VATICAN CITY — Latin is being resurrected at the Vatican.
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 is out of widespread use elsewhere.
Benedict acknowledged Latin's fall from grace, saying future priests nowadays often learn only a "superficial" appreciation of Latin in seminaries. The new academy, which is part of the Vatican's culture office, will promote Latin through conferences, publications and instruction in Catholic schools, universities and seminaries.
It's yet another olive branch to traditional Catholics, who have long lamented the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council which replaced the Latin liturgy with Mass in the vernacular. Benedict in 2007 relaxed restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass.
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