Gerard O’Connell of UCAN reports that His Eminence Stephan Cardinal Fumio Hamao has some strong opinions. Read the whole piece, but here is what he says about Latin:
This inability to understand Asia and the Far East, he said, is somewhat reflected in Sacramentum Caritatis (Sacrament of Love), the new apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist. In that document, the pope speaks about Latin and suggests that Catholics learn some Latin prayers and Gregorian chants.
This is not a good idea, according to Cardinal Hamao, who taught Latin to the Emperor of Japan when he was crown prince. "It is impossible for Asians," he asserted. "Nobody knows Latin. Most priests don’t study it, and they don’t know it. That is European-centered. It is too much!"
In the meantime, I remind you of the story I posted the other day:
Twelve years ago, when my daughter was baptised in Hong Kong, the priest who baptised her, Fr Bernard Tohill, SDB, had returned that morning from a short trip into the mainland. He had been asked to go and offer Mass in a small village about 300 miles into China for a community that had been without the Mass since 1949. He had relearned how to say the old Mass and was expecting be be saying Mass for about a dozen people.
When he arrived in the village, there were over 1,000 people waiting to hear Mass and after the first Mass he heard confessions for 6 hours straight. The following day he heard confessions for another 6 or 7 hours before celebrating Mass at which over 700 made their Communion.
The faith in this area had been kept alive by families and small groups meeting to pray the Rosary and to learn the Catechism, for over 45 years.
These people got it, I guess. Not too hard for them.