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Out of touch? Vatican launches news podcast in Latin

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Agence France-Presse

Vatican Radio is to start broadcasting a weekly news bulletin and podcast in Latin, the Holy See’s official but slowly disappearing language.

The five-minute “Hebdomada Papae” (Pope’s Week) will be first broadcast on Saturday, with transcripts in different languages to accompany the podcast version to help budding Latin lovers.

“It will be a proper radio news programme, with reportages and briefs,” said Vatican News’ editorial director Andrea Tornielli.

“We envisage it as a challenge for the future rather than a nostalgic look at the past.”

Radio Vatican journalists will produce the programme alongside the Vatican Secretariat of Latin Letters, which already draws up official documents in Latin and manages the pope’s Latin language Twitter account.

Latin remains the official language at the Vatican, although its use is nowadays limited to legal texts and prayers.

Italian is the preferred working language, along with French for diplomatic communications.

Learning Latin is no longer obligatory in most seminaries but Vatican Radio currently broadcasts one mass a week in Latin.

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