Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Who Was Archbishop Cranmer

The Catholic Archbishop Cranmer was a principal reformer of the liturgy under King Henry VIII. Archbishop Cranmer was a key to the liturgical reforms of the Protestant revolt.

Much can be said about his theology... none of which is good. He criticized monasticism, suppressed the Mass, forced his homilies down the throats of all Catholic priests who were in his charge and made them read them to their congregations. He used the legal force of the reigning political and ecclesiastical powers to effectively coerce Catholic bishops to submit to his views or face expulsion from the Church. Only a few Catholic bishops stood up to him because of his political power and his authority as a churchman.

Who Was Michael Davies
Michael Davies is a convert to Catholicism. He wrote three books on the Mass (These three are collectively called 'The Liturgical Revolution'). The first of these is called Cranmer's Godly Order. This deals with the liturgical reforms masterminded by Archbishop Cranmer. The book will explain the Reformation... namely what happened and why it happened. The second book, Entitled Pope John's Council will deal with the Second Vatican Council. The Third book is called Pope Paul's New Mass and will deal with the liturgical changes that followed the council (many of which have nothing to do with the council and some which do).

Michael Davies explores this history of the first "reforms" in the following chapters of this first of these three books in Cranmer's Godly Order... specifically as to how liturgical change was used to effect change in belief. Davies is focusing on the English Reformation.

I will be writing about each of these chapters as I go through them.

1.) Et Incarnatus Est
2.) The Catholic Doctrine of Justification
3.) Sola Fides Justificat
4.) Catholic Teaching on the Eucharist
5.) The Most Horrible Blasphemy
6.) Protestant Teaching on the Eucharist Part I
7.) Protestant Teaching on the Eucharist Part II
8.) Liturgical Revolution
9.) The Principles of Liturgical Reform
10.) The Reform and the Missal of St. Pius V
11.) Preparatory Measures
12.) An Ingenious Essay in Ambiguity
13.) Priesthood and the Ordinal
14.) "Godly Order" or "Christmas Game"?
15.) "Believe as your forefathers"
16.) The Pattern of Compromise

Hopefully, before the end of the weekend... I will take a short break and introduce you to the person of Michael Davies. It is important to remember that he was always a Catholic in good standing as he converted to Catholicism as a student in the 1950's. From what I have learned thus far, he had one of the most prolific pens and exhaustive lecture schedules before he died. Let me also add that Mr. Davies did not get rich by any of this work. His life was an effort to restore a sense of the sacred in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He asked insightful questions that made others uncomfortable... but he seemed to always do it with great charity, good humor and humility.

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