Episode 9:Language and the Law

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 canonicoCanon 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:


Friends, the podcasting arm of Vocaris Media is listener-supported, so, your donations really are what make this possible. $1 / show is what we ask – though we’re always happy to receive more.

You can make your donation by going to www.thinkingwiththechurch.wordpress.com and clicking on the “support TwtC” tab in the menu at the top, or by going to www.vocarismedia.com and looking for the “donate” button in the top-right corner of the page.

You can participate in discussions by going to the blog: again, that’s at www.thinkingwiththechurch.wordpress.com and leaving your thoughts in the comboxes.

Follow us on Twitter: @TWTC_Rome

You can write me directly on the emails: the address is craltieri@vocarismedia.com

Subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes, or use the RSS feed to subscribe through your favorite podcast manager.

“Thanks!” as always to Executive Producer Ester Rita.

Our web guru is Christopher Bauer Anderson – “Topher” Anderson of www.lifesiteministries.org.

Sean Beeson composed our theme. Hear more of his musical stylings at www.seanbeeson.com.

St. Gabriel Archangel, pray for us!

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

2 thoughts on “Episode 9:Language and the Law

  1. Pingback: Thinking with the Church – Canonista di periferia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s