Fun with Latin with Archbp. Léonard

Archbishop Léonard has some fun with Latin, imitating the way Roman professors spoke Latin. It still applies, by the way and also to the way the speak Italian.

Fun. He has funny descriptions of some famous profs, such as Fuchs, Lonergan, Gautier. It helps to know a little French.

Along the way he imitates an American prof who tells some classics about the mouse which grabs a Host, or what to do if a Host falls into a lady’s… décolletage.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Although I understood very little, it is obvious Archbishop Leonard has a very strong sense of humour and is an excellent mimic of the various nationalities speaking Latin. I was privileged to attend a Mass he celebrated for the Feast of the Assumption a few years ago in Lourdes. It is a pity he has reached 75 and has to retire.

    At the end of the video there is a link to an interview with him from Belgian television. It is fascinating to learn that his vocation dates from the early age of 6 1/2 after he had received his First Communion on Christmas Day 1946. The interview is well worth watching for those who understand French in spite of the very annoying permanently moving background of bubbles and eyes and occasional moving foreground. The only things which keep still are the interviewer and the interviewee!

    Regarding different accents reciting latin reminded me of a conversation I once had with a French Missionary Priest. I had tentatively mentioned that before the ‘Changes’ travellers could go anywhere and follow the Mass without difficulty whereupon he then proceeded to say a latin prayer with a Chinese accent! Yes it was different but I could still recognise the words. However I did not wish to argue with a Priest so changed the conversation promptly.

  2. pelerin says:

    PS Am I right in thinking that the answer to the mouse stealing the Host was strangulation?!

  3. DumbOx77 says:

    That was fantastic! Hysterically funny, and also something of a kick to hear Lonergan, a hero of mine, even at at remove. Genius, particularly how he manages to switch accents so quickly and convincingly. Thanks for posting, Fr Z!

  4. majuscule says:

    I recently attended a low Mass at an Institute of Christ the King oratory. The priest, I believe, is Japanese. His Latin was accented–or at least it sounded different from what I am used to hearing.

    I finally realized his Latin was spoken with a French accent!

  5. marcpuckett says:

    Only listened to the first five or six minutes since I am at work. Anyone know who he was speaking to?

  6. Cranky Old Man says:

    I was just relieved that the woman was to receive better treatment than the mouse. Above 80 or 90 pounds and you could well end up with a clogged sacrarium, and I cannot imagine what the manuals would say about that.

    Verbis paucis advertar: this was hilarious.

  7. Andrew says:

    Very amusing. I like the way he imitates the various national accents. For those who find this useful, he starts by saying:
    Et prima difficultas consistebat in pronuntiatione linguae latinae secundum diversitatem nationum et linguarum. Et in initio, dixisses unumquemque non latine sed propria lingua loqui. Professores Germanici, seu Teutonici, loquebantur latine cum intonatione germanica fortissima, sicut verbi gratia Pater Fuchs, qui nos tractatum docebat de castitate et ordine sexuali. Professores autem Americani aut de Canada Britannica loquebantur latine cum intonatione anglo-saxonica fortissima, dicentes verbi gratia “in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, Amen”. Professores autem Italici, loquebantur latine magna cum volubilitate et cum magnis gestibus, et sese movebant professores Italici in lingua latina sicuti pisces in aqua. Professores autem Gallici, professores ex Francia, loquebantur latine cum intonatione gallica fortissima, saepe ponentes accentum tonicum in ultima syllaba verborum, et saepe vertentes literaliter modos loquendi gallicos in linguam latinam.
    What is nice about it, above all, is that he makes Latin accessible.

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I remember hearing that when George I succeeded to the British Throne, he had so little English, and his courtiers so little German, that they decided to try Latin – which nearly every educated person could still be expected to know well – but that did not work either, at least as far as spoken Latin went, as they pronounced it so differently.

  9. PatriciusOenus says:

    This is more historical evidence for variation in Latin pronunciation in the Church even within the last century.

  10. Robertus Pittsburghensis says:

    Thank you, Andrew, for that very helpful transcription.

    I note that father Hunwicke, over at his Mutual Enrichment, has yet more information.

  11. Mariana2 says:

    Hilarious, and so true! I sent this to my old Latin teacher, for the edification – or warning – of her students.

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