Ottaviani Intervention

I encourage you all to read the entire thing throughly.

Perhaps we can discuss it.

I found it very interesting…I had not previously known about any major intervention against the NO Mass from someone other than the SSPX in the early days of that Missal.

I don’t know much about this topic, but I’m VERY interested in learning more. Thanks for jogging my memory!

To put it mildly, I’m not a big N.O. fan, and I look forward to seeing how this thread develops. :slight_smile:

I’m not an SSPX member, but I found this video of one of their Tridentine Masses. Quite beautiful!
Traditional Latin Mass: Feast of the Sacred Heart

Yes…very beautiful.

So what Mass do you attend?

Currently I attend an N.O. Mass nearby but I hope to attend the Tridentine indult Mass, but that is about 35 miles from my home.
I attend the N.O. currently because the Priest does it very reverently AND the fact that both of our cars are on their last legs, so I attend the Mass that is closer to my home.

By the way Missa Solemnis, I enjoyed reading your profile!!! :thumbsup:

Also, I LOVE the Fisheaters website!

:slight_smile: Yo, MissaSolemnis!

Yeah, I remember the Ottaviani Intervention o.k.

By 1977 Traditional Catholicism was really in full swing here in North America.

A good friend of mine, one of our then full-time cadre (or co-workers) who’d just broken loose from the Father Waffen – Great Sacrilege Crowd – was telling us in our weekly Traditional Catholic orientation classes sponsored by the ORCM bunch that one Patrick Henry Omler(sp?) had type-set the whole she-bang and was really pushing it hard.

Good luck!


Oh, how I remember those days! I was an altar boy up till 68. I graduated from high school at age 17 in May of 69. We had the rug yanked out from under our feet. Almost 40 years later, I still haven’t recovered. I attend a very orthodox NO cathedral parish and I thank God for this refuge but all in all, it is most definitely NOT the church of my childhood and adolescence.

On one Sunday we sang Parce Domine and the next (seemingly) we were a’grinin’ and a’strummin’ Allelu, allelu, allelu --u u u E ah. I really haven’t recovered from this and I am deadly serious.

Don’t get me wrong. I attend a very reverent NO cathedral. I also know that as a choir member we sang in English the faithfully translated hymns we used to sing in Latin from the 1942 Episcopalian hymnal.

It took the Cardinal Archbishop of Lyon, France to give the Apostolic Blessing in Latin at my parish’s 200th anniversary in 1992 to wake everyone up. Twenty years and everyone forgot or never knew the Latin response to the Apostolic Blessing? A wake up call if e’er I saw one. At least the choir gets to sing in Latin.

Bottom line - the baby got thrown out with the bath water. We need to go find the baby.

[size=3]Cardinal Ottaviani expressed his concerns about the proposed liturgical changes. Shortly afterwards, when Pope Paul VI had spoken at the general audiences of 19 and 26 November 1969 of the changes in the Mass, Cardinal Ottaviani declared:

“I have rejoiced profoundly to read the Discourse by the Holy Father on the question of the new Ordo Missae, and especially the doctrinal precisions contained in his discourses at the public Audiences of November 19 and 26, after which I believe no one can any longer be genuinely scandalized [by the new rite’s sacrificial character]. As for the rest, a prudent and intelligent catechesis must be undertaken to solve some legitimate perplexities which the text is capable of arousing.”

Many traditionalist websites neglect to write the second half of the story where Ottaviani expresses his satisfaction with the changes in the inital proposals.

But the initial proposals never saw anything near fruition. Things got markedly worse in the mid 70s. I know from my own personal experience. We talk about Life Teen, etc. Who cared about what we teenagers and young adults felt in 1969 and into the mid-70s -------NADA! Nothing!

I didn’t want then, nor do I want now the a’strummin’ and a’grinnin’. We have 1500 years of profoundly Catholic music to draw on and what? We gotta trivialize the Mass to reduce it to fit the perceived “trends” of my generation? The TLM was far more relevant to me. And I have never forgotten this relevance.

BTW, I sing in a men’s Gregorian chant schola, we do latin masses, and I am in a Latin class. I’m a big fan of tradition…and the truth.

The Ottaviani Intervention is an event in history that is rarely reported in its entirety.

The point is, the issues raised in the Ottaviani intervention, even if Paul VI said he was going to do something, nothing happened.

You can read the document and follow along what it says in your 2002 missal - the issues are still there.

The 2002 Missal, I quote:

Has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants.

Yep! Those modernist Protestants are satisfied alright. :rolleyes:

Cardinal Ottaviani didn’t say that he rejoiced if there were changes. He rejoiced after the discourse and suggested that proper catechesis be done. This is, of course, sadly still in wont in many places.

:slight_smile: Hello, Resurrexit, and all!

I see what your saying about Pope Paul VI.

Once I even more or less entertained the then-current pre-online mumble-mumble that in some way or the other, the formula 6-6-6 could even be applied to him, as he was like maybe the 6th pope elected this (20th) Century, had a name wiith a 6, had “something else to do with a 6,” plus in some way or the other he supposedly corresponded to the name of John the Baptist!

