Lingua Franca


Some while ago I took a holiday in Cambodia – to see the temples, as one does.

One of the attractions of the trip was the expected opportunity to use my rusty French in a former French colony. Alas! Everyone I spoke to (including the elderly French priests at Mass in Phnom Penh) spoke either Khmer or English. French, it seems, has died the death.

Which got me to thinking…

Would it not be sensible – Latin no longer being an option – to conduct Synods of the Catholic Church in what has become the unofficial lingua franca of the world? Such a policy would give a voice to many third world bishops, and cut Cardinal Baldissari down to size, by requiring him to execute his manipulations in a tongue in which he is not entirely fluent.

Of course, as a result, the Americans would be disproportionately noisy; but then they always are.

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