[Hat-tip to Pew Sitter: “Let me know when The Joy of Sex is ‘released’ [in Latin*]”
[Advanced copy of the cover (hat-tip to Hilary White at What’s up with Francis-Church?): ]
Posted by Fr John Hunwicke at liturgicalnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/libidinis-gaudium.html
4 April 2016
Oh dear. Wrong again. I had a wager with myself that Libidinis gaudium would be the title of our Holy Father’s imminent bombshell. Instead … Amoris laetitia … he does so let one down …
According to Lewis & Short, a highly useful dictionary for lucky pupils learning the delights of Latin Prose and Verse Composition and for their instructors, Gaudium and Laetitia do differ in meaning. The former suggests the internal Joy one feels; the latter, a Joy which expresses itself externally. So the Sovereign Pontiff’s first magis quam magnum opus, entitled Evangelii gaudium, implied that the Gospel makes one feel all jolly inside, while next Friday’s opus etiam maius suggests that Sexual Love is manifested externally.
So … according to these texts, we keep the Joy of the Gospel bottled up inside us, while rushing over to the extrovert side of our personalities for the Joy of Sex (wasn’t there some much celebrated booklet with that title back in the seventies? Controversial, I seem to recall, because it included diagrams?). What an interesting distinction. The nuances of Christian anthropology gradually open out before us, like daisies in the dewfall.
Apart from these highly suggestive initial words, leaks of the text are in short supply. If you’re interested, I can leak to you the reason for this. Translators, printers, and journalists have been taken, batch after batch, down into the dungeons beneath the Sant’Angelo … probably the same dungeons where Pope Urban VI, enlightened Pontiff, had some of his Cardinals tortured to death … and have been encouraged to look through the peep-holes into the cells where the defendants in the Vatileaks trial are being held ‘languishing’ (as journalists would put it) in irons and dreadful conditions (please forgive the zeugma). The penalties for leaking Pontifical Secrets are then explained to them. Robert Mickens, formerly of the Tablet, was given a specially extended tour which incorporated the unlit lower levels of the prison where the local Biodiversitas (cfr Laudato si) breeds in tenebris et laetitia (please forgive the zeugma). He no longer makes jokes about the Rats.
Personally, I just can’t wait to read it. I would be most aw’fly grateful if some kind reader could keep watch and let me know when the official Latin text is ‘released’.
*The Vatican press release announcing the publication says that the text will be available in Italian, French, English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese on the release date of April 8th, without mentioning Latin – similar to the publication of Francis’ 2013 apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”, which although having a Latin title, has yet (if ever) to have a Latin text. The first (2015) encyclical solely written by him (Benedict XVI wrote most of “Lumen Fidei”, to which Francis added a few “finishing touches” and refers to it as having been written by “four hands” – I did not know that both popes were ambidextrous) “Laudato si'”, whose opening words are from Saint Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun” in the 13th-century Italian dialect of Umbria, has been translated into Latin.