Many Trads are familiar with the following phrase: "Don't worry, the devil hates Latin, too." It is a humorous little jab at those who in the past four decades have effectively pushed for the de facto outlawing of Latin in the Latin Rite and have treated those who adhere to the Church's perennial and universal language as reactionary inquisitors from a bygone age. But, beyond the obvious implication in the statement (that those who want to do away with Latin are in league with the devil), we must ask ourselves, does the devil really hate Latin?
I have seen some interesting articles on the fact that Latin, when used in exorcism rites, seems to upset the demons more than the vernacular. I guess there are some theological reasons why the devil would be opposed to Latin, but the fact of the matter is that we have no way of knowing what Satan really thinks about the issue. However, while doing some research on Satanism recently, I found out some interesting things about what the Church of Satan does.
The Church of Satan, founded by Antony LaVey in the 1960's, uses for its service a parody of the Catholic Mass called the black mass. For many years, the black mass was a combination of English, Latin and French (the first black mass called the Missa Solemnis was promulgated in 1970). This earliest black mass used several Latin phrases, such as "In nomine Domini Dei nostri Satanae Luciferi Excelsi." What is more interesting is that in 1986, the Church of Satan promulgated a new order of the black mass called the Missa Niger which is done entirely in Latin. That's right, the Church of Satan does their liturgy entirely in Latin! The mass ends with the words, "Ave Satanas!" and inversion of Christ's words to Satan in Matthew 4:10 ("Vade, Satanas!). Apparently, the devil does not hate Latin as much as we thought!
This is in fact a backhanded compliment to Latin. The devil does not imitate false things: he imitates true things, so as to more easily deceive people. There is no "black praise and worship service to Satan" based on Protestant models, but there is a black mass, which is a parody of the Catholic Mass, because the devil only apes that which has some substance to it. The fact that the Satanists value Latin ought to show us that there is true power in a Latin liturgy, otherwise the devil would not want to make use of it.
Interestingly enough, the Wikipedia article on Satanism makes the following observation regarding desecration of hosts:
Given the modern practices of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, which permits parishioners to receive the host in the hand, it is possible to steal a host in that manner. Though priests and eucharistic ministers are cautioned to be on the look out for persons who do not immediately consume the host, there are usually too many parishioners at any given Mass or Communion Service to ensure that no hosts are stolen in this manner.