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Vatican Priest Reginald Foster Interviewed By Bill Maher In Religulous

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Josh    971
Josh
[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Foster_(Latinist)"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Foster_(Latinist)[/url]



Reginald Foster (Latinist)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Father Reginald Foster is a Catholic priest and friar of the order of Discalced Carmelites. He is an American, having been born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 14, 1939 (1939-11-14) (age 69). He currently works in the "Latin Letters" section of the Secretariat of State in the Vatican. This section is the successor to the historical "Briefs to Princes." Father Foster is the Pope's principal Latinist.

Foster is one of the great living experts in Latin literature, especially Cicero, and is an internationally recognized authority on the Latin language.

He has recently gained recognition as a voice of common sense in Bill Maher's documentary "Religulous".

Contents [hide]
1 Biography
2 Latin class
3 Media reception
4 References
5 External links
5.1 Newspaper articles



Biography


Foster has stated that since the age of 13 he has desired three things: 1) to be a monk, 2) to be a priest, and 3) to work with Latin. Foster grew up in a family of plumbers (his father, brothers and uncles are plumbers). He went to junior seminary in Peterborough, New Hampshire. It was then that Reginald fell in love with Latin. He would sit in the library with Lewis and Short's Latin Dictionary and be fascinated by the entries.

Foster came to Rome in the early 1960s to study. He also taught German in those early days. He is fluent in Latin, German, Italian and his native English.

Foster's daily schedule is quite unusual. He sleeps just four hours a night, from 10 PM to 2 AM. He always watches "Larry King Live" at 3 AM Rome time. Then he says Mass for himself in the basement of the Teresianum, his Carmelite residence on the Janiculum Hill. After Mass, he works on the numerous homework sheets he assigns for his classes--either for his summer students or those at the Gregorianum. Around 7-8 AM he walks down to his office at the Vatican, where he works on papal documents until 12 or 1 PM. Fosters says that he takes a 10-minute nap at work. During the regular school year, he walks across town to the Gregorianum and teaches two classes a day--except one day where he only holds a class in conversational Latin. In the summer, Foster makes his way back up the Janiculum by bus and prepares to teach his summer school schedule.

Returning to Milwaukee every August, Foster is sure to order another one of his blue outfits of wash pants and jacket from JC Penney--"they have my measurements." He does not wear the traditional habit of a Discalced Carmelite friar because, he says, it intimidates people.

Foster continues to suffer serious health complications resulting from a fall in June 2008, and was admitted on the 17th of January 2009 into the Fate Bene Fratelli Hospital on the Tiber Island. [1]


[edit] Latin class
Since the early 1970s Foster has also taught during the regular academic year in the Gregorian University in Rome. These classes consist of five "experiences," broken down such that the first, third, and fourth experiences cover basic grammar and practice readings. The second experience is a conversational practice class, and is open to students of all levels. The fifth class is the most advanced class, and is taught at a higher level (much of it in Latin) than just about any other Latin class in the world. These classes at the Gregorian are populated almost exclusively by Catholic clergy, seminarians, nuns, etc., and by a very small number of laymen. The fifth experience, however, tends to attract mostly laymen.

Father Foster's summer course "Aestiva Romae Latinitas," or Summer Latin in Rome, has been held every summer since 1985 at the Janiculum Hill in Rome. He does not charge anything, only requiring the student to possess basic knowledge of Latin, love of the language, and the will to learn more, making the course very popular.

He likes the students to have the Lewis and Short Latin Dictionary (which he strongly prefers to the more modern, but less complete Oxford Latin Dictionary) and the Gildersleeve and Lodge Latin Grammar in class at all times. Class is taught not from a textbook but from his "sheets," which are oversized mimeographs of Latin literature ranging from the earliest stuff there is, ca. 200 B.C., right up to the latest Papal documents.

Homework is what Foster terms "Ludi Domestici." These are again oversized mimeographs in Foster's typewritten characters--large and small capitals. Students are to complete these Ludi on their own using their dictionaries and notes from class.

Foster's summer courses consist of two "tracks"--the "iuniores" and the "seniores." Each day (six days a week, Sundays off), his classes meet, beginning around 2:00 p.m., in the basement theater of an elementary school run by nuns not far from where Foster lives on the Janiculum Hill. A typical class day consists of three 90-minute sections separated by short breaks: one session for the iuniores; a joint session for both levels; then a seniores section.

After class Foster also holds informal meetings "sub arboribus" (under the trees) in the early evening at his monastery, called the Teresianum, next to the very ancient San Pancrazio church, for more practice in Latin. Two nights a week are dedicated to conversational Latin, two to reading Latin texts by sight.

On Sundays during the summer, Foster leads excursions into such places as Pompeii, the Roman Forum, and the Castelli Romani. For these gatherings, Foster provides booklets full of Latin texts, maps, and pictures pertaining to that day's trip. Everyone takes public transportation, and these outings are almost invariably followed by dinner at a small Italian restaurant near each locale. Other outings are half-day affairs within Rome. Tours of the Roman Forum and Capitoline as well as an Ides of March tour are popular. Upon request, Foster will also lead "Inscription Reading" tours around Rome before his regularly scheduled tours.

