to boost interest in the official language of the Roman Catholic Church that is nevertheless out of widespread use elsewhere.
Benedict acknowledged Latin's fall from grace in his decree, saying future priests nowadays often learn only a "superficial" knowledge of Latin in their seminaries. The new academy will promote Latin through conferences, publications and instruction in Catholic schools, universities and seminaries, he wrote.
As would be expected, the decree and its founding statutes were written in Latin.
Benedict's move is further evidence of his attempt to restore the church to its traditional roots as it battles to prevent the faithful from straying in today's increasingly secular world.