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Cranmer's Godly Order: The Destruction of Catholicism Through Liturgical Change (Liturgical Revolution) Hardcover – August 1, 1995
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The well-researched history Davies recounts is lucid and engrossing. Catholic and Protestant sources are referenced (Davies himself was a converted Baptist), and fallacies that have been widely accepted as fact are corrected - most importantly the perception that the Protestant revolt in England was a popular uprising. The record shows quite the opposite: it was imposed from the top down by those who had much to gain from pillaging the Church and grabbing its wealth for themselves. One of the things I found interesting is the extent to which Protestant revolutionaries from the Continent were imported to consult and in some cases drive Cranmer's Protestant transformation, including the use of foreign troops to quell the Rebellion of 1549 - particularly galling when one considers how the English people were relentlessly pounded with fear-mongering about "Romish" influence in their country.
The liturgical catechesis Davies lays out is exceptional. In order to explain how Cranmer used the principle "lex orandi, lex credendi" (the law of prayer is the law of belief) to weaken and then crush any opposition to the Protestantism he forced on his countrymen, Davies first instructs the reader in a chain of foundational Catholic precepts that proceeds (loosely) along the following path: first is the importance of the liturgy, which requires an understanding of the theology of the Eucharist and its centrality to the liturgy; understanding the Eucharist requires instruction on the ramifications of the Incarnation, which proceeds from St. Anselm of Canterbury's explanation of the vicariousness of Christ's sacrifice. Disassociate the idea of vicariousness from Christ's sacrifice and you break the chain of precepts which essentially guts the need for a priesthood. One of the sad ironies of the revolt is how many of its own great saints the Protestants had to despoil in order to fundamentally change England.
In this book, Davies never explicitly draws any cautionary conclusions between the liturgical changes that took place after Vatican II and those made by Cranmer 500 years ago. The reader, though, who does spend a few minutes in looking at the ledger will be stunned at how the post-Vatican II liturgical changes align so closely with those that were used to destroy Catholic belief in England: the use of the vernacular, the insertion of the epiclesis, the priest facing the people, communion in the hand under both species without kneeling, non-ordained laity handling and distributing the "bread and wine", calling the altar "the table of the Lord", the removal of statues and holy images, the elimination of genuflection when the Incarnation is referenced, the removal of the last gospel reading... and on and on. I never quite understood why so many prominent Catholics, like Dietrich von Hildebrand whom Pope Pius XII called "the 20th Century Doctor of the Church" were so vocal in their opposition to re-writing the liturgy; as Davies quotes Professor Owen, the reason is simple: "Liturgies are not made, they grow in the devotion of the centuries". The only other changes that compare to the scope and scale of the post-Vatican II liturgical changes were those instituted by Cranmer in England, and Cranmer implemented his changes in order to blot Catholicism from the land; one need only look around at the devastation the Faith has endured worldwide since the late 1960's to see that similar change has brought similar results. It's time to reform the reform.
The table of contents below shows the organization and outline of this work; the notes after the chapter names are abbreviated from the book, which are much more extensive and helpful. The appendices are also very valuable and helpful.
1. Et Incarnatus Est: The Incarnation is the basis of our faith. Remove the historical reality of the Incarnation and Christianity disappears.
2. The Catholic Doctrine of Justification: The Key to the Protestant Reformation is the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone. The attack on the Mass cannot be appreciated without understanding this doctrine.
3. Sola Fides Justificat: The souls of sinners are not transformed by grace but simply covered with the cloak of Christ's righteousness
4. Catholic Teaching on the Eucharist: The Eucharist is at the centre of the Catholic faith. The meaning of substance and substantial change within Catholic theology.
5. The Most Horrible Blasphemy: The Protestant Reformers were not reformers but revolutionaries.
6. Protestant Teaching on the Eucharist - 1: The Rejection of Sacrifice.
7. Protestant Teaching on the Eucharist - 2: The Rejection of Transubstantiation.
8 Liturgical Revolution: Changes in the liturgy reflect the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone. Liturgical changes imposed on the faithful by the civil power.
9. The Principles of Liturgical Reform: Veneration for the preservation of liturgical traditions a characteristic of Catholicism.
10. The Reform and the Missal of St. Pius V: Substantial identity of the Roman rite with the Sarum and other English "uses".
11. Preparatory Measures: Religious life in England upon the accession of Henry VIII. Dissolution of the monastaries.
12. An Ingenious Essay in Ambiguity: An analysis of the 1549 Communion Service. Its essence lies in carefully contrived ambiguity.
13. The Priesthood and the Ordinal: The denial of priestly status a logical consequence of the denial of the sacrificial nature of the Mass.
14. "Godly Order" or "Christmas Game"?: The Western Rebellion of 1549.
15. "Believe As Your Forefathers": "Non-violent" resistance to changes. The old Latin Mass is still celebrated secretly.
16. The Pattern of Compromise: Blind acceptance of the lawful authority a key factor in the lack of open resistance to the reforms.
1. The Opus Operatum
2. Article Thirty-One
3. Changes in Consecration
4. The Question of Validity
5. Chronological Table
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is the first in a 3 volume series, the second being "Pope John's Council", and the third "Pope Paul's New Mass". I'm looking forward to those two volumes, and can only hope they are as good as this one.
Mr. Davies rewrote the book in the 1990s to take advantage of the best current scholarship, especially the excellent work by Dr. Eamon Duffy.
The book is Roman Catholic in orientation, and it is clearly a bit polemical. That said, the case it makes is incredibly strong. Getting tired of the liturgical wasteland that is contemporary Catholicism, I was intrigued by a traditional Anglican Catholic Church that had opened in my area. This "Cathedral Church" is not in communion with Rome. The Bishop of this Church intends to refuse Rome's very generous offer of the personal ordinariate.
Having read this book I am more convinced than ever that Anglican orders are invalid and that traditional Anglicans should respond to Pope Benedict's generous offer with hearts full of gratitude. What a blessing to be able to be able to retain what is authentically Catholic within their Anglican praxis, but still have communion with the Church in Rome. To be able to be priests of God, in communion with the Successor of Peter, is an honor beyond words. It is stunning some are responding that the offer is unacceptable.
I hope they recognize how generous the Holy Father is being.
This book is beautifully bound. I got mine on sale from Angelus Press, which sells all three volumes of Davies incomparable "Liturgical Revolution" series. These three books are the ones that Mr. Davies knew he would be remembered for, and they are clearly his most important. Highly recommended.
"Cranmer's Godly Order" is about the destruction of Catholicism by Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Though Henry VIII removed the Pope's authority in England as well as the church property and ransacking of all monasteries and convents---he refused to abolish the traditional Latin Mass celebrated since the conversion of England by St. Augustine of Canterbury.
Thomas Cranmer's liturgical renewal has since been the liturgical service of the Church of England until today in the 21st century. The removal of the essence of the Catholic liturgy in England with the introduction of the celebration of the Lord's Supper celebrated by the Anglican minister facing the congregation and conducted in the English language rather than the unbloody Eucharistic Sacrifice offered by the priest facing the altar and conducted in the Latin language by the Catholic Church.
Cranmer abolished Latin because he believed that English people should worship in their own language and have much availability in participating in worship in Mass. The altar and tabernacle were done away with and a table was placed in its former place. Communion in the hand was enforced and communion under both species of bread and wine was allowed.
A detailed book on the events that led England from a Catholic country to a Protestant Anglican country until now. How this liturgical revolution of Thomas Cranmer, an apostate Catholic archbishop inspired the modern liturgical renewal of the Roman Catholic liturgy after the Second Vatican Council ended in 1965.
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