Hermeneutic of Continuity—-papers from Fr. Tim Finigan

For your reading pleasure, Fr. Tim Finigan has posted links to talks he gave at a conference in Australia.

Here’s an excerpt of his paper that compares Trent and Vatican II, a portion dealing with liturgy:

Both the Council of Trent and Vatican II sought to reform the Liturgy and to restore it to its pristine form. In the Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum of 1570, by which the standardised Roman Missal was promulgated, Pope Saint Pius V said:

From the very first, upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship, We gladly turned our mind and energies and directed all our thoughts to those matters which concerned the preservation of a pure liturgy, and We strove with God’s help, by every means in our power, to accomplish this purpose.

He entrusted the work to “learned men of our selection” and describes the result of their labours:

They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers.

We might want to argue about the extent to which the work succeeded, whether there remained elements in the Roman Missal of 1570 which were not genuinely part of the original form and rite of the Fathers, but it is clear that the intention of St Pius V was not to create a new Missal but to standardise that in existing use.

The second Vatican Council did have various other intentions in its reform of the Liturgy. It expressed a desire for clearer expression, intelligibility and active participation.[7] These concerns are obviously different from those of St Pius V (although the Council of Trent did discuss the possibility of introducing the vernacular into the liturgy) however, the desire for restoration and fidelity to the Fathers is also present as Pope Paul made explicit in 1969 in his Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum.

The question of the relationship between the Missal of Paul VI and the Missal of St Pius V, remains controversial and it is not my principal concern to discuss it here. Both Trent and Vatican II desired to restore the Liturgy to that of the Fathers. Both have been criticised for failing to do so and for making textual and historical errors in their efforts.

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One Response to Hermeneutic of Continuity—-papers from Fr. Tim Finigan

  1. Pingback: Hermeneutic of Continuity—-papers from Fr. Tim Finigan | Catholic Canada

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