Veterum Sapientia Institute
Charlotte, North Carolina
22 November 2020
From the earliest ages of the Church, the Latin language, as the universal language of the Church, has served as a most providential instrument of unity in faith, worship, and discipline. Whoever wishes to understand deeply the most important texts of the Magisterium, of the Sacred Liturgy, and of Canon Law must have knowledge of Latin as a key to knowing those monuments of the living Tradition as it has reached us today, in an unbroken and organic line, from the time of the Apostles. Latin, noteworthy for its nobility and clarity, has always provided a single language for the Church alive in so many different cultures employing so many different languages. For that reason, the Roman Pontiffs, including most recently Pope Benedict XVI, have steadfastly insisted on the necessity of the knowledge of Latin for students of the Church and, above all, for seminarians and priests.
…may the Institute which bears the name of the same Apostolic Constitution be the vehicle by which “the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored”
With all of the above in mind, news of the inauguration of the Veterum Sapientia Institute in the Diocese of Charlotte in North Carolina has brought me great joy and encouragement. It is a wonderful sign of the vitality of the Apostolic Tradition in our own time. I most highly commend His Excellency, the Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte, Father Jason Barone, Dr. Eric Hewett, Dr. Nancy Llewellyn, and all who are working with them in the inauguration of the Institute. At the same time, I ask that Our Lord, through the intercession of His Virgin Mother, abundantly bless the Institute and make it most fruitful for the good of all in the Church. In accord with the intention of Pope Saint John XXIII, expressed in his Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, may the Institute which bears the name of the same Apostolic Constitution be the vehicle by which “the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored” (“ut vetus et numquam intermissa linguae Latinae retineatur consuetudo, et, sicubi prope exoleverit, plane redintegretur” [Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Vol. LIV, p. 132]).”
Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE
We have every reason to believe that the VSI will play its part in the great program to which all Catholics are called to contribute: Instaurare omnia in Christo.
The Veterum Sapientia Institute is exactly the kind of response that John XXIII’s apostolic constitution should have brought forth across the world, in every nation and diocese, when it first appeared and long after. We may gratefully recognize it as one more sign of a gradual reawakening to the value and indeed the indispensable role of tradition, in determined opposed to the dangerous cultural amnesia of recent decades. To be steeped in the mother tongue of the Western Church, or to learn the mother tongue of the Eastern Church, is to enter that much more into possession of the great and timeless sources of our liturgy, our theology, our law, our poetry — in short, our entire heritage. There is no flourishing tree without a mighty root system, and what roots are for trees, ancient languages are for Christianity. We have every reason to believe that the VSI will play its part in the great program to which all Catholics are called to contribute: Instaurare omnia in Christo.
Dr. Peter A. Kwasniewski,
Liturgical Scholar and Writer