7 April 2021


A very grateful Thank You to the most generous benefactor to whom I owe the gift of a big Benedict XIV coffee mug ... and of a Benedict XIV hip flask! Although I have had no connection with the Hunting Fraternity since we moved from Devon, the hip flask will keep me in mind of England's prime sport, the pursuit of Man's wiliest adversary ... and, of course, of the greatest Pontiff of the Second Millennium. Tally Ho! Redeant dies laetabundi!

                                                            A MYSTERY

Dunno what it was ... Second Sight? Vision? Double Vision? Dream? Ecstasy? Hallucination? ... but I have somehow seen the following document, crudely pinned to the great main doors of S Peter's Basilica in Rome. It bears no Protocol Number, so, whichever it is, and despite the curious scribbled initials at the bottom, it can't be authentic.

In hoc tam lamentabili SUSPENSO ministerii Petrini Romani Pontificis quo et Nos quondam functi sumus, cur miramini omnes Sacrificium Novae Legis ab altaribus huius Ecclesiae recessisse? Si ipsa Magna Mater quae dicitur Deorum cultum nefandum in proximis Vaticani montis hortis habuit, si initia prava, detestabilia Cybeles mysteria, per istam Ecclesiam sollemniter delata sunt et in altare horribile dictu deposita, quid mirum si ipse pontifex deseruit altare Piscatoris? Si arae vacuae et desertae inveniuntur; si sancti et sanctae quorum hic reliquiae depositae et cultae sunt (ut ita dicam) refugerunt; si locum hic habent pseudoprophetae et pseudochristi; profecto Abominatio Desolationis hic aptissime cernitur. 

Quid enim in tantis calamitatibus inauditum seu improvisum est? Patent fores, Dominici gregis portae apertae sunt, unum ovile Domini incustoditum relictum est, luporum rapacum rabies ingressa est, mercenarii fugerunt quia mercenarii sunt et non pertinet ad eos de ovibus. Haec autem omnia iampridem bene nota.

Sed confidite, Rex noster vicit mundum.

Fugerunt et Fideles; sed regredientur. Agni Sacrificium nunc silet; sed frequentabitur. Tacet nunc Successor Petri? Vocem nihilominus rursus attollet. Non tamen etiamnunc Vox Petri omnino tacet si, tacente Pontifice, presbyteri eius purpurati necnon et diaconi vera loquentes inveniuntur. Si ea quae hucusque tradita sunt nunc non traduntur nisi a duobus vel saltem tribus Sancti Collegii viris, Os Petri non est mutum. Si quis ex illis theologus loquitur, si legisperitus, si historicus, si rerum liturgicarum peritus, si martyrum testis, quid deest muneribus Petri? Si vel unus episcopus ausus est veritatem profari, unus est Mundus.

Tacente Papa, audiendi sunt qui audiri possunt. 

Fidem tenete. Depositum servate. Dominus prope est.

B XIV pp


Compton Pauncefoot said...

Dear Father,
I feel my lack of Latin very strongly. I studied it until the age of 16 and can still decline a number of nouns and verbs, but it has now forsaken me for more fertile pastures. Can you you recommend a good tutor book or even - dare I say it - an online course?
I know Heaven and Purgatory are mysteries, but I cannot help feeling that some familiarity with Latin might prove an advantage there.
I wonder if any of your readers recall the television adaptation of M. R. James's 'The Treasure of Abbot Thomas', in which a sceptical cleric exposes a fraudulent medium by speaking to the supposed spirit of a mediaeval abbot in Latin, a language with which an abbot of that time would have been entirely familiar?

Amont said...

Dear Father, as my Latin is self taught-unlike your undoubtedsuperior skilled version; might behave a full translation please?With thanks

Paul Hellyer said...

Language is meant to be understood. You think we can understand Latin?
Why don't you provide a translation in English so that we can all understand instead of just you and a 'superior' few.


