The Ottaviani Intervention – 5 June 1969


“…[T]he Novus Ordo 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 XXII of the Council of Trent.”

– Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani and Antonio Cardinal Bacci, Letter to Pope Paul IV (25.IX.1969)

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the the so-called Ottaviani Intervention in which Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani and Antonio Cardinal Bacci sent to Pope Paul VI a critical examination of the text for the Novus Ordo Missæ that was promulgated that same year. The analysis presented in the examination of the missal text for the reformed liturgy is today as poignant and damning as when it was presented fifty years ago. Changes have continued to be made to the Missale originally promulgated by Paul VI so that the current version is the third typical edition as promulgated by Pope John Paul II. Nevertheless, these recent additions and alterations in no way correct or retract the deficiencies identified by the theologians responsible for the critical examination.