This week on Thinking with the Church: a conversation with Claudia Giampietro on language, the law, and genuine truth-seeking dialogue as a form of public witness to the faith in the search for Christian unity.
Claudia Giampietro is a young canonist pursuing doctoral studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas – the Angelicum – who is a trained professional interpreter and translator.
She has just completed her first major academic translation project: an English edition of the 2015 manual by Prof. Luigi Sabbarese of the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Diritto canonico: Canon Law: which is in the final stages of proofing and will soon be available through the Urbaniana University Press.
St. Thomas tells us that a law is a dictate of reason ordered to the common good and promulgated by competent authority (cf. ST IaIIae Q.90).
The Church has a whole legal structure of its own – and though there are in every age people who would oppose the characteristic freedom of the perfect society that is the Church to the compulsions and constraints of legal force, the Church is the People of God, and there cannot be a people without a law – and the Church’s law is not only an essential and integral part of the Church’s life, without which she could not be herself, let alone accomplish her mission, it is also one of the great and indispensable contributions the Church has made to the cultural patrimony of mankind.
Claudia’s training before the law, however, was in languages: ancient languages – especially Latin – and modern tongues: she is a professional interpreter, who has volunteered her expertise through several World Youth Days – and she shares with us some really terrific stories about her adventures in interpretation in the service of Papal MC Msgr. Guido Marini and even Pope Francis, himself.
We pick up our conversation, though, with Claudia explaining the importance of developing a deep understanding of language, not only or even primarily as a means of communication, but as a whole way of seeing and being in the world – a condition of intelligibility and therefore of communicability itself.
She uses the Latin term, mens, which could be translated “mind” but really conveys more than what we mean by “mind” in English: to have the mens of a language is to inhabit a whole world of words and of thought.
*********** Show Notes ***********
The doctoral dissertation to whichhost Chris Altieri alludes is by Elena Mannucci:
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