(ST. LOUIS REVIEW) — VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has established the “Pontifical Academy of Latinity” to promote the study of the Latin language and culture, and not just within the Catholic Church.

For more than 1,000 years, the Catholic Church has been the custodian and promoter of Latin “both in the theological and liturgical spheres as well as in the area of the formation and transmission of knowledge,” the pope wrote Nov. 10 in the document establishing the Latin academy.

“From Pentecost, the Church has spoken and prayed in all the languages of humanity,” the pope wrote, but the early Christian communities relied heavily on Latin and Greek language and culture to proclaim and explain the newness of the Christian Gospel.

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