New Feature on Vatican Website

Well. I was excited at first, but now am a little annoyed.

The Vatican Website has started puting CTV video coverage of the Pope’s speeches etc. with the relevant document on their webpage. For example, see here, the speech that Benedict XVI made to the Czech academic community on his recent visit to the country. Just below the heading you will see the link to “Video” – a quicktime film of the entire speech. (You need to download and install quicktime if you haven’t already got it).

I thought “goody!”, as I knew this speech had been given in English. BUT the bloody Italians have gone and covered over the pope’s original English with a voice over in Italian. Fat lot of good that is. You think they could have put that on the “Italian” translation page, and given us the original without the voice over.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

P.S. By the way, it is a good speech and worth reading. John Allen calls is “rhetorical jiu-jitsu” on the Pope’s part. Here’s a taste from John Allen’s report:

“Relativism … provides a dense camouflage behind which new threats to the autonomy of academic institutions can lurk,” the pope said, speaking in English as he has throughout his trip.

“Is it not the case that frequently, across the globe, the exercise of reason and academic research are – subtly and not so subtly – constrained to bow to the pressures of ideological interest groups and the lure of short-term utilitarian or pragmatic goals?” the pope asked.

“What will happen if our culture builds itself only on fashionable arguments, with little reference to a genuine historical intellectual tradition, or on the viewpoints that are most vociferously promoted and most heavily funded?”

“What will happen if in its anxiety to preserve a radical secularism, it detaches itself from its life-giving roots?”

Benedict didn’t bother providing direct replies to those rhetorical questions, but the implied answer to “what will happen?” seemed fairly obvious: nothing good.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “New Feature on Vatican Website

  1. Paul

    Hi David, I think you should be more than a little annoyed, I think you should be very annoyed. This is a very serious point that should be passed on to whoever handles these videos.

    With all the talk about New Evangelisation, it is surely a pretty basic issue that the message should be sent out in a language people understand.
    Come to that, I don’t understand why all the official World Youth Days are European (Italian, Spanish, English and French)? Even the omission of German is strange. From my observation, German is the most common second language in Europe, especially central Europe.

  2. Perhaps you are right. I wonder who I should talk to? Actually, come to think of it, I met the woman who originally set up the Vatican website when I was in Rome. Sr Dorothy now works for the PCID. I wonder if she could help put me onto the right people?