Pope Francis Meets with Marini-1

According to the Bollettino, this morning the Pope received in audience His Excellency Msgr. Piero Marini, titular Archbishop of Martirano, President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

One must distinguish Piero, Marini-1, longtime Master of Ceremonies under John Paul II, from Guido, Marini-2, who replaced Marini-1 as Master of Ceremonies under Benedict XVI.

Marini-1 was secretary to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, architect of the post-Vatican II liturgical reforms under Paul VI. He is author of A Challenging Reform: Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal (Liturgical Press, 2007).

The next International Eucharist Congress is in the Philippines in 2016. I suppose it’s not too early to begin planning?

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The Vatican has also released the calendar of liturgical activities of Pope Francis. The pope will celebrate Mass in public every Sunday from now until Pentecost – a shift from his predecessor Benedict XVI. It has been pointed out that Francis might thereby have “a greater and wider impact” on the liturgy than Benedict XVI, who did not frequently celebrate Mass in public.

Additionally,  since Pope Francis celebrates his daily Mass in the chapel of St. Martha’s Guesthouse, rather than in a private chapel, he is the first pope ever in modern times to celebrate his usual daily Mass facing the people.



37 responses to “Pope Francis Meets with Marini-1”

  1. Xavier Rindfleisch Avatar
    Xavier Rindfleisch

    Sitting here at Da Roberto’s in the Borgo, this old man is “overcome with paschal joy,” and, although we’d hardly expect them to do so, “even the heavenly Powers” seem a tad joyful “as they acclaim the immensity of his majesty.”

  2. Chris Grady Avatar
    Chris Grady

    I get to keep my hat and cape, right?

  3. Jack Rakosky Avatar
    Jack Rakosky

    Expert says Francis can and will deliver Vatican reform


    An Opus Dei priest in Argentina who is also very familiar with the Vatican describes Francis as a silent leader, very respectful of others. He makes decisions in a quiet way that respectful of others. He knows how to delegate; has a tremendous capacity to choose the right people for the job. But these are people with different ideas, different ways of seeing reality. Some of them don’t actually think the same way he does about many things.

    For instance, in some ways he’d like to return to the origins of Christianity, getting rid of many things that have developed over time. Some of the people who worked for him here don’t think like that, they believe these historical developments still have value. He’s not bothered by that, because they’re the right people for the work he needs them to do.

    He is capable of getting rid of people if they don’t work out with such silence and delicacy that almost no one realizes it.

    Would you expect him to have more direct contact with the heads of dicasteries?

    Yes, totally. His way of carrying himself simply won’t permit an overly complex, byzantine way of doing business. These structures will fall away, by necessity … they can’t help but collapse with this pope.

    However, he won’t want to set off earthquakes. He’s never wanted to distract the attention of the faithful or put obstacles in the path of the normal pastoral life of the church. None of the measures he’ll take will get in the way of delivering good pastoral care to the faithful

    I am a little worried that some people may misunderstand him. When you strip away some things from the church, which has to be done, some people may think you’re stripping away things that come from the Lord and that shouldn’t be removed. That’s what worries me. For example, he does tend to simplify the liturgy, but always maintaining what’s essential. I worry that somebody might think he’s undercutting something fundamental.

    When he talks about the primacy of charity, for instance, that’s beautiful because it’s true, but somebody might get him wrong. They might think he’s talking about the primacy of charity instead of the primacy of the magisterium, which he’s not. … he’s trying to say things that will help bring people together. Someone, however, could misunderstand him.

    The priest concludes by agreeing that this pope will run into more resistance from the right rather than the left.

    This priest is mainly talking about the Pope’s managerial style, i.e. how he makes decisions about people and issues over which he has control. However now that Francis is Pope he has both the potential of a bully pulpit and Papal images to influence people. So far he has been using the bully pulpit in a relatively mild mannered way to help people understand the rather stunning images through which he is leading by doing.

