Thursday 20 August 2015


Instaurare omnia in Christo”,
as seen on this commemorative medal
from the pontificate of St. Pius X, was his motto;
it translates as “To Restore All Things in Christ”.
The restoration of the ancient form of the Roman Rite to the altars of our churches might be criticised on two grounds: that such ‘restoration’ is contrary to the spirit of ‘reform’ called for by the Second Vatican Council; and that the notion of ‘tradition’ implies continuity, not the restoration of what has been lost or discontinued. On the first question, the language of the Council, in accord with the language of the Magisterium over many centuries, is always of ‘restoration’—instauratio—although this is also translated as ‘reform’. To make ready for the needs of the day is always to ‘restore’, going back into the tradition. On the question of tradition and continuity, the Second Vatican Council is again a source indicating the possibility of restoring what has been discontinued, ‘ad pristinam sanctorum Patrum normam’, and the restoration of the Extraordinary Form to renewed use is in fact a much more modest project of restoration than the restoration to use of texts and ceremonies in the context of the Holy Week reform of 1955, and the creation of the 1970 Missal. . . . . . .

The 27th in the FIUV Position Papers series, called Tradition, Reform, and Restoration is now available in the FIUV Positio section.

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