THE CATHOLIC SANCTUARY
AND THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

by Michael Davies




THE ERROR OF "ARCHAEOLOGISM"


Modern liturgists may claim that these changes bring us closer to the way the first Christians worshipped. This is true, but as I have pointed out the early Christians worshipped in the way they did, using a table, for example, because they were a persecuted minority forbidden to build places of worship. Once the persecution ended, they built church which were a fitting setting for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which was offered in an increasingly elaborate rite inspired by the desire to render the greatest possible glory to God, to whom all honour is due. The way one worships in a time of persecution can not be considered the norm for a time of freedom.

The theory that the older a liturgical practice the better it is was condemned unequivocally by Pope Pius XII, the greatest and most erudite Pontiff of this century, who possessed an unrivalled knowledge of the principles of sound liturgy. In his encyclical Mediator Dei, published in 1947, he wrote:

1997 Michael Davies.



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Last modified 27th October, 1997, by David Joyce.