  4. Dale Rodrigue Avatar
    Dale Rodrigue

    It gets better every day!
    I hope we get to see Marini-1 by Pope Francis’ side soon!

    “And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
    Rev 21:5

    1. Matthew Morelli Avatar

      @Dale Rodrigue – comment #4:


      I agree with Fr. Krisman on this — we can’t read too much into this until given further evidence. Sometimes a meeting is just a meeting.

      For all you know, this was the meeting to appoint Abp. Marini to follow in the footsteps of his mentor to the (currently unoccupied) Nunciature of Iran instead of the (currently occupied) role of Papal MC.

      Without real evidence (not just some conjecture from “experts”), I don’t see either of those possibilities happening.

      1. Dale Rodrigue Avatar
        Dale Rodrigue

        @Matthew Morelli – comment #8:

        Matthew M and Fr Ron, my enthusiasm was for the piece reported by Jack Rakosky in comment #3 and of course the meeting w/ Marini-1 especially after the “knocks” and insults he had to endure from sites like the NLM.

        It pleases me to think that possibly ………he’s baaak!

        The piece from NCR, about change, in Jack’s comment in #3 is what I was primarily referring to and as John Allen puts it: …the right person to ask would probably be someone who knows the Vatican from the inside out, and who also watched then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio work in Argentina….few people fit it better than Fr. Pedro Brunori, a priest of Opus Dei …who previously put in eight years in Rome as director of the Vatican Information Service.”
        Time will tell….
        In any event I don’t think that Marini-1 will be sent to Iran…despite his history, unless one is an acolyte of the conspiracy minded Michael Davies and Fr. Brian Harrison 🙂

      2. Matthew Morelli Avatar

        @Dale Rodrigue – comment #21:

        In any event I don’t think that Marini-1 will be sent to Iran…

        As I said already, neither do I. But remember, it was Paul VI who sent +Bugnini there… not some wild-eyed arch-conservative.

        For Pope Francis to put +Marini at CDWDS, especially as one of his first assignments, would be quite a statement indeed. It would be a repudiation of not only Pope Benedict’s entire liturgical project (i.e. the ideals of the RotR) but also could be seen as a rehabilitation of +Bugnini himself (and a rejection of Paul VI’s judgment of him). For those of a traditionalist mindset, it would validate the concerns expressed in the first few days of the pontificate by some traditionalists (e.g. at Rorate Caeli).

        I find that unlikely — because such a statement would become a huge stumbling block to unity within the Church (not even to consider that it would end the delicate relations with the Orthodox). It would seem very out of character based on what we have seen of Pope Francis so far — too bold, too brash… anything but ‘silent and delicate’…

        That said, if he ends up at CDWDS, so be it. Rome survived its sacking by Hannibal once… it shall survive again.

      3. Bill deHaas Avatar
        Bill deHaas

        @Matthew Morelli – comment #24:
        John Robert Francis would be the expert on this but do not agree with your *simplistic* conclusions that:
        – Bugnini needs to be rehabilitated (only in a small minorities’ eyes)
        – Paul VI’s judgment of him

        Most historians who have studied this incident (and Bugnini’s own autobiography) indicate that Paul VI had a pattern to his appointments – he would tend to place a *progressive*; then, replace when the time came, with a *conservative* (if one has to use those terms). Also, throughout Paul VI’s life, he dealt with Ottaviani and his minority group – dating back to their days in the secretariat and Pius XII. Most accounts describe Paul VI’s Bugnini Iran decision as Ottaviani and group (based upon some rumors, misinformation, and sheer exhaustion) pushing Paul into the decision. Bugnini does not dwell on this incident beyond rejecting the fringe accusations and blaming around Masonic, Freemason allegations. One could posit (since we will probably never know) that Paul may have felt that the liturgical reform was in place and on solid ground and was tired of the internal politics.

