Michael Davies


What are your opinions on the late Michael Davies? Was he good for traditional Catholicism or not? I have heard many different opinions on him.


In my opinion he, like most had good and bad points.

I have to to say that his support of Archbishop Lefebvre and his belief that Vatican II’s decree on Religious Liberty contradicted earlier teaching was wrong. These two points leave me to concluded a disfavorable view of Mr. Davies.

p.s. I know the Pope praised him after he died. (like I said he had some good points)


Michael Davis has been one of the most important thinkers in the Church of the 20th century.

He was the the great liturgical writer of the late 20th century. His writings will be studied for decades because he got so many things right about the crisis of the liturgy with the abuses of the New Mass.

I would love to see him canonized a saint in this century.


Many great scholars have been wrong about certain things. However, they are not discarded because of this; rather, their views are evaluated based on everything they wrote, not just on what they got wrong. You cannot discard everything because of a few questionable views. It would be like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Michael Davies was a great contemporary commentator on Church affairs. I agree with many of his views, although I disagree with some of his stances regarding Vatican II. However, I do not discard all of his theories and thoughts because of this.


Well the two issues (Lefebvre and Religious Liberty) are not two minor issues, but two major ones. I believe Davies was wrong on both, so to me he was not even close to one of the great “thinkers” or whatever else you want to say about him. Sorry!!!


A great man. Of course he’s not infallible, but if most people had listened we would not be in this mess.


Saying an ecumenical council taught error, and defending an Archbishop who was clearly wrong and disobiedient, in my opinion doesnt make you great.


Having heard him speak at a symosium and at dinner (in Rockford, Il), I think Michael prided himself more as a historian rather than a theologian. His books were more observations than opinions. He defended the SSPX but yet ran into some major disagreements with some of their rank. But then you’d expect that with any order with significant membership. Michael was a good man.


He never said that the council taught error. That is from his detractors. The usual suspects.

Have you really listened to him or read something by him?


Um yes I read his book on religious liberty and he emphatically said that Vatican II’s teaching cannot be reconciled with previous teaching. I believe he is/was dead wrong about that and his support of Archbishop Lefebvre.


Well, if he said that I belive he’s wrong too but I doubt that’s exactly what he said.


He did. I will try to get you quotes today, but I’m barbecuing and drinking beer, so it might be tough. However, wikepedia claims Davies was critical of Lefebvre(I just looked it up) for consecrating the bishops without Papal permission. I didnt know that. If that is true then I would have a better opinion of Mr. Davies (I pray his soul is in heaven by the way). Let me try to get you quotes from Davies and his book. I have his book somewhere around here.


Mr. Davies is right about Vatican II’s contradiction on religious freedom with that document.

He’s right because Vatican II was a pastoral council and not a dogmatic council. Vatican II issued no new dogma, defended no dogma and did not use infallibility.

Vatican II’s document on religious freedom was not issued with infallibility. It did not have the protection of the Holy Spirit.


Vatican II’s document didnt contradict any previous teaching. Please do a search on Religious Liberty and Father William Most and he comapres the texts and shows that VII’s teaching is compatible.


Mr. Davies was a gentleman above all else. His manners were such that he could have walked out of the 19th century. He was a convert, but had a “sensus Cathlicus” greater than most of us who were members from the cradle. In addition to that, he might have been the funniest man to live in the 20th and early 21st centuries - I’ve never laughed at an “Irish” joke until I heard one from Mr. Davies. God Rest his soul.


Is this the same Michael Davies who wrote 3 books defending Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (SSPX schismatic), and books with titles like "Liturgical Shipwreck, “Litugical Time Bombs in Vatican II?” Doesn’t sound like we was good to me.


Since you have not produced any valid references for your opinion, I guess it is safe to say we can either discount it or call it erroneous.



I know a few people who disagree. Well, I don’t actually know them. :smiley:

“I have been profoundly touched by the news of the death of Michael Davies. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and I found him as a man of deep faith and ready to embrace suffering. Ever since the Council he put all his energy into the service of the Faith and left us important publications especially about the Sacred Liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of St Peter and that the Faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of St Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord’s mercy.”

**Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
9 November 2004

**Dear Mr Chadwick,
I thank you for your letter of 29 October and wish to offer my condolences to you and to all members of the Latin Mass Society on the death of Mr Michael Davis. He visited me two years ago and I appreciated very much his commitment to our Catholic faith.
In spiritual union with you and others who will be at the Solemn Requiem for him on 20 November, I pray that the Lord Jesus to whom Michael was so sincerely devoted may give him eternal rest.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Francis Cardinal Arinze
13 November 2004



Wait a second. First of all, Vatican II was not an infallible council; it was authoritative, but not infallible (must we go through this again:mad: ) Secondly, yes the Archbishop was disobedient–but not over an article of Faith or any Catholic belief. Let’s call this right.:smiley:


Davies is my new Scott Hahn.

Apologetics gets stale. I mean, how many times can you read about proving Peter was the Rock on which Christ built his church? It’s good foundational knowledge, but it only takes you so far.

After being inspired by the doctrinal traditions of the Church, I turned to the liturgical traditions of the Church. My discoveries there have led me straight to the Traditional Latin Mass movement, which has helped me understand the liturgical heritage that has been denied to me. Davies, more than any other speaker or writer, has helped me understand why things have happened as they have. This has helped me understand the chaos surrounding us.

As I have grown in my knowledge of the Catholic faith and liturgy throughout the ages (not just post-concilliar), I have turned my focus more toward spirituality. But I count my time with Davies as key in helping me make sense of things that don’t square with the documents of the Council or the greater Tradition of the Church. I urge anyone who wants to learn more to go to www.keepthefaith.org or to buy books from this link:

Michael Davies books

Some free talks by Davies are here:

Michael Davies Catechetical Revolution talk_MDCatchRev.mp3 Michael Davies The Eternal Sacrifice talk_MDEternalSacrif.mp3 Michael Davies Modernism talk_MDModernism.mp3 Michael Davies Vatican II talk_MDVatican2.mp3 Michael Davies ARCIC talk_MDARCIC.mp3 Michael Davies Catholic Education talk_MDCathEd.mp3 Michael Davies Liturgy Divided talk_MDLitDiv.mp3 Michael Davies Original Sin talk_MDOrigSin.mp3

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.