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On The Road To Perfection
Episode 60: Why Do Catholics Use Latin?

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus; Ave Maria; novus ordo. All of these Latin terms mean something to Catholics. They mean something in Latin, too. Due to its unchanging or dead, status as a language, Latin is a useful tool so we all know what we’re talking about. Even if we have to look up the meaning.

Imagine if in a papal encyclical, Pope Francis said in Spanish, amémonos unos a otros. (let us love one another) In German that translates as “lass uns uns lieben” which translates into English as “let’s love us.” Suddenly, the message is no clear if the universal language was German. Translated to Latin from Pope Francis’ native Spanish it is lets diligamus invicem” which is “let’s love each other.” almost perfect translation. Thank you Google Translate.

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