        Keep in mind – Bugnini had been removed during the preparatory phase of VII (in an Ottaviani group move that was impolite and abusive) and a few leaders with integrity convinced Paul to re-appoint Bugnini. It is actually a sad chapter of pre-post VII and internal politics at their worst.

      4. Dale Rodrigue Avatar
        Dale Rodrigue

        @Matthew Morelli – comment #24:

        Er, is this tongue in cheek by you Matthew?
        “That said, if he ends up at CDWDS, so be it. Rome survived its sacking by Hannibal once… it shall survive again.”
        Didn’t you mean Annibale the Italian form of Hannibal?

        Of course we progressives would vehemently disagree with your “sacking” comment if Marini-1 ended up at CDWDS. Rome will definitely survive and flourish but the Rotr mess won’t.

      5. Richard Malcolm Avatar
        Richard Malcolm

        @Dale Rodrigue – comment #30:

        Er, is this tongue in cheek by you Matthew?
        “That said, if he ends up at CDWDS, so be it. Rome survived its sacking by Hannibal once… it shall survive again.”

        It wouldn’t be tongue in cheek if I said it.

        But in fairness, it should be pointed out that, unlike the Goths and Vandals, Hannibal did not sack Rome. He devastated much of the Italian countryside, but he was never able to take the city. Which may be because while Hannibal had numerous war elephants, he lacked any liturgists.

        Didn’t you mean Annibale the Italian form of Hannibal?

        A coincidence, I’m sure. It’s an unfair conflation – to Hannibal.

        It all seems like bootless speculation, which is likely to continue until curial positions are made permanent by the Holy Father. But I suppose it gives us all something to do in the meantime.

        The real question is what he’ll do with the Secretariat of State.

  5. Fr. Ron Krisman Avatar
    Fr. Ron Krisman

    Fr. Anthony, I share your “take” on the audience. Pope Francis just wants to be brought up to speed about preparations for the 2016 Eucharistic Congress.

    There’s no warrant to think otherwise, (Dale).

    1. Dale Rodrigue Avatar
      Dale Rodrigue

      @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #5:
      Hello Padre,
      I don’t know for sure but things certainly point to change:
      From above:
      “in some ways he’d like to return to the origins of Christianity, getting rid of many things that have developed over time. Some of the people who worked for him here don’t think like that, they believe these historical developments still have value. He’s not bothered by that, because they’re the right people for the work he needs them to do.
      He is capable of getting rid of people if they don’t work out with such silence and delicacy that almost no one realizes it.
      “His way of carrying himself simply won’t permit an overly complex, byzantine way of doing business. These structures will fall away, by necessity … they can’t help but collapse with this pope.”

      …sounds warranted to me.

      1. Fr. Ron Krisman Avatar
        Fr. Ron Krisman

        @Dale Rodrigue – comment #6:
        Dale, I don’t doubt what you say, that “things certainly point to change.”

        But let’s consider the facts carefully. In the past two weeks Pope Francis has had audiences with the Cardinal Secretary of State, the Cardinal prefects of 5 of the 9 Vatican congregations, and the Cardinal archpriest of St. Paul’s outside the Walls. (Pope Francis will be visiting that basilica soon; perhaps he and Cardinal Harvey met to discuss the liturgy.) He’s also made a trip out to Castel Gondolfo and toured the scavi.

        The fact that Pope Francis chose to meet today with Archbishop Piero Marini, one of two presidents of pontifical committees noted on the very last rung of the various Vatican dicasteries, before meeting with the Cardinal prefects of 4 congregations, 12 pontifical councils, 3 tribunals, 6 pontifical commissions, and 3 offices means nothing at all. Perhaps all the prelates who “outrank” Abp. Marini already had too much on their plates today to fit in an audience with the Supreme Pontiff. But let’s not speculate about that.

        And, Andrew Rex at comment #6, the president of the Pontifical Committee for Eucharistic Congresses is not a “made up job.” I once (20 years ago) spent a delightful afternoon with New York-born Cardinal Opilio Rossi, who held that position.

