Habemus Papam: Idiot’s Guide to Latin

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Cardinal Sean P.  O’Malley celebrates Sunday Mass at the Pontifical North American College March 3, 2013. RNS photo by Gregory L. Tracy/The Pilot.

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrates Sunday Mass at the Pontifical North American College March 3, 2013. RNS photo by Gregory L. Tracy/The Pilot.

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The new pope's first name is actually announced in Latin (this is the Vatican, after all), so if you want to be fully prepped, our friends at Catholic News Service have prepared a list of all the cardinals' names in Latin.

  • Southern Baptist

    Someone explain why Catholics use a DEAD LANGUAGE that Jesus never spoke!

    This “church” has so many idiot practices that aren’t supported in the Bible!!

  • Patricia

    @SouthernBaptist: Latin was and is used because it once was the universal language for science, philosophy, etc. and now, since it is a ‘dead’ or static language, is unchanging. What that means is what is written today has the same meaning as something written 1,000 years ago, as the language is static. I rarely defend the church, but this actually makes sense in the continuity of church documents over two centuries.

  • Southern Baptist

    It makes no sense to use Latin during services when the majority of people can’t understand it!

    So much this ‘church’ teaches is non-sense; confessing to a priest, baptizing babies, praying to a dead woman (Mary), praying for the dead, etc.

  • Patricia

    Services are in the vernacular of the people attending, including just about every language. Masses, for the most part, haven’t been held in Latin since the mid 60’s. The rest is Catholic practice. Mary is not a ‘god’ and she isn’t prayed to as a god. Catholics venerate her as the mother of Jesus and ask her to pray to God for them. I’m sure other practices sound as alien to a Catholic as a Catholic’s does to you. To each his own.

  • Southern Baptist

    Mary is DEAD DEAD DEAD so praying to her is nonsense! Until Jesus returns and RAISES the dead nobody is in Heaven!

    As to baptizing babies or the dead that is also non-biblical since baptism happens AFTER YOU CONFESS YOUR SINS ON YOUR OWN!

  • Semper Fidelis

    Southern baptist clearly has a problem reading other people’s posts.

    Where does it say in the Bible that everything should be ‘supported in the Bible’? Sola Scriptura?

  • Southern Baptist

    Where does it say the Pope (not mentioned in the bible) can make up his rules as he goes along?

    Where did the Pope get the authority to murder and torture tens of thousands during the middle ages?

    Where did the Pope get the authority to live in golden luxury while millions go hungry?

  • Former Evangelical Protestant

    Dear Southern Baptist: Yeah, I used to be an Evangelical Protestant. Sola Scriptura, “priesthood of all believers”, Mary was no one special, all of that. Then I started thinking and reading. To hold the views you do (and that I did), you have to make a lot of pretty big assumptions — for example, that somehow Christians from 100 A.D. onward had gotten it all wrong until Martin Luther showed up and straightened it all out. You have to ignore all the extant writings of the Christians who lived just after the time of Christ and the Apostles (Polycarp of Smyrna, Justin Martyr, Clement of Rome, Clement of Alexandria… shall I go on?) And that “Sola Scriptura” thing? Protestants don’t follow it. They understand the Bible as explained by … C.H. Spurgeon, or W.A. Chriswell, or … name your favorite author or commentator…. like the one who tells you how the Catholics are all wrong. Thanks, I’ll take sound history and sound logic to point me in the right direction.

  • Kevin Eckstrom

    @Southern Baptist: We appreciate your comments, and we’re fully supportive of a free exchange of ideas. But please tone down the ad hominem attacks against individuals and the Catholic Church. There’s no need to get personal. Thanks to everyone for keeping the tone civil.

  • Juan

    Never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

  • Ovid

    I don’t normally post comments of any kind, but I’m compelled to make an exception in this case and commend the overwhelming majority of the people here for their civility and composure. I’m not Catholic, but your good example has certainly made my day. God bless you all.

  • Kary

    Yeah, and they don’t even keep slaves. Idiots.

  • John

    A Southern Baptist throwing stones. That’s special. Better Latin than Redneck.

  • liz

    Asperin isn’t in the bible either and is widely used. It’s their club and they can make up whatever rules they want. The Bible is not the final authority on Jesus by the way.

  • John E Casaletto

    Our Lady, that;s Mary, the mother of Christ, is not dead. She was so pure and without original sin, she could not possibly die. She was transported up to heaven, body and soul.
    In any case we pray to Jesus and he was well and truly dead, albeit he came back from the dead.

    Proof that Mary lives on is her apparitions. Some are undoubtedly the result of over-zealous hyperimaginative believers but a few,especially Lourdes leaves no room for doubt.


