Saturday, 15 November 2014

From Latin to English

This week, I noticed that there was a Catholic conference that was conducted up in Baltimore.  A number of topics were going to be brought up at this US conference....but the big deal of the meeting was this talk over taking the exorcism package....currently only in Latin, and converting it to English.

There were some details hyped on the Catholic process for an exorcism.  For can't just be a priest who finds the situation of a possessed guy and just does the ceremony.  You need to have a bishop (the guy one step down from a Cardinal) who examines all the facts.  Key to the final decision is whether the guy or gal is just a nutcase or really possessed.

What's driving this translation deal to English (it's never gone past Latin, ever)?

I suspect there are fewer people trained in Latin these days.  Few people have interest in the old language, and it's hard to even find a university these days which would offer it.  In the 1700s, almost every single university in existence within the US....mandated at least a basic introduction into Latin.  Today?  There are very few degrees which mandate it, and it's not widely used beyond the medical field.  Herbert Hoover was the last US President who could speak Latin.

The problem I see is that once you get this booklet out there in English.....someone will make a bootleg copy, and then make it widely available.  A week later, ten thousand Americans will be standing on the street or on some front porch.....trying to rid their cousin or neighbor of demonic possession.

Eventually, some TV show will be put up on the Discovery Channel where some fake demonic hunter and his brother travel around the south to rid folks of possession.  Each week will feature a new demon....a new problem.....and always generate mostly idle gossip around the office as folks discuss the demons involved and if it was fake.

If you were asking me....I'd be of the mind to keep the book in Latin and try hard not to turn this into some kind of entertainment gimmick.  We've got enough problems in America today, and throwing some exorcism book into the middle of the mess will push things one notch higher.

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