      2. Andrew rex Avatar
        Andrew rex

        @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #13:
        ”Perhaps all the prelates who “outrank” Abp. Marini already had too much on their plates today to fit in an audience with the Supreme Pontiff.”

        Come off it Fr Ron, who is too busy to meet with the pope? When he asks to see you, you make room in your diary! It’s significant that Marini I who is ‘on the bottom rung of the curial ladder’ – as you say – has been asked to a meeting with Francis at this point. Francis is a no nonsense pope, he didn’t just want a friendly chat about the weather – IMHO. I think he would be a very good appointment with a lot of popular support among the world’s bishops but I don’t want to raise my hopes.

      3. Fr. Ron Krisman Avatar
        Fr. Ron Krisman

        @Andrew rex – comment #15:
        Dear Andrew,
        It seems you got most of the drift of my comment perfectly!

      4. Andrew rex Avatar
        Andrew rex

        @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #16:
        Sorry, I obviously missed your irony!!! I am feeling very dense now. Appointing Bugini’s protégé would very much be consistent with the hermeneutic of reform in continuity, no?

      5. Fr. Ron Krisman Avatar
        Fr. Ron Krisman

        @Andrew rex – comment #19:
        Abp. Marini, I am sure, will do well at whatever new assignment he may be given. Should he become prefect of the CDWDS, I’m not sure the RotR folks would view that as an expression of “reform in continuity.” Perhaps they may, since I admit that I’ve never understood what that is supposed to mean.

      6. Bill deHaas Avatar
        Bill deHaas

        @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #22:
        Fr. Ron – if you allow some *tongue in cheek* – just ask Allan – he loves to post and re-post this phrase (sometimes in the same sentence) – great example of circular reasoning.

  6. Jim McKay Avatar
    Jim McKay

    Do you think he will be capable of getting rid of people… with such silence and delicacy that almost no one realizes it when people react to his audiences as we have to this one? I’d like to see that, though that would be “realizing.”

    He also had a meeting with Cardinal Filoni, a possible Secretary of State.
    And Cardinal Harvey, a possible ??? I have no idea.

  7. Andrew Rex Avatar
    Andrew Rex

    I was thinking more along the lines of Head of the CDW than being reappointed as Papal MC to be honest. It’s about time an experienced liturgist was appointed to this role. Marini I has a lot to offer and his current position is clearly a made up job. Anyone else thinking the same as well?

    1. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
      Anthony Ruff, OSB

      @Andrew Rex – comment #9:
      Yes, that’s the first thought I had also. But I’m not letting myself predict or expect anything – we’ll only know when we know.

    2. Gerard Flynn Avatar
      Gerard Flynn

      @Andrew Rex – comment #9:
      That would be an inspiring appointment.

      Where would the current prefect go? He’s too young to retire and by all accounts the Spanish church was very much behind and very appreciative of his promotion to Rome.

  8. Jack Rakosky Avatar
    Jack Rakosky

    Few Surprises. Francis Is Just That Way



    It is true, Pope Francis loves to listen to music but does not sing, neither during solemn Masses nor in imparting the blessing. It is said that the Jesuits “non rubricant nec cantant,” meaning that they do not love ceremonies or singing. But the explanation is simpler than that.

    At the age of 21 he came down with a severe case of pneumonia and “three cysts were removed along with the upper portion of his right lung. That experience left him with a pulmonary deficiency that, while not influencing him significantly, makes him feel his own human limitation.”

    Therefore he does not sing simply because he does not have sufficient breath to do so, as can also be intuited from how he speaks, with short breaths and in a subdued voice. In any case he has confessed: “I am completely tone deaf.”


    In effect he speaks Italian well. And he also understands the Piedmontese dialect of his family of origin. But “as far as the other languages are concerned,” he admits in his autobiography, “I must say that I used to speak them but do not speak them, because of lack of practice. I used to speak French fairly well, and I got along in German. What has always caused the most problems for me has been English, especially the phonetics.”

