Jun 17, 2008

Blessed Michael Davies, Swamp Guide

For quite some time, I've thought about who will be acknowledged as the Saints of the past 40 years who led us through the Swamp of Modernism. This swamp, like others, is a dark place with shallow, dirty water, and where shadows hide biting bugs, alligators, frogs, and snakes. Step into this swamp and you'll sink underfoot in the soft underlying mud. It's easy to get lost in a swamp and if you go there, you need to have a good guide.

One person I believe deserves to be called Blessed is the authoritative guide to the Swamp of Modernism for the past 40 years. Michael Davies (1936-2004) was the English historian and author who helped me and many others understand that we were seeing "reruns" of prior errors that afflicted the Church in the past--but on a bigger screen!

Those of us who lived through the debilitating feelings of religious depression following Vatican II often were confronted with temptations that the Church wasn't what She formerly said She was. The new Church was changeable-and her orientation depended on which way the wind blew. We saw Churchmen say that what was black was now white (or at least light gray), and what was wrong was now ok! Seemingly, the Church had confusingly set Her sails, and didn't seem to know the direction away from Hell and to Heaven. So many Catholics were diabolically disoriented in this terrible environment that they lost they faith.

It was Michael Davies who relentlessly explained the nature and causes of the liturgical decomposition of the Roman rite of the Catholic Church that occurred following Vatican II. He argued successfully that the Church was still the Bride of Christ and would survive, unchanged. His written works include many pamphlets, past columns in The Remnant Newspaper and other periodicals, and his masterful three-volume set on The Liturgical Revolution. He was also a humorist, and I and many others loved to read the stories about his students in an English classroom.

Part 1 of The Liturgical Revolution was published in 1976 as a small paperback, Cranmer's Godly Order, by Augustine Publishing Company in Great Britain. Subtitled "The Destruction of Catholicism through Liturgical Change", the book observed that the Church was "at present undergoing what is certainly the greatest crisis since the Protestant Reformation, quite possibly the greatest since the Arian heresy." The book has been revised and expanded a number of times since 1976.

Davies pointed out that "An examination of the new Catholic Mass makes it clear that the old Mass has been changed in a way which comes very close to what Cranmer did, and for which he has been censured by Pope, theologians, and Catholic historians." Davies' compared the novelties introduced in the new Mass following Vatican II with the changes instituted in the Mass of the 16th century by the Catholic turned Protestant, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.

Dr. John Senior of the Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas during the 1970s read the small paperback and concluded that Davies' powerful, historically-based observations were right. From that time, Dr. Senior believed the restoration of the old Latin Mass was necessary. [Senior's program at KU helped to encourage many religious vocations of today, including at least two Bishops.]

Three and a half years ago, Michael Davies died, and Pope Benedict XVI wrote:
“I have been profoundly touched by the news of the death of Michael Davies. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and I found him as a man of deep faith and ready to embrace suffering. Ever since the Council he put all his energy into the service of the Faith and left us important publications especially about the Sacred Liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of St Peter and that the Faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of St Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord’s mercy.”
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
9 November 2004

We need a special Saint in heaven to intercede for the reconversion of all the young (and sometimes old) souls who have been lost in the dark and diabolical swamp of the past 40 years. Michael Davies, please pray that God will restore the Church's former beauty to attract Her children again.
Blessed Michael, diligent defender of the truths of the Catholic faith, I urgently recommend to you the souls of (N, N) whom Jesus redeemed with the Holy Sacrifice of His body and blood on the Cross. Touch the hearts of all prodigal children and assist them to find their way back to the eternal Sacrifice you so ably promoted. Don't abandon (N, N) as they can still plead for God's mercy before the finality of God's justice will prevail at the end of their lives.

You know how deplorable is the hemorrhaging of the Church as many Catholics have fallen into disbelief and apostasy, and how diabolical influences continue to dominate their lives. In particular, I fear my loved ones are in danger of losing their eternal salvation because of this long, long winter of the past 40 years. Please beseech Our Saviour, whom you so ardently loved, to create and intensify a new Springtime in the Church. [Not ecclesiastically approved]

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