August 9-12, 2001
volume 12, no. 141

The Ottaviani Interventions

Part One: Introduction and Letter to the Pope

   We've all heard that the vast majority of bishops in the United States and, yea, the world are just waiting for the 'old' people to die off and all threats of Traditionalism will die with them. This has always been the progressivists' modus operandi and hopes. It is nothing new. This was evident as the sixties reached the autumn of the decade in 1969. In that year on April 4th, Pope Paul VI promulgated the official notice of the Novus Ordo Missae - called the "New Order of the Mass" with his Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum. Immediately it sent shockwaves through loyal, traditional members of the hierarchy. The former pro-prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, then 79, led the loyal opposition to the protestantization of Holy Mother Church for it began with liturgical reform. Cardinal Ottaviani's closest associate was Antonio Cardinal Bacci already 84 in 1969 and not eligible for participation in the Sacred Conclave. Yet it was these luminaries of the Church to whom the International Group of Fathers and loyal Roman Theologians turned for leadership and influence with the Pope.

    They were stonewalled, however, by Paul's operatives in the persons of Annibale Cardinal Bugnini, considered the 'architect' of the New Mass who was a known mason and admitted Marxist, and Paul's Secretary of State Jean Cardinal Villot, the progressive modernist from France. The group of dedicated prelates, priests and theologians completed a Critical Study of this New Order of the Mass two months later on June 5th - the Feast of Corpus Christi. Because of the stonewalling, they were not able to present it for another three and a half months. They did so on the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel - September 29, 1969. It was met with ennui by the Holy Father and his operatives.

    Paul VI had painted himself into a corner by listening to Bugnini and Villot who were merely the puppets of the alliance of progressive, modernist theologians and prelates - many of whom Pope Pius XII had exiled and censored for their lack of solid doctrine. This included Angelo Cardinal Roncalli and Giovanni Cardinal Montini whom went on to become Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. This alliance, largely from Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria, France and a collection of malcontents from Italy and America, was composed largely of men like Karl Rahner,S.J., Hans Kung, S.J., Hans Uns von Balthazar, Teilard de Chardin, Yves Congar, O.P., Gerard Philips, Walter Kasper, Joseph Ratzinger, Johannes Willebrands, Edward Schillebeeckx, Henri de Lubac, Christopher Basil Butler, O.S.B., John Courtney Murray, S.J., Bishop Zauner of Linz, Austria, Julius Cardinal Dopfner, Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, Giacomo Cardinal Lercaro, Joseph Cardinal Frings, Bernardus Cardinal Alfrink, Leo Cardinal Suenens, Franz Cardinal Konig, Paul-Emile Cardinal Leger, Giuseppe Cardinal Siri, Paul Cardinal Richaud, Giovanni Cardinal Urbani, Francis Cardinal Spellman, Albert Cardinal Meyer, Augustine Cardinal Bea, and most of Paul's curia. This included Michael Cardinal Browne, O.P., vice president of the Theological Commission and John Joseph Cardinal Wright of America. These men deliberately sabotaged Ottaviani and the International Group of Fathers, which included Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve.

    The latter was the outspoken young hope of those who realized the fatal flaws of the new liturgy. Lefebrve, unlike the older Ottaviani and Bacci, was only 63 in 1969 and a definite threat to the modernists' takeover of the Vatican and the Church. Because of this the alliance had to discredit him in any way they could. It took them nineteen years, but they bucked this superior general of the Holy Ghost Fathers at every turn, discrediting and slandering him and undermining whatever good he sought to do. He was lied to at every turn until he realized the only splinter of hope to keep the flicker of Faith alive was to ordain bishops who would uphold the truths. He had received permission but it was intercepted and Pope John Paul II was lied to. He, like Paul VI, was placed in a precarious position and the guillotine of excommunication was his only out. Thus Archbishop Lefebvre became a modern-day martyr in every sense of the word. We daresay in the future - whether near or far - he will be exonerated as more of the truth is revealed and the lies exposed and will, like another person from France - Saint Joan of Arc - be cleared of all accusations and supposed disobedience and be elevated to the rightful place he deserves as a true defender of the Faith.

    The truths and facts of the Ottaviani Intervention bear this out. It contains air-tight variable and veritable syllogisms of the truths of Catholicism that would definitely be compromised by the introduction and enforcement of a radical new liturgy, which the Novus Ordo Missae most definitely was and is. As we can see 32 years later, Cardinal Ottaviani and his group were right on!

    In our effort to bring this all to the surface to show and prove to our readers that all that has been suppressed has been done so to keep the truth from the faithful, we hereby present the Ottaviani Intervention. We begin in this issue with the letter Cardinal Ottaviani and Cardinal Bacci submitted to Pope Paul VI.

    Vatican City,   September 29, 1969

    Most Holy Father:

        Having carefully examined and presented for the scrutiny of others the New Order of Mass (Novus Ordo Missae) prepared by the experts of the Committee for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, and after lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel obliged before God and Your Holiness to set forth the following considerations:

  • The accompanying Critical Study is the work of a select group of bishops, theologians, liturgists, and pastors of souls. Despite its brevity, the study shows quite clearly that the Novus Ordo Missae - considering the new elements universally susceptible to widely different interpretations which are implied or taken for granted - represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session 22 of the Council of Trent. The "canons" of the rite definitively fixed at that time erected an insurmountable barrier against any heresy which might attack the integrity of the Mystery.

  • The pastoral reasons put forth to justify such a grave break, even if such reasons could still hold good in the face of doctrinal considerations, do not seem sufficient. The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place--if it subsists at all--could well turn into a certainty the suspicion, already prevalent, alas in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian people can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound forever. The recent reforms have amply demonstrated that new changes in the liturgy could not be made without leading to complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful, who already show signs of restiveness and an indubitable lessening of their faith. Among the best of the clergy, the result is an agonizing crisis of conscience, numberless instances of which come to us daily.

  • We are certain that these considerations, prompted by what we hear from the living voice of shepherds and the flock, cannot but find an echo in the heart of Your Holiness, always so profoundly solicitous for the spiritual needs of the children of the Church. The subjects for whose benefit a law is made have always had the right, nay the duty, to ask the legislator to abrogate the law, should it prove to be harmful.

        At a time, therefore, when the purity of the faith and the unity of the Church suffer cruel lacerations and still greater peril, daily and sorrowfully echoed in the words of You, our common Father, we most earnestly beseech Your Holiness not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the integral and fruitful Missal of St. Pius V, so highly praised by Your Holiness, and so deeply venerated by the whole Catholic world.

    Alfredo Card. Ottaviani and Antonio Card. Bacci

Next issue: Part Two Chapter One

August 9-12, 2001
volume 12, no. 141
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