The musings and meandering thoughts of a crotchety old man as he observes life in the world and in a small, rural town in South East Nebraska. My Pledge-Nulla dies sine linea-Not a day with out a line.
30 September 2023
The Ottaviani Intervention - Background to the Study
Every Traditionalist or 'reform of the reform' critic of the Novus Ordo Missæ of Paul VI should be familiar with this document.
One of the most important critiques ever made of the Novus Ordo Missae.
On September 25, 1969, Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, prefect-emeritus of the Sacred Congregation for the Faith, sent a letter to Pope Paul VI. Accompanying the letter was a theological “Study of the New Order of the Mass” (Novus Ordo Missae), written by a group of Roman theologians. Cardinal Ottaviani’s letter was a plea to His Holiness “not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that Missale Romanum of St. Pius V so highly praised by Your Holiness and so deeply loved and venerated by the whole Catholic world.” It was apparently in response to the Ottaviani Intervention that Pope Paul subsequently ordered a delay of two years in the deadline for mandatory implementation of the new Ordo.
A little known fact about the creation of this study was that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre chaired the working committee that drafted it. Historical details about this important event can be found in Marcel Lefebvre: The Biography by Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais.
As briefly related by Fr. Ramon Angles in his transcribed conference, “A Short History of the Society of St. Pius X”:
On April 3, 1969, the apostolic constitution Missale Romanum presented a new order of the Mass. Archbishop Lefebvre gathered together a group of 12 theologians who wrote under his direction, "A Short Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae" often called the "Ottaviani Intervention". Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci wrote indeed an introduction and presented the study to Paul VI. Since no response came from the Vatican, the archbishop announces to his small group of seminarians, June 10, 1971, that he refuses to accept this new protestantized liturgy:
'How can I agree to abandon the Mass of All Time or to admit to place it at the same level as the Novus Ordo, created by Annibal Bugnini, with the participation of Protestants to make of it an equivocal supper that eliminates totally the Offertory, and touches the very words of the Consecration.'"