  • hoyle p crone

    ya, they should just speak italian, or english… oh wait, there are more spanish speakers in the world… let’s go with spanish, we can change it again later when more chinese become christian… that’s how we baptists do it – we modernize and embrace change! no need to hold on to outdated ideas… like you said, that whole confessing to a priest and baptizing babies, the apostles had it wrong and we had to change it 1500+ years later… and praying for the dead, come on, the jews have had that wrong for 3 or 4 thousands years now… good thing we got rid of that no divorce problem too, and even embraced contraception not that long ago – we do change with the times brother!

  • so that ignorant asses like you ask, without kbeing born and livin the life of a catholic. and so you can listen every sunday to those asses like you thinking that god speaks to them you idiot.

  • Then get off the internet remeber this is religion you,re taking on, you will never win!

  • Southern Baptist


    If you die without doing so NOBODY can pay you in or pray you in!

    Southern Baptist follow the Bible and we bow to, nor confess to no man wearing weird robes!

  • Patricia

    @SouthernBaptist Remember, at the crucifixion Jesus said to the good thief: “This day you shall be with me in paradise.” This is one of the reasons why the church believes in the communion of the saints, that is to say that people, when they die, either go to God, are separated from God by their choice, or are purified until they can go to God. And that is also one of the foundations for the tradition of the saints, including Mary, whom Catholics believe are alive with God in heaven, interceding for us on earth. God exists outside of linear time and space; He is eternal. Events that seem linear to us in our world may be very different in heaven.

  • Southern Baptist

    Mary was NOT a virgin her entire life; the bible tells about the SIBLINGS of Jesus! Joseph would not have lived with a wife without sex; that is utter nonsense!

    NOWHERE does the Bible teach that priests (preachers) shouldn’t marry; this requirement has resulted in Gays flocking to the priesthood the past 2,000 as a way to hide the fact they don’t like women! Why do you think 95% of all kids molested by priests are BOYS!

    JESUS forgave the man on the cross and gave him special permission to enter Heaven upon death. There is no “purgatory’ that is a superstition filled LIE.

    You have to ASK FOR FORGIVENESS on your own; nobody can ask for you. If you die in your sins then you are hell-bound. Otherwise you could rob, rape, and kill and leave money behind to a priest so he could pray you into Heaven!

    Baptizing babies is STUPID since the baby hasn’t confessed his sins! The old Pope retire to a CASTLE to live in luxury that rivals the old kings! Jesus taught humility and a simple life, not living in a palace surrounded by gold!

    If you bow to the pope or kiss his ring you are choosing him over God and will go to Hell.

  • Southern Baptist


  • Heather

    Jesus told us that there was one way to eternal life, and confessing your sins was not it. Perhaps we should all spend more time with our Bibles rather than worrying what our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are doing.

  • Patty

    Personally, I believe in the absoluteness of God’s love for all of his creation. As humans, I don’t think we can ever grasp what that means, but we are told that nothing can separate us from the love of God and I believe that. The rest doesn’t matter.

    I’m not going to argue Mary’s virginity. Some Christians believe she was a virgin, others do not. Regardless, she was the mother of Jesus and is reverenced for that.

    You mentioned that people are dead until the final resurrection, which is why I brought up the good thief, who in Catholic tradition is known as St. Dismas. If it were true that the entire person is dead until the final resurrection, it seems odd that Jesus made exception for this one man. There are several points to be made: the man was a thief, accepted his punishment as just but questioned why a just man was being killed, He chastized the thief who mocked Jesus and had a ‘deathbed’ conversion of his own. For this show of faith and humility, he was rewarded with the promise of heaven that very day, and by extension, so are we, Jesus’s followers.

    Priests were married until about 1,000 years ago. It was more a question of inheritance that lead to the celibacy rule. However, it’s a grave mistake to equate pedophilia with anything other than the disorder pedophilia which is a sexual attraction to children, and has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

    Baptizing babies is a custom. Some Orthodox Christians baptize, give communion and confirm infants at the same time. This was done in infancy because of the high childhood mortality rate centuries ago.

    It’s not a requirement to kiss any rings or toes. I know I wouldn’t do it, personally, you can be a good Catholic without doing either.

  • fewf

    latin isnt a dead language. It has been the language of the roman empire, and it was the offcial language of almost all european states for milenia. So the spoken day to day language has changed. A dead language is a language that nobody speaks anymore. a lot of modern day to day vocabulary comes form greek and latin. More, not long ago latin was the lingua franca of diplomacy and science. Its hard to have a informed opinion when you really dont know what is really going on around you. its better next time to study the issue a bit, before speaking again.

  • fewf

    i m sure you have a holy indignation issuue going on. but that kind of rethoric isnt what Jessus would want. Imagine Him speaking as you spoke now. your words are the words of someone who hates.

  • fewf

    the problem is when tradition becomes more important then scripture. Christianiy lost alot of the original message when it became an official religion. most of the tradition were state promoted, and donmt have an teological background. Most of the Reformation dind t happend over night. there were a long line of teologians and leraned men, that popinted out for century before Reformation , about a growing gap between Scripture and practice, between what is was beeing said , and was beeing done.