Sunday, August 12, 2012

A prophetic Letter (The "Ottaviani Intervention")

Back when my eldest daughter was preparing for confirmation, she and I discovered this document on EWTN.  It was a letter written to the Holy Father Pope Paul VI by twelve Roman Catholic theologians, who worked under the direction of Cardinals Alfredo Ottaviani and Antonio Bacci, among others. 

Cardinal Ottaviani was a Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith... the second highest ranking doctrinal official in the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Reading this letter was really a life changing event for our little family.  The letter is still up on the EWTN documents web site and can be accessed here:

Frankly, I found the letter by these cardinal so shocking that I had to read it several times, as I'm sure you will want to do.  The letter puts into words those things which I had often felt at the time, but at the same time did not have an ability to articulate (which created no small amount of cognitive dissonance for me).

This letter explains why we now appear to be loosing the youth in the battle against the culture... and in fact the entire culture war itself.  And yet.. we are only guaranteed VALIDITY of the sacraments by Christ's promise... not an impeccability of discipline in Her ministers.  As Catholic demographics continue to spiral downward at home... our American ecclesiastical leaders pat themselves on the back for having 3.5% less annual decline then that of their counter parts to Catholicism in Europe. At the same time, they never dare to imagine why traditional communities have no negative growth rate at all and in fact are growing way ahead of all other Catholic venues.

This letter, written nearly 45 years ago, represents a prophetic walk through Catholic history in yours and my lifetimes... explains how the new Mass came into existence... and dovetails quite accurately with the words that Cardinal Ratzinger has uttered about the new mass over the years (e.g. "banal on the spot fabrication"... "a community turned inward upon itself".

It was not until about 8 years after my daugher's confirmation that I began studying the roots of the ideas of the new mass which can be found in the English Reformation forced upon the faithful with devastating effect by Archbishop Cranmer.

Anyway... I thought you might find the original text of the intervention very thought provoking.

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