I mean, seriously? The Catholic Church has been using Latin for over 2,000 years? Since Jesus was - what? About 20? Were the words "hic haec hoc" floating across the Sea of Galilee as Peter, Andrew, James and John got their act together before they even met Our Lord?
I'm going to give them some credit for having just got a bit carried away. But I guess that's not really my beef with the piece. Neither is the use of a German word for "forbidden". I'm sure Pope Benedict will forgive them for that unfortunate slip.
Every Jew knows how to pray in Hebrew, just as every Muslim knows how to pray in Arabic.Fair enough. But Moses, presumably, spoke Hebrew (he would have been decent at Egyptian as well, I guess). David spoke Hebrew. Solomon did. Mohammed spoke Arabic.
But Jesus almost certainly didn't speak Latin. He spoke Aramaic, he'd have prayed in the Synagogue in Hebrew. He may have had a smattering of Greek. But he'd have known little or no Latin.
So there's a prima facie good reason for the people of the Syriac churches (many of them currently being expelled from parts of Iraq) to continue worshipping in Syriac, which is as near to Aramaic as you get these days. These people worship in Jesus's language.
And when Jesus's words were written down. They were written in Greek. So you could argue, if you wanted, that Greek is a good language to pray in. It's the nearest to the direct words of Our Lord that we've got.
But the history of the Church, and the fact of the Incarnation, says to me that you don't worry about the language that much. The Gospel has always been written at one step removed from what Jesus actually said, and the Church has never stopped shaping the Gospel - or being shaped by the Gospel - in whatever culture it falls into. In the Western Empire, Latin made sense - the Good News had to be shared in the language of the Empire, lived out in the Latin way. But in 21st Century England or much of the US, Latin puts the Gospel at one step removed. It's not Jesus's language, it's not the language of the people in their daytime lives. It's just another language. It's as odd as a 21st Century Englishwoman expressing her faith in 16th Century English.
I'm teasing, of course. If you are so immersed in the Latin Mass, it's a perfectly sensible language to express your worship in. If you've grown up with King James and Cranmer, 16th Century English is a perfectly good way to worship God. (I know the King James Version was 17th Century, but the language was archaic when it was written. There's nothing wrong in expressing your worship in the way you're comfortable with. But, there's nothing wrong with your own language, either.
Anyway, I must be off. It's our traditional Taize service. I do love a nice bit of Taize.