New Vatican site for documents in Latin!

Have you seen this yet?

This is the new Vatican website for documentation in Latin. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    I especially like the cool header on the Summi Pontifices link.

  2. RichR says:

    Interesting. Now one can immediately access the original, legislative texts rather than rely on translations.

  3. TJB says:

    RichR, I believe one could always access the original texts, but they weren’t gathered together into one place like this. This is a great idea, looks like it could well have come straight from the top! To steal the phrase from Fr. Z, brick by brick…

  4. Tomas says:

    Hurray for Pope Benedict. He sees how small traditions preserve big one!

  5. Jacob says:

    I’ll be interested in seeing how far they go back past John XXIII.

  6. Matt says:

    Interesting the Motu Proprios are not up for Benedict XVI. I wonder why? Perhaps they just haven’t finished the site yet.

  7. It would go a long way toward building trust if they would stop going back only to John XXIII, i.e., to Vatican II. The whole “continuity” argument would have more weight if we went earlier.

  8. Emilio III says:

    Matt, it’s clearly unfinished (note that Summorum Pontificum is right there a little below the non-working Motu Proprio link).

    Dr. Lee, I think the header of the Summi Pontifices page implies that they do not intend to stop with John XXIII, though I imagine it will take a while to get there.

  9. Raphaela says:

    Hooray! I’ve been waiting for this. Thanks, Father, for the heads-up!

  10. Raphaela says:

    Hooray! I\’ve been waiting for this. Thanks, Father, for the heads-up!

  11. techno_aesthete says:

    Interesting that one of the two letters written by John Paul I, during his very brief pontificate, was to Josef Cardinal Ratzinger.

  12. Bill says:

    RichR, TJB, the V2 docs have been here, and in multiple languages, but I have noticed problems in the English versions (at least) which likely came from using OCR to put them online from paper, and from a lack of sufficient proofing.

    I’m guessing the other docs have been online, too, but this is a major change in organization. On the other hand, as it is only for Latin, it begs the question of what will be done for other languages, if anything.

    If only I could read Latin fluently, I would love to see whether the problems that appear in the English online are absent from the Latin.

  13. Jeff says:

    What a wonderful resource.

    Does anyone know whether the 2005 Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is available in Latin? I’ve searched at as well as at, but to no avail.

  14. mpm says:

    Interesting feature on “Latinitas”. A couple of samplers:

    Modern Latin

    bagarino (Italian for “tout”) –> “tesserarum vénditor in?quus”
    vodka –> “válida pótio Slávica”

  15. Lee says:

    The Documenta Latina is a wonderful thing, but to borrow from GKC it falls short by one degree from its full delerium because there are precious few people- compared to the total practicing Catholic population- who can read it.

    Re-bridging the Rupture of Continuity and recovering our cultural patrimony means a revival of the Latin language, and that means the appearance of the Catholic equivalent of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who revived the Hebrew language almost singlehandedly- and that will probably coincide with the Conversion of Jews. See the passage below from Wikipedia- authoritative enough for a blog comment, I would think.

    I know we’ve got Reginald Foster, but he’s in no position to forbid his wife and children to speak anything other than Latin, etc., etc.

    Pimsleur Latin I,II, II and IV would be a help, a Rosetta Stone Latin course would be helpful, and anything approaching the Jewish effort to teach the Hebrew language (their sacred language) to Jacob six pak would be in the right direction. Visit a Jewish Bookstore, and look around online at all the materials they make available to the Jew who wants to appropriate more of his heritage. Compared to that, the Catholic effort simply is not serious, Reginald Foster, and the few books and materials available online to the contrary notwithstanding, nor in our high schools, nor in our colleges which have abandoned the vulgar for the classical pronunciation. We Catholics are the hoi poloi and speak the vulgar tongue- or used to.

    In other words, we are not yet really interested in recovering our patrimony. There are many online Latin language pages, etc., but on the whole this is not yet a Catholic effort. It is a classical effort, an antiquarian effort, a secular, intellectual effort, but it is not springing from Catholicism, from love of the Church, and it is not leading to a deeper appropriation of our Catholic culture.

    Until someone or some entity solves ( really solves, not merely addresses) that problem, making Latin documents more readily available only throws into greater relief our practically universal ignorance of our own sacred language.

    “When speaking of the process of Hebrew revival, the first name that comes to mind is his ([[?????? ?? ?????) (1858-1922), known as the “reviver of the Hebrew language” (“????? ???? ??????”), yet upon closer examination it becomes clear that his major contributions were ideological and symbolic; he was the first to raise the concept of reviving Hebrew, to publish articles in newspapers on the topic, and he took part in what is known as the Ben Yehuda Dictionary, and he worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the topic while fighting against its opponents. But the practical activity which finally brought about the revitalization of Hebrew was not carried out, at least for the most part, with Ben Yehuda in Jerusalem but in the moshavot (settlements) of the First Aliyah and the Second Aliyah. There, the first Hebrew schools were established, Hebrew became a language of daily affairs, and finally became a systematic and national language. Yet Ben Yehuda’s virtue stands in his initiation and symbolic leadership of the Hebrew revival.”

  16. Le Renard says:

    In other words, we are not yet really interested in recovering our patrimony. There are many online Latin language pages, etc., but on the whole this is not yet a Catholic effort.

    It is, on the whole, a futile effort given the liberal status of the current Catholic populice who is, on the contrary, more interested in doing away with what they consider the dinosaurs of the past or anything that even wreaks traditional than recover that which is part of their very heritage.

  17. Julie says:


    It’s about time!

  18. michigancatholic says:

    The Holy Father’s on a roll! Probably what he saw in the States just made him want to clean up the church faster! I love it.

  19. Bill says:

    Certainly what the Holy Father saw in the Mass in DC is likely to have impressed him with the urgency of the need for cleanup here.

  20. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I thought it turned out that the official Latin text of Summorum Pontificum did in fact say stabiliter… yet the one hosted at still uses continenter!

  21. TerryC says:

    “Pimsleur Latin I,II, II and IV would be a help, a Rosetta Stone Latin course would be helpful, and anything approaching the Jewish effort to teach the Hebrew language”


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    “Rosetta Stone® is the proven, effective and comprehensive solution to learn a language. New speech recognition technology, intuitive sequential learning, and real-life simulations provide the right context to help you learn and understand Latin effectively. With Rosetta Stone®, you will learn to read Latin, write Latin and speak Latin quickly!”

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