Fawr, a elwir yn y Duwiau addoli nefandum yn y blynyddoedd Fatican hill gerddi oedd, os y dechreuadau mynd ar goll, detestabilia ^ elizabeth simpson dirgelion, drwy gyfrwng yr Eglwys hon yn ddifrifol a adroddwyd yn yr allor ofnadwy i ymwneud adneuon, beth yn meddwl tybed os yw ef yn archoffeiriad yn gadael yr allor Pysgotwr? Os yw macaws yn wag ac yn y mojave o hyd; os bydd y sanctaidd a sanctaidd sydd yma yn parhau i fod yn depositae ac mae'r tri arall (fel petai) refugerunt; os oes lle yma wedi proffwydi ffug a gau gristiau byddai Crefft yn Disgyn yma yn y rhan fwyaf o cuddio.

Stephen v.B. said...

Strong words, Father, but sadly apt (and rightly left in the 'decent obscurity of a learned language'). Encouraging, nonetheless, to hear this voice from beyond once in a while!

But - surely that genitive ought to be rapacium, rather than rapacum? I assume the anomalous fallacum in Catullus 30.4 is 'metri causa'...

frjustin said...

There are a large number of online courses in Latin, but most of them are for classical Latin, and many are free. There's one excellent course in Church Latin, which is also free:


The best book is probably this, by a Roman Catholic priest:


But then, Fr Hunwicke is a world-class teacher of Latin...

frjustin said...

It's not widely known, but Google Translate can now 'translate' from Latin into what it thinks is English: https://translate.google.com/ The results are often hilarious, as in its mangled translation of the document above:

In this lamentable suspended by the Petrine ministry of the Pope where we once employed we wonder why the sacrifice of the new law, have withdrawn from the altar of the Church? The worship of the Great Mother of the Gods, which is said to be the very last, if in the Vatican of the mountain, the gardens, he had a wicked deed, if the beginnings of the bad, it is so detestable to Cybele 's secrets, and by means of this the Church has solemnly been brought to set aside, and by the altar, horrible to relate, what wonder is it if he himself the high priest that hath forsaken the altar of the Fisherman? If gleamed empty and abandoned, found; if cultivated, if the holy men and women of which are here signified the remains were deposited, and (if I may so say) will have fled; false Christs, false prophets, and if they have a place here; This course defilement and desolation are appropriately recognized. Unheard of in the many calamities, and that is, quite suddenly, Why, what is it? Patent doors to the flock of doors have been opened, left unguarded the pen is one of the wolves, wolves lash to go to mercenaries hired because they are not relevant to them sheep. Now all these things for a long time, are well known.
But take heart, our King won the world.
They fled and the faithful; But the return. Lamb's sacrifice is now silent; But thronged. The Successor of Peter is silent now? Nevertheless raise a voice again. The voice of Peter 's is silent, if it continues, I do not at all, even if I speak the bishop, presbyters, and deacons, as well as the true, speaking to his court, as many are found. If it has not hitherto been reported until now there are at least two or three men College St., bone Peter is not dumb. If any one of them, the theologian speaks, if the teacher of the law, if the form of history, for things and liturgical languages ​​is a skilled person, a witness of the martyrs, if, there is some defect with the present of Peter? If either one bishop dared to tell the truth, one of the world.
In the silence of the Pope, that is to be heard. Credit watch. A deposit reserve. Lord is near.
14, pp B

Not to be undone, Google Translate can also mangle CIRUJANOREAL's comment in Welsh:

Great, known as the Gods worshiping nefandum in the years Vatican hill gardens were, if the beginnings of getting lost, detestabilia ^ elizabeth simpson mysteries, by means of this Church solemnly reported at the terrible altar to relate deposits, what think I wonder if he is a high priest leaving the Fisherman's altar? If macaws are empty and still in the mojave; if the holy and sacred here remain depositae and the other three are (so to speak) refugerunt; if there is a place here after false prophets and false chests Craft would fall here most hide.

So now you know!

Compton Pauncefoot said...

Thank you frjustin!
Just what I need.

Compton Pauncefoot said...

'Census' I think comes from the Latin?
From the strident government reminders which arrive here ever more urgently, it is clear that one can ask to complete the census form in a wide variety of languages, including Tagalog and Amharic.
But none of the languages on offer quite tickles my fancy and I've asked the Government to send me the form in Old Norse.
No response as yet.
In fact I cannot see anything requiring one to use the same language throughout and I may decide to complete the more intrusive parts of the census in Akkadian.