VATICAN CITY - The Vatican is trying to revive Latin.
Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree Saturday creating a new pontifical academy for Latin studies to try to boost interest in the official language of the Roman Catholic Church that has fallen out of widespread use since priests began saying Mass in local languages.
In his decree, Benedict said today's seminarians often gain only a superficial knowledge of Latin. He says the new academy will promote Latin through conferences, publications and instruction in Catholic schools, universities and seminaries. His decree was written in Latin.
Benedict's move is part of his attempt to restore the church to its traditional roots and appease traditionalist Catholics.
The Vatican argues that while few ordinary Catholics understand Latin, it represents the universal church. But critics say the return to Latin is another indication of how out of touch today's Catholic Church is with the modern world.
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