Mediator Dei 60

The 1947 Roman Catholic position on Latin:

60. The use of the Latin language, customary in a considerable portion of the Church, is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth. In spite of this, the use of the mother tongue in connection with several of the rites may be of much advantage to the people. But the Apostolic See alone is empowered to grant this permission. It is forbidden, therefore, to take any action whatever of this nature without having requested and obtained such consent, since the sacred liturgy, as We have said, is entirely subject to the discretion and approval of the Holy See.

It lasted about a generation longer. And as we’ve seen, the confusion of uniformity and unity gave way to a worldwide embrace of worship in the vernacular. And if there has been “corruption” of doctrine, it has come from within the actions and thoughts of believers. Not from the greater accessibility of worship for the laity.

Mediator Dei on the Vatican web site.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to Mediator Dei 60

  1. kds says:

    Many of us have heard the old “joke” of our Protestant brothers and sisters, who struggled with liturgical change in their own traditions, exclaiming, “The Authorized (King James) Bible: if it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!” Makes you wonder if those who think only Latin can faithfully transmit doctrinal truths also believe that Latin was the everyday language of our Savior, or perhaps even the universal language of humanity prior to the sin of Babel (Gen. 11). I understand there have been considerable difficulties with the faithful translation of complex theological ideas into the vernacular, but this is a challenge that we should eagerly embrace as we evangelize and catechize throughout the world. Otherwise, we run the risk of reserving knowledge of God to an elite few, or (worse yet) we fail to appreciate the true universality of the Christian faith.

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