Conference after Mass

After the Pontifical Mass in St Peter’s, a few dozen people are attending a presentation on Michael Davies and the post-Conciliar reform.

It is a little clunky since they are breaking the talk into sections so as to do parallel translation in English and Italian.

They are now talking about the body of work Michael Davies turned out over the years.

I always remember him with fondness from the times I met him in Rome. When I visit Fr Finigan and Fr Briggs in Kent, it is my pleasure to say a prayer for him at his grave in Chistlehurst.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, On the road, SESSIUNCULA, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The future and our choices, Vatican II, What Fr. Z is up to and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. wmeyer says:

    Now that is a presentation I would love to be able to attend! Michael Davies did such good work in his writings.

  2. jhayes says:

    Michael Davies died the year before Benedict became Pope and endorsed the view that it was necessary to distinguish between enduring principles and contingent statements when comparing VCII documents with prior encyclicals and teachings.

    Davies had argued against that view in his “Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre” so I wonder how he would have responded if he had lived long enough to read Benedict’s 2005 Christmas Address.

  3. acardnal says:

    Michael Davies probably would have said “yes, the V2 documents are full of ‘contingent statements’ which are unclear, ambiguous, duplicitous and open to interpretation. But in the end, the doctrine and dogma expressed by previous Councils and Magisterial documents is Truth which cannot change. They are ‘enduring.'”

  4. acardnal says:

    sic: “are Truth”

  5. jhayes says:

    Let me rephrase that to present more precisely what Benedict said:

    “Michael Davies died the year before Benedict became Pope and endorsed the view that it was necessary to distinguish between enduring principles and contingent statements in prior encyclicals and teachings when comparing them to documents of VCII.”

    In Appendix IV of the Lefebvre Apologia, Davies described that as John Courtney Murray’s position and quoted Cardinal Ottaviani as refutng it:

    ” To justify themselves these people assert that in the body of teaching imparted within the Church there are to be distinguished two elements, the one permanent, and the other transient. The latter is supposed to be due to the reflection of particular contemporary conditions.

    Unfortunately, they carry this tactic so far as to apply it to the principles taught in pontifical documents, principles on which the teachings of the Popes have remained constant so as to make these principles a part of the patrimony of Catholic doctrine.”

    So, my question is: What would Davies said after the “Murray” position he and Cardinal Ottaviani had rejected was endorsed by Benedict?

  6. The last time I saw Michael Davies alive was in Rome at a dinner with the FSSP leaders. He gave a talk to the group of pilgrims the day before with Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, Holy Father Reformer Extraordinaire present who also spoke of a “a new generation of prelates” coming into age. This was followed by a raucous standing ovation, the only thing missing to that applause were chants of “Tu Es Petrus” which of course he couldn’t receive back then.

  7. Gratias says:

    We were at the conference in the bookstore near the Vatican as well. After a prayer by Fr. Rafaele Farina, Leo Darroch, President of Una Voce International, talked about Michael Davies. This lecture will be surely be published at the FIUV website. Problem was the local organizers surprised Darroch by starting a simultaneous translation into italian. This was what made it clunky. But it was very interesting. We learned that Michael Davies was a schoolteacher. He was appalled by how the media had infiltrated the Church in its attempts to destroy it. For 35 years he wrote incessantly to restore tradition.

    FIUV webpage has a collection of Michael Davies articles that are freely accessible.

    I did not greet Fr. Z because he never posts pictures of himself (but we get to see the food he eats and his airplane seats). God bless him for his apostolate.

    It was a great day.

Comments are closed.