chapter  3
Images of Catholic schooling: pre-Vatican II
Pages 25

The reforms of the Vatican Council involved radical changes in the liturgy of the Mass and of other liturgical practices; in ritual cultures and traditional observances; in conceptions of the Church, with a new emphasis upon ‘the people of God’; in relations with other Christians and other faiths; and in ideas about the nature of authority within the Church. While many Catholics welcomed the reforms inaugurated by the action of Pope John XXIII as involving a necessary renewal of the Church and a principled commitment to openness, dialogue, participation and more collegial authority, others saw dangers and difficulties. Among these critics, Archer (1986) suggested that the new cultural practices of Catholicism were a form of middle-class embourgeoisement of the Church which was likely to alienate working-class Catholics. The anthropologist Mary Douglas (1973, p. 67) saw dangers in a weakening of a sense of ritual,1 mystery, sacredness and identity in Catholic culture:

Now, the English Catholics are like everyone else.