Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 4, 2005
RELIGION: Beating a Dead Language

OK, we all know that when the new pope was announced, they made the announcement with the Latin phrase for "we have a pope". But what's the proper spelling of that phrase? There certainly is plenty of disagreement:

1. Habemas Papam? (See here and here)

2. Habemus Papam? (See here and here).

3. Habemus Papem? (See here and here).

4. Habemas Papem? (See here).

5. Habemus Papum? (See here and here).

You say potato, I say . . . Any Latin scholars out there? Looks like #2 is the correct answer, since that's what's on the official Vatican website. Slate concurs.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:33 AM | Religion | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Of course. Habemus is regular first person plural for verbs of the second conjugation like habere, “to have”. Papa is a regular first declension noun with an accusative of papam. Doesn't anybody learn Latin anymore? How do they get through law school?

Posted by: Dave Schuler at May 4, 2005 9:49 AM
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