Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Viva Italia!

"For the pope and the bishops," writes Sandro Magister, "Italy is an example for Europe and the world" — "Italia Felix." Here's How the Church Is Celebrating Her. Said Pope John Paul II, "To Italy, in keeping with its history, is entrusted in a special way the task of defending for all of Europe the religious and cultural heritage implanted in Rome by the apostles Peter and Paul."

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Makes me study Italian!

11:58 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I've long since decided I'm too old to study living languages. Dead ones are okay, though, because you don't need to find conversation partners.

Thus, this recent papal exhortation has inspired me: Benedict XVI Encourages Study of Latin. Sitting next to my dusty Latin textbooks in front of me are equally dusty Classical Chinese textbooks.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Francis Xavier said...

This would be far more convincing if Italian couples had more than 1.4 kids on average.

4:21 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

That is the stickler. And how about banning divorce and abortion, as Chile, Malta and the Philippines do, or did the last time I checked.

4:46 PM  
OpenID bonald said...

"In three days, on March 17, Italy will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its unification. And the Catholic Church, including the pope, will play its part in the celebrations..."

Disgusting. The Risorgimento was the most wicked, shameful, unscrupulous act of the nineteenth century, and now the Church is going to celebrate the conquest of her own lands by anticlerical brigands?

2:52 AM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

hmm...isn't Latin just "0ld Italian"?

and since you speak Spanish, it should only take you a little effort to learn Italian. I know from my own minimal study in the two languages is that the are very, very much alike, mores than of of them are to French, for example...

7:43 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Bonald, that bit got my goat, too. I guess we have to be charitable, even with the Church. It seems she is merely meeting the people where they are. If she were to do otherwise, she'd only have a couple of reactionaries like you or me in her pews.

Mark, you're right. When I traveled in Mexico, I found I could understand what some Italian tourists were talking about.

On the other hand, one of my Spanish professors said that it was virtually impossible for a speaker of Italian or Spanish to speak the other language flawlessly, because they were so close.

I've found that while I can get the gist of spoken Italian, especially when spoken by a non-native speaker like Pope Benedict, it's next to impossible to read the language. And while it's possible to read Portuguese, it's impossible to understand it when spoken.

9:51 AM  

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