The Devil Hates Latin by Katherine Galgano (which strikes me as a nom de plume).
Here is a quick read which will appeal immediately to the more traditional among you, but which could be a strong cup of wake up for the more liberal among you.
It strikes me as having been written with a heavily female ex-pat perspective, which is fine. Women stress some things that men don’t. As someone who lived in Rome as long as I did, I see what’s going on pretty easily and she get’s a lot right. The plot takes a while to develop, as many characters are introduced one by one, each one having grim circumstances. It’s hard, at first, to see how the threads will eventually come together.
BTW… you’ll probably not want to live in Rome after reading a few pages of this book. As a matter of fact, it deals with some awful stuff. The line, “Hopelessness, cynicism and disappointment bit deeply into the fabric of Italian life, and like some airborne malaise, drifted through the windows of the Pirisi’s third floor apartment.” Thus, also the book. It paints a not very rosy picture of the state of modern society and of the Church… the liberal-run Church. There’s this:
“But the Church has broken down here in Italy to the point where it can no longer perform these vital tasks. Old clergy still parrot the exhausted ideas of the sixties, speaking mainly to the elderly in fast-emptying pews. There are no vocations. The few committed Catholics here are isolated in the ghettos of their various ‘movements’ which help them find work and, sometimes, raise their children among like-minded people. But they have very little influence on the larger culture. If you are unlucky enough to be a pregnant young woman in a ‘normal’ Italian family, you will probably choose to abort. The evil is everywhere, Your Excellency.”
But with a title like The Devil Hates Latin you wouldn’t expect fluffy kittens and dancing smiley flowers.
Much like Malachi Martin does in Windswept House (US HERE – UK HERE) she creates not very subtly veiled characters, such as Alexander Card. Portland, described as “an intelligent bishop who actually believed” and “the real thing”. He is a composite. There is an African Pope (a good guy). The conclave dodged a German and “a Filipino with an infectious grin”.
And Latin, of course, figures in the book. She gets some Latin and Italian wrong, and in my Kindle version there were some typographical problems, but I give lots of points to those who try. You’ll find some not entirely convincing “action” moments. But, there’s Latin for Masses and exorcism: what’s not to like? Happily, there are mentions of the traditional parish in Rome, Ss. Trinità dei Pelegrini and the traditional Mass. And one line I agreed with entirely: “He thought reflexively for the thousandth time about how one of the benefits of being Roman Catholic was, no doubt, the food.”
A good thing in the book is the emphasis on how people get into serious spiritual trouble and what sort of disasters result from liberalism and indifferentism in the Church.
There is a very strong defense in the book of the unborn, while describing some sad circumstances.
Many of you will enjoy this quick read.
From a reader…
This is a Non Sequitur from the post, but I thought you may find it interesting.
My ten year old reported to me that when he was trying to pray the rosary one night, Our Lady kept interrupting him saying, “Say your prayers in Latin” or some thing to that effect. He knew the Hail Mary, but wanted to learn ALL of it in Latin.
He’s not a child given to making up stories….his little brother, if he’d have said it I would have just raised my eyebrows and kept going, he’s a little B.S.er…..definitely our future lawyer!
But Paddy is a straight shooter.