    The fact remains that, in refusing to speak in languages other than Italian, Bergoglio seems to have decided to sacrifice – in public – even his mother tongue, Spanish.

    On Easter he even declined to give the greetings in 65 languages unfailingly recited by his predecessor pontiffs.

    Francis might want to ask Marini-1 for his advice on how to handle these limitations. Sunday liturgies in Rome, especially in the parishes or for small groups might be the way to go.

    Will this Pope be going abroad that much? I suspect not. He may have many reasons for defining himself as Bishop of Rome.

  9. James Murphy Avatar
    James Murphy

    I hardly think the Marinis are going to be shaken and stirred again for the sake of liturgical style. It’s clear that Guido Marini isn’t going to be an obstacle to the Pope getting his own way. Why would Francis need to bring back the first Marini as MC to continue his own style? No, Guido will simply adjust and comply with the new way of Pope Francis and move forward accordingly, I’m sure.

    The Pope will celebrate Mass publicly every Sunday? Where, I wonder? St. Peter’s? The Sistine Chapel? The Lateran? Whatever the case, EWTN is gonna freak.

  10. john Robert Francis Avatar
    john Robert Francis

    No we don’t know, but Pope Francis has met with very few Curial office heads. Three weeks into his pontificate and three years!out from the Manila Congress, why would the pope have an audience with Archbishop Marini?

    MC, not likely. CDWDS, perhaps. To ask him for his advice on a new papal ceremonial team and even for a plan for simplifying papal ceremonies? Makes sense to me. Archbishop Marini does have a bit of experience in the matter of papal liturgies, under four pontificates.

  11. Claire Mathieu Avatar
    Claire Mathieu

    Is Fr Cantalamessa out of a job since Pope Francis will not be there to listen to him?

  12. Jonathan Day Avatar
    Jonathan Day

    I hope this question doesn’t divert the conversation, but I think it is relevant to it.

    Given that Pope Francis seems to define himself primarily as the bishop of Rome, why would a papal Mass be any different (in vestments, ritual, etc.) to that celebrated by any other bishop? Why the focus on papal liturgy? I am not talking about celebrations that are particular to a pope — naming cardinals or saints, for instance — but an ordinary Sunday Mass.

    Or is it precisely because he is the bishop of Rome that the pope’s liturgies are supposed to be different? Is this about the primacy of Rome over other dioceses?

    I’m less interested in how they are different (the pope can wear a fanon, etc.) than in why.

    1. Bill deHaas Avatar
      Bill deHaas

      @Jonathan Day – comment #19:
      Jonathan – agree especially the *why*

      From an interview with John Allen:

      “Bergoglio used to joke that we need to learn from the model of the Evangelicals, meaning that we have to knock on doors and talk to people. He also wanted to make the church visible outside its buildings, which is why Buenos Aires developed some very interesting outdoor events. For instance, the Via Crucis procession during Holy Week moves through the entire city, going on for miles and miles. There are also lots of open-air Masses. The most important Masses here don’t take place inside the cathedral, but in the square.”

      “It wasn’t just about priests doing the job. He was also concerned with getting the laity active inside these movements, and letting them take charge. Priests were just one leg of the stool, along with the religious and the laity. He felt that if you didn’t do it that way, you end up with a church that’s too focused on itself, and it shouldn’t be that way. It’s not just about what priests do, but above all the laity.”

      Always dangerous to *project* but wonder if more events will be like Holy Thursday in the juvenile center approach – or neighborhood churches centered on the needs of the city of Rome?

  13. Chris Grady Avatar
    Chris Grady

    Next Sunday the pope goes to the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior (St John Lateran) to “take possession of” his cathedra. The rite was pretty much written by Archbishop Marini.

