The Catholic Sanctuary
and the Second Vatican Council

 by Michael Davies

Return to the Altar of Sacrifice

How tragic it is that the objectives of what Pope Pius XII condemned as a "wicked movement" are now being imposed upon us as the norm for Catholic worship. See that your flocks are not deceived, he warned, "by a mania for restoring primitive usages in the liturgy."

   It was under the guise of a return to the primitive that the Protestant Reformers were able to destroy the Mass. Today, in the service of false ecumenism, the Catholic ethos of our churches is being replaced by a Protestant ethos, precisely under the guise of a return to earlier practices. No good fruits have come from this ecumenical surrender. In no country in the western world have the changes been followed by an increase in fervor and piety among the faithful-----only by a massive falling away from the Faith. [Cf. Michael Davies, Liturgical Shipwreck: 20 Years of the New Mass (TAN, 1995), Part 8.]

   Msgr. Klaus Gamber certainly agrees with Cardinal Ratzinger that the change to Mass facing the people was a mistake. He has even stated that a return to traditional belief in the Eucharist will only come about with a return to the traditional altar:

A real change in the contemporary perception of the purpose of the Mass and the Eucharist will occur only when the table altars are removed and Mass is again celebrated at the high altar; when the purpose of the Mass is again seen as an act of adoration and glorification of God and of offering thanks for His blessings, for our salvation and for the promise of the heavenly life to come, and as the mystical reenactment of the Lord's sacrifice on the Cross! 
[Gamber, op. cit., p. 175.]
   St. Richard Gwyn, a Welsh teacher and father of six children who was executed in 1584 for recusancy [refusal to attend Protestant services], looked upon the desecrated sanctuaries of Wales and remarked with sadness: "Yn lle allol; trestyl trist"-----"In place of an altar, there is a miserable table." God grant that the "miserable tables" that have replaced the traditional altars of sacrifice throughout the Catholic world will one day themselves be removed and replaced by traditional altars of sacrifice. God grant too that the traditional liturgy of the Mass will be restored together with the traditional altars, so that our priests can once again begin the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the timeless words, "Introibo ad altare Dei," and so that a manifestly sacrificial rite of Mass will be offered once more upon a manifestly sacrificial altar.


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