Entry to the summer course is provisional upon completion of a written test, which Foster provides upon request, either via mail or fax. He does not use email (at least as of August 2006) or computers in general. These classes are generally populated by Latin teachers, professors, graduate students, and undergradate students from around the world, as well as a small number of priests, seminarians, and nuns. The course is supported by donors around the world. Foster accepts donations only if they are "voluntary and anonymous."[citation needed]


[edit] Media reception
Foster's teaching style has made him the subject of BBC documentaries and a chapter in Alexander Stille's book "The Future of the Past." It is characterized by a gruff style that feigns anger, disappointment, and a sense of despair for the future of Latin studies. Yet most students see that the demeanor is merely part of his style, and consider his 'tough love' approach a refreshing contrast to the coddling of undergraduate American curricula. His pedagogy often can be a bit contrarian: In terms of his teaching, the task of translating any bawdy Latin text will sometimes go to a pious sister, and a text from St Augustine or Pope St Leo the Great might be given to an atheist or Jew for example.[2][3]

On October 17, 2006, according to the Catholic News Agency, Foster announced to a group of about 100 students that he had been fired from his teaching position at the Gregorian University by the Society of Jesus, on grounds that too many students were taking his classes without paying tuition. As a result, on November 2, 2006, according to CNA, Foster founded the new "Academia Romae Latinitatis", a free Latin Academy for all interested English speakers interested in learning or brushing up on their Latin. The Academia, also known as the Istituto Ganganelli, is currently being housed near Piazza Venezia in Rome.[4]

Foster was featured, in an interview segment conducted in front of the Vatican, in the 2008 film Religulous.[5]


[edit] References
A. Stille: "The Future of the Past: How the Information Age Threatens to Destroy our Cultural Heritage" ISBN 0-330-37534-2


[edit] External links
FAQ de Aestiva Romae Latinitatis
Vatican Radio (for Foster's radio show)
Learn Latin with Father Reginaldus Foster
Sermones Leonis Magni (The sermons of Pope Leo I, read by Reginald Foster)
More about Aestiva Latinitatis (summer class)

[edit] Newspaper articles
Roman Rebound from The Economist
Forget 'Hic, Haec, Hoc.' Try 'O Tempora! O Lingua!' Abstract from the New York Times
Claudia Parsons Passion for Latin Thrives in Rome from Reuters
Tom Heinen For him, Latin is liveliest language from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Eric J. Lyman Vatican's Latin expert no stuffy academic from USA Today
[6] Edited by Delivery Boy

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Josh    971
Josh
The part that gets me is about 45 seconds in where Father Foster says basically there is no hell and this is just old catholic teaching. This confuses me. Why would a Vatican Priest be saying this and if He believes it is there truth to it ? Has the Church changed it's opinon on stuff like this ? He says the Bible is a book of stories or something to that effect later in the interview. What is exactly a Vatican Priest ? Is He to be listened to or respected ? Edited by Delivery Boy

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TotusTuusMaria    52
TotusTuusMaria
Yeah.... really shocked by reading all that stuff about him and his job. Wow.

I caught the "no hell" thing as well. Odd that such a supposedly intelligent man who has desired religion life since he was quite young and even works or did work in the Vatican does not understand that St. Peter's is not a "Palace where the Pope lives."

I am very disappointed that he is a Discalced Carmelite Friar... Edited by TotusTuusMaria

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Josh    971
Josh
[quote name='TotusTuusMaria' post='1812899' date='Mar 21 2009, 01:02 AM']Yeah.... really shocked by reading all that stuff about him and his job. Wow.

I caught the "no hell" thing as well. Odd that such a supposedly intelligent man who has desired religion life since he was quite young and even works or did work in the Vatican does not understand that St. Peter's is not a "Palace where the Pope lives."

I am very disappointed that he is a Discalced Carmelite Friar...[/quote]


Is there any truth to what he is saying ? Should he just be written off ? Is it possible many others in the vatican share the same opionon as Him ? If so what does does this mean ?

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TotusTuusMaria    52
TotusTuusMaria
[quote name='Delivery Boy' post='1812924' date='Mar 21 2009, 01:26 AM']Is there any truth to what he is saying ?[/quote]

No.

[quote]Should he just be written off ?[/quote]

Yes.

[quote]Is it possible many others in the vatican share the same opionon as Him ?[/quote]

It is [i]possible[/i], however the Pope certainly doesn't and that is all that matters.

EDIT: I do want to add that I don't think "many others" are of the same opinion in the Vatican. Probably a few more then we would like to think, but I think the majority or not of that opinion.

[quote]If so what does does this mean ?[/quote]

It means we have a lot of priests to pray for.

“Hell is paved with priests' skulls” - Saint John Chrysostom :sign:

[url="http://www.opusangelorum.org/Spirituality/Spiritualadoption.html"]Adopt him[/url] Edited by TotusTuusMaria

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TotusTuusMaria    52
TotusTuusMaria
[quote name='Hassan' post='1812926' date='Mar 21 2009, 01:30 AM']I'm watching that movie now. :unsure:[/quote]

:rolleyes:

Could you try any harder to convince yourself that Christianity is not true? When was the last time you watched a movie or read a book that actually built up the Church or sought to prove the existence of God?

