Carpe Twitter: Vatican tweets on new Latin academy

VATICAN CITY Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:49pm IST

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A Twitter page is displayed on a laptop computer in Los Angeles October 13, 2009.

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A senior Vatican cardinal tweeted in Latin on Wednesday to urge people to attend the inauguration of, you guessed it, the Holy's See's new Academy for Latin Studies.

"Hodie una cum Ivano Dionigi novam aperiemus academiam pontificiam latinitatis a Benedicto conditam, hora XVII, via Conciliationis V," was the tweet by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.

The approximate translation: "Today at 5 p.m., along with Ivano Dionigi, we will open the new Pontifical Academy for Latin Studies founded by Benedict. Via della Conciliazione, 5."

It was not the first tweet in Latin - an Italian professor has been doing it for some time - but evidently Ravasi wanted to seize the day, or "carpe diem".

The pope earlier this month announced that he had instituted the Pontifical Academy for Latin Studies, placing it under the auspices of the Vatican's ministry for culture.

Dionigi, a Latin scholar who is rector of Bologna University - widely recognised to be the world's oldest - is the academy's first president.

The pope started the academy to promote the study and use of Latin in the Roman Catholic Church and beyond.

When instituting the academy, the pope said Latin, which is still the official language of the universal Church, was the subject of renewed interest around the world and the academy was mandated to encourage further growth. (Reporting By Paolo Biondi and Philip Pullella)

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