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October 16, 2006



I suppose the chances of his coming back to the US to teach are slim? Really some university here needs to snap him up!


"Really some university here needs to snap him up!"

I don't like being cynical but the piece sounds (to me) like his Superiors don't want him teaching Latin at all.

Odd timing after the past week of Latin news from the Vatican.

Old Zhou

Dear Colleen,

I don't think it is Fr. Foster's superiors (Carmelinte), but that the Jesuits addressed his pink slip TO his superiors, rather than to him directly.

Imagine Jesuits trying to stifle Latin. Almost as unthinkable as a wolf eating a lamb.

Romain' Roman


Sometimes, I can't believe the foolhardy audacity of the "enlightened" Jesuits... Reggie's been there for year, probably grating on the nerves of many of the fine fathers in residence... and they choose NOW to send him the pink slip? NOW? I suppose they were observant enough to realize that sending him away during the pontificate of JP II wasn't wise, as he was close to JP. But one would think that now Benedict XVI is in office, they REALLY would think twice before trying this stunt. Fascinating.

It's only going make everyone laugh at them, and encourage all those students of theirs to go out of their way to follow Reggie - if there's one thing I learned in Rome, it's that Fr. Foster's got the biggest group of loyal "fans" (so to speak) of anybody, and with this announcement, his followings only going to get bigger as word spreads throughout the English-speaking seminarian/student community. Do what they must, people WILL seek him out, and he will, I'm sure, encourage them to keep learning Latin (however he plans to do that). Honestly, Reggie's just got too magnetic of a personality for those Jesuits cloistered in the 1970s to compete with!

Hmmm - one other possibility. Reggie's health has gone down a lot in recent years, and so perhaps the Greg authorities think that now he's "weak" enough that he won't fight them. What they may not realize is that Reggie is a pitbull. A pitbull that lives and breathes Latin. And you can't keep a good dog down! Even if he doesn't have the energy to start a "formal" institute, you can bet that where Reggie is, Latin is, and there also will hordes of Latin-loving students be! All the way up until the day he dies, whether in a classroom, on the street, or in a nursing home, Reggie Foster's "class" in Latin will be the most famous and sought-after one in all of Rome!


With due respect both to Fr. Foster and the Latin language, I wonder whether this 'firing' might have something to do not with Fr. Foster's teaching of Latin but with the things he sees fit to say to his students when he expresses himself in English. During a talk given at Notre Dame just a few months ago, he spent quite a bit of time being a bit of a rebel, stating that "religion is useless" (except for starting wars), and even proclaiming "You don't believe in God? Neither do I!" Latin is a wonderful language; perhaps some people feel that there are other professors who would be better suited to teach it at a Catholic institution. On the other hand, given that Reggie is widely thought to be the world's best Latinist and Latin teacher, this could indeed be a move against Latin, but things could be more complex than initially they may seem.

Zadok the Roman

I'm not sure what passed between Fr Foster and the Jesuits, but I think that any conspiracy theories about the Jesuits trying to stifle Latin are off the mark - Latin still remains a requirement for the Philosophy and Theology degrees at the Gregorian and Latin courses offered by other instructors are still being offered there.


It's been a sad day for me, but clearly, other folks have experienced even greater shocks.

Here's hoping that a new home for Latin can be found quickly. I vote we ask for the intercession of St. Expeditus. :)


Reggie has been a rebel for years, yet he has carried on at the Gregoriana for over 30 years. That's not why he was fired, I don't imagine. Remember, as many silly things as he says about God and religion, his classes are often filled with orthodox, solid priests. Not to mention with many lay men and women who know the Faith.

Someone in Rome ought to be able to give this man a home in which he can carry on his work of teaching Latin and bringing others to love the language.

If there were ever a time to speak up in support of Reggie, I think that this is it.

Old Zhou

An interesting way for the Jesuits in Rome to celebrate the feast of St. Teresa of Avila, no?


a few questions for consideration:

Is it acceptable for an ordained priest of the Church to teach in an institution of the Church and be at the same time an outspoken critic of the Church?
Does it matter if such a person is a teacher of language or theology?
Is being a great guy and a marvelous professor enough to overlook the "rebel"?
Just some questions in general since I don't know Fr. Foster or what he has actually said to support the chrage of "rebel"

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