|Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Iran|
|Appointed||4 January 1976|
|Term ended||3 July 1982|
|Successor||Giovanni De Andrea|
|Other posts||Titular Archbishop of Diocletiana|
|Ordination||26 July 1936|
by Alcide Marina
|Consecration||13 February 1972|
by Pope Paul VI
|Born||14 June 1912|
Civitella del Lago, Umbria
|Died||3 July 1982 (aged 70)|
|Previous post||Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship (1969-1976)|
|Reference style||The Most Reverend|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Annibale Bugnini (14 June 1912 - 3 July 1982) was a Roman Catholic prelate. Ordained in 1936 and named archbishop in 1972, he was secretary of the commission that worked on the reform of the Catholic liturgy that followed the Second Vatican Council. Critics of the changes made to the Catholic Mass and other liturgical practices before and after Vatican II consider him a controversial figure. He held several other posts in the Roman Curia and ended his career as papal nuncio to Iran, where he acted as an intermediary during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981.
He spent ten years in parish work in a suburb of Rome. In 1947 Bugnini became involved in the production of the missionary publications of his order and became the first editor of Ephemerides Liturgicæ, a scholarly journal dedicated to the reform of the Catholic liturgy. Starting in 1949, he taught Liturgical Studies at the Pontifical Urban College (now the Pontifical Urban University). He later became a professor at the Pontifical Lateran University.
On 28 May 1948, Pope Pius XII appointed Bugnini Secretary to the Commission for Liturgical Reform, which created a revised rite for the Easter Vigil in 1951 and revised ceremonies for the rest of Holy Week in 1955. The Commission also made changes in 1955 to the rubrics of the Mass and Office, suppressing many of the Church's octaves and a number of vigils, and abolishing the First Vespers of most feasts. In 1960 the Commission modified the Code of Rubrics, which led to new editions of the Roman Breviary in 1961 and of the Roman Missal in 1962.
On 25 January 1959, Pope John XXIII announced his plan to convene the Second Vatican Council. On 6 June 1960 Fr. Bugnini was named Secretary of the Pontifical Preparatory Commission on the Liturgy. This body produced the first drafts of the document that, after many changes, would become the Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1963). When the Council convened in October 1962, the Preparatory Commission was succeeded by the Conciliar Commission on the Sacred Liturgy, on which Bugnini was assigned the role of a peritus (expert). At the same time, Bugnini was removed from the chair of Liturgy at the Pontifical Lateran University because, in the words of Piero Marini, "his liturgical ideas were seen as too progressive." In his posthumously published memoirs, Second Vatican Council consultant Louis Bouyer called Bugnini "a man as bereft of culture as he was of basic honesty." 
The Council and Pope Paul VI approved the Constitution on the Liturgy on 4 December 1963. On 30 January 1964, the Pope appointed Bugnini Secretary of the Council for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy. Bugnini was appointed the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship by Pope Paul in May 1969. In January 1965, he had become an undersecretary in the Congregation of Rites responsible for causes for beatification and canonization.
On 16 July 1975 Pope Paul announced the merger of two curial departments to form the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, ending Bugnini's career in the Roman Curia. His personal secretary was Piero Marini, who is now an Archbishop and President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.
On 4 January 1976 Pope Paul named Bugnini pro-nuncio to Iran. Bugnini studied the country, its history, and traditions. The results of his researches appeared in 1981 as La Chiesa in Iran (The Church in Iran).
In 1979 Bugnini tried unsuccessfully to obtain, in the name of the pope, the release of the American hostages being held at the United States embassy by followers of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He met with Khomeini to deliver Pope John Paul II's appeal for the release of the hostages. The 52 Americans were released on 21 January 1981, after 444 days in captivity.
His detailed account of the work to which he devoted most of his career, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975, appeared posthumously. An English translation appeared in 1990.
The oft-repeated allegation of Bugnini's being a Freemason was first made in print by Italian essayist Tito Casini in his book Nel Fumo di Satana. Verso l'ultimo scontro (Florence: Il carro di San Giovanni, 1976). According to Casini's anonymous source, Bugnini left a briefcase in a conference room. When someone found it and attempted to identify the owner, incriminating documents were within. English writer Michael Davies traced Pope Paul VI's sending of Bugnini to Iran as nuncio to this alleged revelation of Bugnini's Masonic affiliation, though the task of his post-Vatican II congregation had just been completed (supra). Davies asserted that an unnamed, conservative Cardinal told him in the summer of 1975 that he'd "seen (or placed) on the pope's desk" a "dossier" containing evidence of Bugnini's Freemason connection.