Seriously, it has been ages, so I no longer know the spiel. :smiley:

Nowadays, I’ve come to view him, Pope Paul VI, as possibly one of the most underated Popes in recent history.


Yes well there is a third half to this story (lol…not that there can be three halves)

Ottaviani didnt live to see what the Novus Ordo had become.

His joy wouldve been shortlived.

Thanks…always willing to entertain.

I’m sure Pope Paul VI was a good and holy man. I think He was mislead by others, but I don’t blame Him.

I don’t like the way a lot of fellow traditionalists condemn Popes left right and centre. I think Pope John Paul II kissing the Koran… well, it’s something I would have done.

So yes, I’m sure Paul VI was good man, despite the upheavals of His pontificate.

But what did Paul VI say to Cardinal Ottaviani that made him happy?

Did you mean wouldn’t?
:smiley: :wink:

But what did Paul VI say to Cardinal Ottaviani that made him happy?

Talks at his General Audiences. In addition in 1970 there was a revised GIRM, and a Proemium added when the entire Missal came out. The changes to the 1969 GIRM was referred to here (post 28). For example it was only clear in 2, 55c, 55e, 153 and 259 abotu the Sacrifice. The 1970 adds others like in 55d

Institution narrative and consecration: in the words and actions of Christ, that sacrifice is celebrated which he himself instituted at the Last Supper, when, under the appearances of bread and wine, he offered his body and blood, gave them to his apostles to eat and drink, then commanded that they carry on this mystery.

My personal problem with the Ottaviani Intervention (as I had written in the above link posts 29 and 30) is that while it makes many good points like on reverential gestures and consecration of altars and the use of EMHC’s, etc. with regard to the wording of the Mass instead of simply saying something to the effect of “such-and-such was not prudent” or “there was no need to change this” it casts doubt on the orthodoxy of expressions that have been used in other liturgies of the Church. And it uses a lot of exaggeration :“altar is almost always called table” the silliness of which is apparent to anyone reading the GIRM.

I recommend reading the Ottaviani intervention as well. Still one of the best critiques of the Novus Ordo Missae there is. And written by a Cardinal who actually had a truly pastoral concern for the faithful (along with a good deal of common sense in regards to liturgical matters).

Further, it is also noted that the secretary to Cardinal Ottaviani was publicly accused of fraud in the matter. It makes absolutely no sense that Cardinal Ottaviani would criticize the New Mass itself, and then turn around and praise it when no actual changes to the Novus Ordo itself had been made. Here are some more details:

[LEFT]However, outrageous as the allegations made in Note Doctrinale most certainly are, they pale into insignificance in the light of the letter which Cardinal Ottaviani is supposed to have written to Dom Lafond. The letter was published by Monsieur Pierre Lemaire in Defense du Foyer, No. 112, of March 1970. In this letter the Cardinal is purported to state that he has read the Note Doctrinale, which includes scandalous calumnies concerning himself; that he not only approves of it, but congratulates Dom Lafond on the dignity of its expression; that he did not authorize the publication of his letter to the Pope and that all his anxieties have been set to rest by two papal allocutions. [/LEFT]

On page 4 of the *Note Doctrinale *Monsieur Lemaire had appended a list of eminent ecclesiastics who had given it their approval. Among them is included the name of Msgr. Gilberto Agustoni, secretary to Cardinal Ottaviani. At this time Cardinal Ottaviani was almost totally blind and had to rely on the advice of his secretary with regard to the documents he signed. Jean Madiran had no hesitation in claiming that Msgr. Agustoni had tricked the Cardinal into signing the letter and accused him of a public felony—challenging Msgr. Agustoni to contest this charge in the ecclesiastical courts if he disputed it. Msgr. Agustoni did not accept the challenge and soon afterwards relinquished his position as Cardinal Ottaviani’s secretary. Here is the text of Madiran’s public accusation against Mgr. Agustoni:

And so the *Note *which casts such accusation against Cardinal Ottaviani was approved by Msgr. Gilberto Agustoni who, himself, was not struck by physical blindness, and who can read in person the texts to which he gives his approval.

I hereby declare that by doing that in his express capacity as the secretary of Cardinal Ottaviani, he has committed a public felony. If the disloyal secretary is displeased with this designation, he has only to summon me to answer before the ecclesiastical courts. He will find me there opposite him.

The authors of the despicable deed went even further. On a second occasion—the approval of these insane accusations against Cardinal Ottaviani—they made the Cardinal sign it himself: and this time it was not merely an approval, but congratulations, if you please, praising the “dignity of the expression,” which represents the acme of cynical derision.

Naturally, I was not in the room, nor in the wings, the day the treacherous secretary made Cardinal Ottaviani sign this letter to Dom Lafond. I am unaware if he told him, as he guided the blind man’s hand towards the place of signature, that the matter concerned an almsgiving or some word of encouragement to the Little Sisters of the Poor. But Pierre Lemaire, who is innocent to the very end, has published the “facsimile” of this letter and its signature. Compare the signature at the foot of the letter to Dom Lafond with other signatures of Cardinal Ottaviani, even recently, and with that at the foot of the letter to Paul VI in 1969. You will perceive the difference.

I thought we were actually going to make it through the discussion without any conspiracy theories.:frowning:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit