Marini under the microscope

Marini under the microscope

Some people are claiming that because Archbishop Piero Marini was not immediately ousted as papal master of liturgical ceremonies upon the election of Pope Benedict, this constitutes an endorsement of all his wacky ideas about papal liturgy. That may be a bit of a stretch.

Marini himself has said that Pope Benedict closely reviews all his liturgical plans and doesn’t allow him the free hand he had under John Paul II.

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With John Paul II I had a bit more freedom,” the Italian prelate told the web site. “We had an implicit pact, because he was a man of prayer and not a liturgist.” With the new Pope, he continued, “I have to be a bit more attentive, because he is an expert on liturgy.”

In addition, he said that he and the Holy Father are conducting an extensive re-examination of papal liturgical celebrations. My guess is that we won’t be seeing any half-naked African tribal dances during Pope Benedict’s Masses.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • This interview was “granted” as Archbishop Marini was out and about slinging his new booklet:  the pretentiously (and preposterously) titled “Liturgy and Beauty.”  This missive has now been posted on the website of the Holy See. 

    A quick reading of the piece will demonstrate that Archbishop Marini’s brain is not merely a home for myriad bourgeois liturgical sensibilities; it is also the place where Archbishop Bugnini and Cardinal Mahoney figuratively embrace.

  • All the mudslinging at Marini can’t escape this fact: if the average parish had a liturgy that resembled the liturgy at the Vatican (sacred music, dignified processions, use of Latin and Gregorian chant, no altar girls) that would be a huge improvement in the way the average Catholic experiences the liturgy.

    The point is, whatever criticism people lodge at Marini for the occasional African dance, etc. the Mass at the Vatican is far more Catholic and more traditional than what the average Catholic finds in his parish today.

    There is a huge difference between Marini, and the feminist sycophants who work as liturgists in many chancery offices today.

  • Please…it is a virtue to be simple.  It is quite the opposite of virtue to be simplistic.

    Are the positive aspects of papal liturgies because of Marini or in spite of Marini? We do know for a fact that where and when he is given a free hand, the Archbishop goes a wee bit over the top…and not in a way compatible with Catholic liturgical tradition.  Fortunately, he is not always given a free hand.

    Is it possible that the Archbishop sometimes (oftentimes?) respects Catholic liturgical tradition?  Of course it is.  But then, it was the notorious Bugnini himself who, in 1976, declared in writing that “hand holding” at the Our Father was inappropriate.  And it was that same Bugnini who, more than anyone else (with one potential exception), zealously laid the axe to the root. In other words, while people can, on a case-by-case basis, seem a bit inconsistent in the way they act or carry out their duties, the general trends can usually be identified rather easily. 

    To point out what is obvious to any reasoned, objective observer is hardly to “sling mud.”  And to deny or discount what is obvious is nearly pathognomonic of delirium.

  • I heartily recommend the “Ottaviani Intervention”.

    Bugnini was banished to the midle east by Paul6.  Who knows exactally why.  There were many rummors of the archbishop being a Freemason.

    What ever the case.  The fact is, the architech of the Novus Ordo was “kicked out”, for whatever reason.  His secretary has poliferated the dung in the liturgy for many years.

  • My thanks to Ole Doc Farmer on two counts:

    1) I learned a new word: pathognomonic.
    2) I learned that Archbishop Marini’s “Liturgy and Beauty” is online in English.

    Now, Doc, could you tell us what you find pretentious and preposterous about the title or content of the Archbishop’s essay?

    (Please forgive any pathognomonic delirium on my part!)

  • Title:  For Archbishop Marini to contrive a booklet entitled “Liturgy and Beauty” would be roughly the equivalent of, say, Bill Klintoon issuing a self-help guide with the title, “Marriage and Fidelity.”  Under this analogy, we can see that both authors have unimpeachable (so to speak) facility with the technical aspects of the former.  But their ability (or, indeed, qualification) to apply these same technical aspects in the philosophical or ascetical realms of the latter would at least be open to debate.  In other words, they ain’t got no street cred.

    Content:  While I did not necessarily implicate the content of “Liturgy and Beauty,” I will be happy to answer your question.  Consider this the bonus round.

    The content of “Liturgy and Beauty” is no more pretentious than the average Hollywood self-congratulatory pseudo-autobiography.  And it is no more preposterous than the behavior of the townspeople in that deservedly famous story, “The Emperor Has No Clothes.”

    No one is more refractorily blind than he who does not wish to see the truth.  Archbishop Marini apparently sees the post-Conciliar liturgical reform as an unalloyed treasure. If one is permitted to judge from his actions, he further believes that, by its very nature, this reform is to remain ever dynamic.

    That is not to say that anyone should be surprised.  Archbishop Marini was at “Ground Zero” when, over about three years, a commission of prelates and various technical advisors essentially scrapped rites that had developed in an authentic organic manner over many centuries.  Of course, these rites had been cultivated and nurtured by both saints and (genuine) artists in eras much friendlier to both religion and the arts than the blurry halcyon days of the late 1960’s.  But the presumption necessary to engage in such radical re-ordering is simply breathtaking…the English language stands pauper before it.

    Perhaps Archbishop Marini cannot see the difficulties engendered by these radical steps because his personal investment is too high.  Or maybe he’s just delirious.