"From the moment that this theme of poverty made its entrance into the aula of the Council, the press warned us that a group of bishops had resolved to devote themselves especially to its triumph or its exploitation (I apologize for not finding better terms). They called themselves, or allowed themselves to be called 'the Church of the catacombs' for after calling the reporters they met discreetly in subterranean and funereal places where, as we have long known, the persecuted Church never actually assembled, whatever the romantics may have thought. People waited aflutter for the momentous decisions to which they would commit themselves, in order to involve a mass of less conspicuously ascetical prelates. We learned with wonder that they had decided to drive their own motor cars (which would dispense with the salary but also the livelihood of their drivers), no longer to have a bank account in their own names, but in the name of their 'works' (although they apparently retained the signatory right), and above all to use only croziers and crosses made of wood (a glance in the catalogues is enough to show that today these objects of equal workmanship are more expensive in wood than in metal) . . . In other words, with these pioneers the concern for appearances easily won out over a concern for essentials. Yet it is precisely here and not elsewhere that the problem lies. As one of these religious told me, there are still men who are not juridically poor, but really poor: 'Why so much concern about seeming poor? If one really is, people will see it quite by themselves!' Yes, but we may rightly wonder to what extent we want to be poor, and to what extent we are looking for an illusion to seem poor and thus escape the actual need to become so."
Louis Bouyer, The decomposition of Catholicism, trans. Charles Underhill Quinn (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1969 ), 21. Note that Bouyer says "the persecuted Church". ODCC, sv "catacombs": "It is unlikely that Christians used them for refuge, or, at first, for worship on any scale"; "Families prob. held commemorative meals at the catacombs, above or below ground, and by the 4th cent. the Eucharist was often celebrated at the grave of a martyr on the supposed anniversary of his death." Follow this up with some research in at least the major works of reference.