    It’s very possible the pope may have been discussing his installation Mass with Archbishop Marini. The libretto was obviously ready to go up on the website (and may have briefly) because there is a hyperlink, but it just takes you to the main page of the Holy See site. Usually, the thing is not “clickable” at all unless the booklet is there. My hunch is that there’s been a last minute change of plans, and that’s all the meeting was about.

  14. Adam Mindenki Avatar
    Adam Mindenki

    Please God this is another tangible sign that all the liturgical weirdness of the last eight years is really and finally over.

  15. Chris Barlow Avatar
    Chris Barlow

    I agree with the gist of Jonathan’s comment at #18. Why should a Sunday Mass celebrated by the Pope be any different to one celebrated by any other bishop – in theory at least? Benedict XVI was acutely aware of this. From start to finish, the Masses he celebrated followed the rubrics of the Pauline Missal to a T. Introit, Responsorial Psalm (on occasion replaced by the Gradual), Offertory, Communion, sung dialogues, sung ordinary – nothing whatsoever out of the ordinary. This is a typical order of service for Masses at which the Pope was celebrant:


    With a few variations (Proper introit replaced by hymn, for example), this presumably is precisely how every bishop around the world celebrates Mass. It certainly is at Masses I have attended in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Lismore, Westminster, Notre Dame, Florence, etc.
    How would this change, precisely, under a different MC (putting aside issues of fanons and others of that ilk)? I should add that I would dearly love to see the current MC remain in his position – and not merely to maintain a professional relationship with Francis, but to develop a lasting friendship. In fact, there is no reason why their relationship should not flourish – G Marini’s expert knowledge of the ceremonial aspects of the Mass, and Francis’s endearing departure from some practices, some of the time (more in terms of the manner in which he carries out certain actions at Mass), actually seem to complement one another.

    1. Fritz Bauerschmidt Avatar
      Fritz Bauerschmidt

      @Chris Barlow – comment #28:
      Totally off topic, but the Mass booklet linked here has an interesting format for the prayer of the faithful: a general introduction by the Pope, invitation to prayer for each petition given by the deacon (e.g. “Let us pray for the Church”), followed by a period of silence and then the petition itself given by a lay person (in various languages) with a sung response led by the cantor, and finally a concluding collect by the Pope. It’s a bit like the traditional prayer of the faithful for Good Friday.

      1. Fr. Allan J. McDonald Avatar

        @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #33:
        Yes, that change is relatively recent and a clever way to involve the laity in the Universal Prayer without sacrificing the role of the deacon as chanting or saying the universal prayer properly belongs to the deacon when present.

  16. Jordan Zarembo Avatar
    Jordan Zarembo

    Beware the maya. Oops, wrong religion.

  17. Fr. Allan J. McDonald Avatar

    While there are obvious differences between Benedict and Francis, there seem to be some false dichotomies too. Benedict often rode in an open air vehicle in St. Peter’s Square, kissed babies, sometimes spoke spontaneously and so forth. He also visited local Roman parishes on Sunday for Mass. These did not make the international news and were not carried live on EWTN. But as one who gets up early every morning and on Sundays and as I tuned to the Vatican website, it did carry Pope Benedict’s visits to local Roman parishes where the Mass was celebrated as these parishes celebrated them. One that I thought was quite interesting had a contemporary guitar ensemble in the sanctuary almost on top of Pope Benedict that strummed throughout the Mass.

    1. James Murphy Avatar
      James Murphy

      @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #32:
      Amen. It seems to me that the commentariat on the left and the inquisition on the right are trying to outdo each other in feigning ignorance when it comes to making comparisons between the two. From the left, you’d swear that every action of Pope Benedict was pre-Conciliar, aloof, and pompous in nature, and to listen to the right you’d think Francis was the first Pope ever to wear white.

  18. Andrew rex Avatar
    Andrew rex

    I wonder if Marini’s recent comments about the acceptability of same sex civil unions and the Benedict years as being like a swamp for the church suggest he would be a difficult choice for the CDW?

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