Why Pray Latin?
For the Church, to which embraces all nations of the world, until the end of time … its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular.
- Pope Pius XI, Officiorum Ominum
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.
- Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei
Precisely in the multiplicity of languages and cultures, Latin, for so many centuries the vehicle and instrument of Christian culture, not only guarantees continuity with our roots but continues to be as relevant as ever for strengthening the bonds of unity of the faith in the communion of the Church.
- Pope Benedict XVI, Presentation of the Compendium of the CCC
Similarly, the better-known prayers of the Church's tradition should be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung. Speaking more generally, I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant.
- Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis
Isn't Latin a Dead Language?
It is a question between a dead language and a dying language. Every living language is a dying language, even if it does not die. Parts of it are perpetually perishing or changing their sense; there is only one escape from that flux; and a language must die to be immortal.
- G.K. Chesterton, The Thing