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The Latin Letters Office is a department of the Roman Curia's Secretariat of State of the Holy See in Vatican City. It is well known among modern-day Latinists as the place where documents of the Catholic Church are written in or translated into Latin.
The Secretariate of Briefs to Princes and of Latin Letters, or in short Secretariate of Briefs, was one of the so-called offices of the Roman Curia which were abolished in the 20th century. The secretary for Latin letters was a prelate or private chamberlain whose duties were to write the letters of less solemnity which the sovereign pontiff addresses to different personages.
By the time of Pope Paul VI's reform of the Roman Curia, the office once known as Secretary for Briefs to Princes had been renamed more prosaically as the Latin Language Department of the First Section of the Secretariat of State. No longer headed by a Cardinal, it had lost some of its luster, but it remained the real communications hub at the Vatican.
Reginald Foster is an American Catholic priest and friar of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 14 November 1939. A noted Latin expert, he works in the Latin Letters Section of the Secretariat of State in the Vatican. Foster became one of the Pope's Latinists in the late 1960s.
Today, the office's seven Latinists have a steady stream of work, and sometimes they fall behind. When Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical, Caritas in veritate , was published in July 2009, no Latin text was released, apparently for the first time. The translators were still working on the document, and the Latin version was published only at the end of August, only after it had been sent by DHL to Foster's sickbed for corrections.
The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law, governing the Vatican City.
Pope Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council, which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements.
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the pope's name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular churches and provides the central organization for the church to advance its objectives.
Ecclesiastical Latin, also called Church Latin, Liturgical Latin or Italian Latin, is a form of Latin initially developed to discuss Christian thought and later used as a lingua franca by the Medieval and Early Modern upper class of Europe. It includes words from Vulgar Latin and Classical Latin re-purposed with Christian meaning. It is less stylized and rigid in form than Classical Latin, sharing vocabulary, forms, and syntax, while at the same time incorporating informal elements which had always been with the language but which were excluded by the literary authors of classical Latin.
Monsignor is an honorific form of address for some members of the clergy, usually of the Roman Catholic Church, including bishops, honorary prelates and canons. "Monsignor" is a form of address, not an appointment: properly speaking, one cannot be "made a monsignor" or be "the monsignor of a parish". The title or form of address is associated with certain papal awards, which Pope Paul VI reduced to three classes: those of Protonotary Apostolic, Honorary Prelate, and Chaplain of His Holiness.
Crescenzio Sepe is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who has been Archbishop of Naples since 2006. He served in the Roman Curia as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 2001 to 2006. He was made a cardinal in 2001. Before that he spent 25 years in increasingly important positions in the Roman Curia.
Reginald Thomas Foster was an American Catholic priest and friar of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. From 1970 until his retirement in 2009, he worked in the Latin Letters section of the Secretariat of State in the Vatican. He was an expert in Latin literature and an influential teacher of Latin, including 30 years at the Gregorian University in Rome and free summer courses that continued when he retired to Milwaukee.
The Secretariat of State is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the central papal governing bureaucracy of the Catholic Church. It is headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State and performs all the political and diplomatic functions of the Holy See. The Secretariat is divided into three sections, the Section for General Affairs, the Section for Relations with States, and, since 2017, the Section for Diplomatic Staff.
A papal brief or breve is a formal document emanating from the Pope, in a somewhat simpler and more modern form than a papal bull.
The Secretariate of Briefs to Princes and of Latin Letters, or simply the Secretariate of Briefs, was one of the offices of the Roman Curia abrogated in 1967 during Pope Paul VI's reform of the Pontifical court. It was divided into two sections.
The Section for Relations with States or Second Section of the Secretariat of State is the body within the Roman Curia charged with dealing with matters that involve relations with civil governments. It has been part of the Vatican Secretariat of State since 1909.
Pastor bonus is an apostolic constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988. It instituted a number of reforms in the process of running the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as article 1 states "The Roman Curia is the complex of dicasteries and institutes which help the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and service of the whole Church and of the particular Churches. It thus strengthens the unity of the faith and the communion of the people of God and promotes the mission proper to the Church in the world".
Pope Paul VI's reform of the Roman Curia was accomplished through a series of decrees beginning in 1964, principally through the apostolic constitution Regimini Ecclesiae universae issued on 15 August 1967.
The history of the Roman Curia, the administrative apparatus responsible for managing the affairs of the Holy See and the Catholic Church, can be traced to the 11th century when informal methods of administration began to take on a more organized structure and eventual a bureaucratic form. The Curia has undergone a series of renewals and reforms, including a major overhaul following the loss of the Papal States, which fundamentally altered the range and nature of the Curia's responsibilities, removing many of an entirely secular nature.
The Holy See Press Office publishes the official news of the activities of the Pope and of the various departments of the Roman Curia. All speeches, messages, documents, as well as the statements issued by the Director, are published in their entirety.
Pontificalis Domus was a motu proprio document issued by Pope Paul VI on 28 March 1968, in the fifth year of his pontificate. It reorganized the Papal Household, which had been known until then as the Papal Court.
Alfred Xuereb is a Maltese prelate of the Catholic Church who has been the Apostolic Nuncio to both South Korea and Mongolia since February 2018. He previously worked in the Roman Curia and was a private secretary to Pope Benedict XVI from 2007 to 2013 and to Pope Francis from 2013 to 2014.
The Council of Cardinals (C9), also known as the Council of Cardinal Advisers, is a group of cardinals of the Catholic Church appointed by Pope Francis to serve as his advisers. Announced on 13 April 2013, one month after his election, it was formally established on 28 September of the same year. The council currently has seven members, following the decision by Pope Francis to remove three of its members in late 2018 and the appointment of another in 2020.
The Secretariat for the Economy is a dicastery of the Roman Curia with authority over all economic activities of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.
The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development is a dicastery of the Roman curia.
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