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Hassan    11
Hassan
[quote name='TotusTuusMaria' post='1812933' date='Mar 21 2009, 01:33 AM']:rolleyes:

Could you try any harder to convince yourself that Christianity is not true? When was the last time you watched a movie or read a book that actually built up the Church or sought to prove the existence of God?[/quote]


I'm reading "The Foundations of the Christian Religion" by Karl Rahner and "Rethinking the Ontological Argument: A Nonclassical Theistic Response" by Daniel Dombrowski.

Once again Sultan Hassan not only meets but exceeds all expectations :yes:

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TotusTuusMaria    52
TotusTuusMaria
[quote name='Hassan' post='1812936' date='Mar 21 2009, 01:36 AM']I'm reading "The Foundations of the Christian Religion" by Karl Rahner and "Rethinking the Ontological Argument: A Nonclassical Theistic Response" by Daniel Dombrowski.

Once again Sultan Hassan not only meets but exceeds all expectations :yes:[/quote]

:rolleyes:

:thumbsup: Edited by TotusTuusMaria

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Hassan    11
Hassan
[quote name='TotusTuusMaria' post='1812938' date='Mar 21 2009, 01:37 AM']:rolleyes:

:thumbsup:[/quote]


I accecpt your apology :mellow:

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TotusTuusMaria    52
TotusTuusMaria
[quote name='Hassan' post='1812960' date='Mar 21 2009, 01:48 AM']I accecpt your apology :mellow:[/quote]

:lol:

I didn't offer one silly goose.

I am slightly surprised though... this is kafka's doings isn't it?

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HisChildForever    1,230
HisChildForever
To get back on topic, my friend watched this movie some time ago (she is more agnostic than anything I think but raised Catholic) and said it really made her think. Not really in a good way, mind you.

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Hassan    11
Hassan
[quote name='TotusTuusMaria' post='1812963' date='Mar 21 2009, 01:50 AM']:lol:

I didn't offer one silly goose.[/quote]



petty, petty, petty :ohno:

[quote]I am slightly surprised though... this is kafka's doings isn't it?[/quote]


Rahner yes, the ontological one no.

I'm also reading "The Act of Being" but that is about a Shia philosophers philosophy of revelation :unsure:

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TotusTuusMaria    52
TotusTuusMaria
[quote name='HisChildForever' post='1812976' date='Mar 21 2009, 02:00 AM']To get back on topic,[/quote]

:rolleyes:

[quote]my friend watched this movie some time ago (she is more agnostic than anything I think but raised Catholic) and said it really made her think. Not really in a good way, mind you.[/quote]

Just that little segment shows how silly it is.

St. Peter's is a palace?

The Pope lives there?

Hell doesn't exist?

Catholicism has changed its teachings?

And Bill Maher was, in an interview, saying how this was suppose to be comedy. I was watching Dr. Scott Hahn the other day on Bookmark (ewtn) and he was saying how the atheists of today (the four whatevers) use this witt and this harsh mockery to try to make Christianity looks lame and stupid. :ohno: From that segment of the film though, Maher isn't using facts to prove the ridiculousness of Christianity. He is using mockery to prove it. Edited by TotusTuusMaria

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Hassan    11
Hassan
[quote name='HisChildForever' post='1812976' date='Mar 21 2009, 02:00 AM']To get back on topic, my friend watched this movie some time ago (she is more agnostic than anything I think but raised Catholic) and said it really made her think. Not really in a good way, mind you.[/quote]


In what way can one think that is not good?

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Josh    971
Josh
This movie was pretty stupid. It did have funny parts and it was supposed to be a comedy according to Bill Marher. He is no doubt an idiot and didnt really pick on no one his own size.

The two parts of movie I enjoyed though were the two interviews with the catholic priest. The one being the vatican astrologer who basically said a fundamentalist view of the bible is a disease and talked about aliens and evolution. I also found the part with Father Foster very interesting to. Maher got owned by him to although Foster did seem to show Bill more love then he deserved. Edited by Delivery Boy

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TotusTuusMaria    52
TotusTuusMaria
[quote name='Hassan' post='1812984' date='Mar 21 2009, 02:04 AM']In what way can one think that is not good?[/quote]

when the person ends up thinking thoughts that are not good.

thinking isn't always a good thing.

people think about women in bad ways.

people think about hurting other people.

people think about leaving the Church.

thinking isn't always good, hassan dear. ;)

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Josh    971
Josh
[quote name='TotusTuusMaria' post='1812983' date='Mar 21 2009, 01:04 AM']:rolleyes:



Just that little segment shows how silly it is.

St. Peter's is a palace?

The Pope lives there?

Hell doesn't exist?

Catholicism has changed its teachings?[/quote]

Although a vatican priest was saying this. Bill Marher didnt make it up. So the priest is to blame.

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