Letter from Michael Davies

Michael Davies

Remnant Editorís Note: Some days ago we received word that a letter had been written by Michael Davies concerning the situation at St. Maryís by the Sea in Huntington Beach, California. I wrote to Michael and asked him if we might have a copy of that letter. Michaelís response is posted below, as well as his original letter to Father Patrick Perez of Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Garden Grove, California. -Michael J. Matt

Dear Michael [Matt],

I sent this to Father Perez a few weeks ago. Perhaps I used the wrong email address. Please pass it on to Father Perez and feel free to use it yourself.

In Domino,

Michael [Davies]

Dear Father Perez,

I have received a number of letters from parishioners of St. Mary's by the Sea who are very distressed by the decision of their Bishop to forbid the continued celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal which Father Johnson had celebrated each Sunday for many years. I have had the privilege of assisting at Father Johnson's Mass on a number of occasions in recent years.

In his Motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei", our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, stated:

To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition, I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their rightful aspirations. In this matter I ask for the support of the bishops and of all those engaged in the pastoral ministry in the Church.

The Pope could hardly have made his will more clear, and Bishop Todd Brown complied with the Pope's will by authorizing the Mass at St. Mary's by the Sea while Father Johnson was the pastor. For some incomprehensible reason Bishop Brown has now decided to ignore the will of the Holy Father and forbid the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal. What, then, are the faithful who are attached to the previous form of Mass to do? All I can say is that if I were in their position I would not for one moment consider assisting at a Latin celebration of Mass according to the 1970 missal. I am sure that the majority of those assisting at Father Johnson's Latin Mass did so because they are attached to the 1962 Missal. In view of the Bishop's decision to ignore the wishes of the Pope I would certainly cease assisting at Mass at St. Mary's by the Sea and come to Mass in your parish, Our Lady Help of Christians. By celebrating Mass according to the 1962 Missal you are fulfilling the wishes of the Holy Father, and I cannot see any reason why any Catholic should have the least qualm of conscience by assisting at your Mass.

Please feel free to make any use of this letter that you wish.

With every good wish in Domino,

Michael Davies