The story of Cardinal Ottaviani having his microphone turned off by the liberal bishops during the Second Vatican Council has been told by many who attended the Council. Every time I hear or think about it, it makes my blood boil. Another account posted on Rorate Caeli today gives you an idea of what kind of mean spirited people were trying to, and eventually, for all intents and purposes, did take over the Council. In fact, the bishop who was involved in silencing the good Cardinal that day was one of the overseers who helped present the names of the bishops and theologians who would later draw up the new schemas. As you may or may not know, Ottoviani was one of the those who wanted to keep the earlier drafted documents, which opposed the "new theologians". Can you imagine, a whole group of assembled bishops, laughing and mocking their fellow bishop after shutting off his microphone? Is that the what many consider the "Spirit" of the Second Vatican Council to be?
Account taken from Rorate Caeli.
Whenever I think about the
Council, I said, I always have one image in my mind: an aging Cardinal
Alfredo Ottaviani, now blind, about age 80, limping, the head of the
Holy Office and so the chief doctrinal officer of the Church, born in
Trastevere to parents who had many children, so a Roman from Rome, from
the people of Rome, takes the microphone to speak to the 2,000 assembled
And, as he
speaks, pleading for the bishops to consider the texts the curia has
spent three years preparing, suddenly his microphone was shut off. He
kept speaking, but no one could hear a word. Then, puzzled and
flustered, he stopped speaking, in confusion. And the assembled fathers
began to laugh, and then to cheer...
"Yes," Gherardini said. "And it was only the third day."
"What?" I said.
"Ottaviani's microphone was turned off on the third day of the Council."
"On the third day?" I said. "I didn't know that. I thought it was later,
in November, after the progressive group became more organized..."
"No, it was the third day, October 13, 1962. The Council began on October 11."
"Do you know who turned off the microphone?"
"Yes," he said. "It was Cardinal Lienart of Lille, France."