Sunday, August 31, 2008
Italians Shun the Bible but surprisingly, flock to Latin Mass
The Roman Forum, a monthly magazine here in Rome, reports the following: A poll revealed that 88 percent of Italians who claim to be Roman Catholics are ignorant of ‘even the most basic facts’ about the Bible. The Catholic Biblical Federation survey found that only 14 percent know whether Jesus had written any of the Gospels, and if the Gospels are part of the Bible. Internationally, 75 percent of Americans claim to have read from the Bible recently, compared to Italy's 27 percent. The Vatican said the ﬁndings oﬀered ‘food for thought’, however Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the pontiﬁcal Council for Culture, said that if the survey had included the Vatican, “it might well have produced some surprising results”. Masses held in Latin are luring in both the faithful and curious. Some 500 worshippers attended mass at Chiesa Trinità dei Pellegrini, Pope Benedict XVI's “personal church”, for Catholics appreciative of the rite in its ancient expression.