Anyway, to the point. This is one comment he makes:
When I studied in Rome, all our lectures and exams were in Latin. I even lectured to seminarians in Latin. Not till the day I die will I forget the anxious and bemused look on their faces. Celibacy was bad enough but Latin! But how many priests - or bishops - today know enough Latin to say a Tridentine Mass without taking lessons?Now, he has a point. Latin is certainly the most severe obstacle for anyone wanting to celebrate according to the Extraordinary form. But I want to blog about his suggestion that Latin is an unsuitable language to teach in.
These days, lectures at the Gregorian University in Rome are conducted in Italian, not Latin. In other words, in a modern language, the language of the country, not a dead language. Good, you might think. But the point is that the lecturer is still going to see anxious and bemused faces in front of him, on all those who do not have Italian fluently, in fact, which will be almost all of the first-year class. Probably a similar proportion, in fact, to those who had not studied Latin seriously in the past. This gives the added problem that the Italians have a significant advantage over the other students, who are reduced to cribbing notes from each other in order to make any sense at all of the course. This would have been less the case when all were at an equal disadvantage.
The second problem was highlighted for me by a chance acquaintance with a Thai bishop some ten years ago. He told me that he no longer sends his students to Rome to study, because for the Thais, learning Italian is a complete waste of time. Latin, Greek; these are useful languages for study, for theology, for—dare we say it?—the liturgy (and the good bishop brandished his own breviary, in Latin). But Italian? For him, the consequence was that he now sends his cleverer students to English-speaking universities to study—at least English is useful, he said, in the modern world.
Some are also disillusioned with the extent to which the Italianization of the Church's administration is creating a sort of Italian hegemony in Rome (which to be fair, was always the case; it's only recently that we've had non-Italian popes), and an increased sense that the Church was the Italian Catholic Church rather than the Roman Catholic Church.
I wonder how the Cardinals communicated in the recent conclave? Did they use Latin, or Italian, or English, or a sort of babel-like combination of them all.