The Ottaviani Interventions |
A Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae
Part Ten: Chapter Eight: Conclusion
St. Pius V had the Roman Missal drawn up (as the present Apostolic Constitution now recalls) as an instrument of unity among Catholics. In conformity with the injunctions of the Council of Trent, the Missal was to exclude all dangers, either to liturgical worship or to the faith itself, then threatened by the Protestant Revolt. The grave situation fully justified - and even rendered prophetic - the saintly Pontiff's solemn warning given in 1570 at the end of the Bull promulgating his Missal:
Should anyone presume to tamper with this, let him know that he shall incur the wrath of God Almighty and His holy Apostles Peter and Paul. 
Note: Bold added by editor for emphasis
54. Bull "Quo Primum," 13 July 1570. In Session 23 (Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist), the Council of Trent announced its intention to "uproot completely the cockle of the damnable errors and schism which in these fateful times of ours and enemy has sown (see Matthew 13:25) in the teaching of the faith about the Holy Eucharist and about the use and worship of the Eucharist. In addition to his other purpose, our Saviour left the Eucharist in his Church as a symbol of unity and love which he desired to unify and unite all Christians." DB 873.
When the Novus Ordo was presented at the Vatican Press Office, it was impudently asserted that conditions which prompted the decrees of the Council of Trent no longer exist. Not only do these decrees still apply today, but conditions now are infinitely worse. It was precisely to repel those snares which in every age threaten the pure Deposit of Faith, 
55. "Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words" (1 Timothy 6:20).
that the Church, under divine inspiration, set up dogmatic definitions and doctrinal pronouncements as her defenses. These in turn immediately influenced her worship, which became the most complete monument to her faith. Trying to return this worship to the practices of Christian antiquity and recreating artificially the original spontaneity of ancient times is to engage in that "unhealthy archaeologism" Pius XII so roundly condemned. 
56. "Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the Sacred Liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the right path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the Divine Redeemer's Body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings...This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Synod of Pistoia gave rise. It likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of the "depositum fidei" committed to her charge by her Divine Founder, had every right and reason to condemn." "Mediator Dei," I.5, PTL 548, 549.
It is, moreover, to dismantle all the theological ramparts erected for the protection of the rite and to take away all the beauty which enriched it for centuries. 
57. "Let us not deceive ourselves with the suggestion that the Church, which has become great and majestic for the glory of God as a magnificent temple of His, must be brought to its original and smallest proportions, as though they were the only true ones, the only good ones." Paul VI, Encyclical "Ecclesiam Suam," 6 August 1964.
And all this at one of the most critical moments - if not the most critical moment - in the Church's history! Today, division and schism are officially acknowledged to exist not only outside the Church, but within her as well. 
58. "A practically schismatic ferment divides, subdivides, splits the Church." Paul VI, Homily "In Coena Domini," 3 April 1969.
The Church's unity is not only threatened, but has already been tragically compromised. 
59. "There are also among us those "schisms" and "separations" which St. Paul sadly denounces in I Corinthians." Paul VI, ibid.
Errors against the Faith are not merely insinuated, but are - as has been likewise acknowledged - now forcibly imposed through liturgical abuses and aberrations. To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship, 
60. It is well-known how Vatican II is now being repudiated by the very men who once gloried in being its leaders. While the Pope declared at the Council's end that it had changed nothing, these men came away determined to "explode" the Council's teachings in the process of actually applying it. Unfortunately the Holy See, with inexplicable haste, approved and even seemingly encouraged through Consilium an ever-increasing infidelity to the Council. This infidelity went from changes in mere form (Latin, Gregorian Chant, suppression of the ancient rites, etc.) all the way to changes in substance which the Novus Ordo sanctions. To the disastrous consequences we have attempted to point out here, we must add those which, with an even greater effect psychologically, will affect the Church's discipline and teaching authority by undermining the respect and docility owed the Holy See.
and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division - a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith - is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error.
Corpus Domini 5 June 1969
For the introduction and Cardinal Ottaviani's letter to Pope Paul VI on September 29, 1969, see Part One Introduction
September 29-October 7, 2001
volume 12, no. 150
OTTAVIANI INTERVENTION -