Pope Benedict XVI posts first tweet in Latin

pope benedictOne year ago today and the Pope made his first tweet in Latin.  But who speaks Latin today?  An eclectic audience I suspect, so a great example of non-communication!

 

 

 

mea culpa

From Vatican Radio, nineteen-thirty-one,
the pope’s progressed to be @pontifex
to show he’s at one with the world.

But what does it mean?

The father, son, the holy ghost,
the six words spoken most in church
and now you can tweet ‘em,
in Latin.

But who can read Latin?
The pope can, the Vatican, …. I can
but only in scant moderation.
Ah Latin, a language now dead
yet the headstone so long
of the classical best education.

Amo, amas, amat – beat that.
‘Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est’.
Not the best example of Latin with feeling.
More appealing perhaps is the full-blown
‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’.
Remember Owen?
Sweet.
The power and glory of that expression.
And now you can tweet it.
Here’s an idea – a tweet session confession.
Mea culpa, peccavi.

Pope Benedict the sixteenth
has made his first Latin tweet:
Orare semper, iustitiam factitare,
amare probitatem, humiles Secum ambulare.
….. Powerful stuff …..
A simple message:
to pray constantly, do justice,
love goodness and walk humbly with Him.
I think I prefer ‘volare oh, oh,
cantare oh, oh, oh, oh’;
to fly, to sing.
It has more of a ring of freedom and joy.
Boy I’m in for it now.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, peccavi.

One day the first papal Bull
will be tweeted in full
on @pontifex with hashtag effects
but in Latin, for you and for me.
A Taurus to assure us
that the builder of bridges
is at one with the world.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa, peccavi.

 

20th January 2013 – headline from the BBC

 

Notes:  “Pope Benedict XVI posts first tweet in Latin.”  Pope Benedict XVI has posted his first Twitter message in Latin.  A month after sending his first much-anticipated tweet using his personal account – @pontifex – the Pope said: “What does the Lord ask of us as we work for Christian unity?”  And he answered: “To pray constantly, do justice, love goodness, and walk humbly with Him.”  The Pope personally approves tweets sent in his name in nine languages and has some 2.5 million followers.  Most of them follow his English account.  In his first Latin tweet he asks his followers to pray always for the reunification of the Christian churches – “Orare semper, iustitiam factitare, amare probitatem, humiles Secum ambulare”.

 

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