en.news Father Brian Harrison published in 1989 the story of the famous briefcase which Archbishop Annibale Bugnini (+1982), the inventor of the New Mass, allegedly forgot in 1974 in a meeting room.
A priest opened it to determine its owner and found documents proving Bugnini's membership in a Masonic Lodge.
In 1989, Harrison didn't publish many details, but he told the English magazine “Mass of Ages” (May 5) that his informer was Eric von Saventhem (+2005), the former president of Una Voce International, a man of unimpeachable credentials. Saventhem had heard the story from the still anonymous priest who had found the briefcase.
The priest brought the material to Cardinal Dino Staffa (+1977), the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, who involved Roman police investigators who were dealing with secret societies. They called the material genuine and incriminating.
Staffa informed Paul VI who merged the Congregation for the Sacraments and the Congregation for the Liturgy in July 1975, which marked the end of Bugnini's activity at the Roman Curia. Bugnini remained jobless until he was sent as Pro-Nuncio to Tehran, Iran, in January 1976.
Paul VI never spoke to Bugnini again but left the mischief he had done in place.
The article also questions Bugnini's contribution in Pius XII's unfortunate Holy Week reform. Cardinal Fernando Antonelli (+1993) who was personally involved in the reform, called Bugnini’s role “miniscule.”
Pius XII’s housekeeper, Mother Pascalina (+1983), said that Bugnini credited himself with the Easter Vigil reform when, in fact, those changes were the Holy Father’s not Bugnini’s.