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Vatican News to launch news show and podcast in Latin

The Torre dei Venti with the radio antenna, the historical Radio Vaticana venue (Getty)

A weekly news programme about the Pope and the Vatican will now be offered in Latin, the official language of the Holy See.

The five-minute news flash “will be an actual, real news broadcast with news and news reports,” said Andrea Tornielli, editorial director for the Dicastery for Communication.

The programme is not meant as “a nostalgic look at the past, but as a challenge toward the future,” giving new life to the Catholic Church’s official language, he said on Vatican News.

The programme, “Hebdomada Papae” (The Pope’s Week), will be aired, starting June 8, every Saturday and rebroadcast Sundays on Vatican Radio’s Italian channel. It also will appear as a podcast on the vaticannews.va website.

Mgr Waldemar Turek, head of the Latin section at the Vatican Secretariat of State, told Vatican News the programme will hit the highlights of the Pope’s activities and what is happening at the Vatican. His office is the one in charge of translating all official papal texts and the Pope’s Latin Twitter account @Pontifex_ln.

The news flash “will be an opportunity for young people and adults to be able to have direct contact with contemporary Latin,” he said.

For example, many modern-day words have Latin translations, thanks to the work of some staff at the Vatican and pontifical universities in creating a two-volume “Lexicon” of modern words, he said.

If the lexicon, which was compiled 30 years ago, does not have the word, they still come up with an appropriate equivalent, he said, such as “certaminibus mundialibus sphaeromachiae” for World Cup soccer champions, “exterarum gentium odium” for xenophobia and “rerum inexplicatarum volantium studiosus” for a person who studies UFOs.