A couple of years ago my dad surprised me with a story I had not heard. It was about my Baptism. Apparently I was Baptised in Latin, so strictly speaking my name is not Stephen Anthony but Stephanus Antonious. It has a nice Gladitorial ring to it ; which explains a lot.
I wonder what all the fuss is about having Mass in Latin; it seems to verge on obsession from some quarters; particularly when it is idolised to the point of its proponents separating themselves from the church, becoming essentially Latin speaking protestants; like the SSPX for whom even the subtle hint of excommunication of its bishops wasn’t enough to snap them out of it. In true protestant tradition they quickly splintered into SSPV and a host of other factions who couldn’t agree on what they disagreed with. It sounds familiar somehow… (2 Timothy 2:14)
Language is important though. And I think scripture hints at what is appropriate. In the Acts of the Apostles, on Pentecost we see the Apostles preaching (I Imagine in Aramaic) and ‘everybody understood them in their own language’. (Acts 2:6) That’s how the Holy Spirit did it; He did not make them all suddenly understand Aramaic, but translated it for them into their own language; the language of the heart.
A few years ago, up in a fairly remote Northern Province in the Philippines I was talking to a chap from the Isneg tribe who told me about a missionary who had spent years translating the New Testament into the Isneg language. The people there speak English and Filipino of course and many were already Christians but He said when he read scripture in his ‘own language’ he wept; it moved him so deeply to hear it in the language of heart.
Surely though what is needed is to get back to basics, not so much with tradition but fully ‘orthodox’ to the instructions left behind by Jesus. To preach the Gospel, Heal the sick, Raise the Dead, Cast out demons.