Pope Francis Appoints New Official at CDW

Macias photoThe Vatican Bollettino reports today the appointment of Fr. Aurelio García Macías, 51, of the diocese of Valladolid, Spain to a new position in the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He is named capo ufficio, which is a sort of office or staff manager. (There can be more than one capo.) The prefect of the CDW is Cardinal Robert Sarah, and the secretary is Archbishop Arthur Roche.

According to Alcuinus, the online liturgical bibliography, García Macías studied liturgy at Sant’ Anselmo, the Benedictine school in Rome, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on presbyteral ordination in the Byzantine and Roman rite. His advisor was Dr. Stefano Parenti.

Spanish media report that García Macías has been a consultant to the CDW since 2010, and began working at the congregation just a year ago. He is president of the Spanish Association of Professors of Liturgy (Asociación Española de Profesores de Liturgia).

Marini bkThe new appointee translated into Spanish the book by Archbishop Piero Marini, Liturgia y Belleza: Nobilis pulchritude. Piero Marini is well-known as the secretary to Archbishop Anibale Bugnini, the architect of the liturgical reforms called for by the Second Vatican Council, and as the long-time MC of Pope John Paul II. Marini served in the latter capacity at the beginning of Pope Benedict XVI’s term but was replaced by Benedict after two years.

This looks to be a good appointment. Congratulations and best wishes to Fr. García Macias.







22 responses to “Pope Francis Appoints New Official at CDW”

  1. Reyanna Rice Avatar
    Reyanna Rice


  2. Mark McLean Avatar
    Mark McLean

    “This looks to be a good appointment.”

    Quite possibly, and I wish him well. But, insofar as that assessment is in part premised upon his active association with the work of Marini and (to that extent) the highly controversial Bugnini, you may have to forgive some of us for not being inclined to accept that as a positive recommendation. Other schools than Bologna are available.

    1. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
      Anthony Ruff, OSB

      @Mark McLean:
      It’s based on his CV as a whole.

      And just to note – for those who accept the reformist principles of the Second Vatican Council, and the authority of Pope Paul VI who officially approved the reforms carried out under Bugnini’s guidance, there really is no controversy whatsoever around him. The liturgical reform wasn’t done by him, it was done by several hundred experts under his guidance. He has become a lightning rod for a deeper concern of non-acceptance, a concern I do not share.


      1. Jeffery BeBeau Avatar
        Jeffery BeBeau

        @Anthony Ruff, OSB:
        Having read the Reform of the Liturgy numerous times, as well as other books on the topic, I have enormous respect for the reform carried out under the leadership of Archbishop Bugnini. I have to agree with Anthony, there is no controversy whatsoever.

      2. Brendon Ford Avatar

        @Jeffery BeBeau:
        One could read the book several times and draw a conclusion completely different from yours.

      3. Jeffery BeBeau Avatar
        Jeffery BeBeau

        @Brendon Ford:
        On the merits of the the text of the book alone, controversy could be applied to anyone from Paul VI down to the hundreds experts and consultors who contributed to the reform.

        I suppose one’s view would also be influenced by one’s view of the liturgical reform in general.

        I just feel that if one is unsatisfied at the course the reform took place, it is unfair to lay the blame solely at the feet of one member.

      4. Todd Flowerday Avatar

        @Jeffery BeBeau:
        Laying blame is a decidedly secular value, even if it originates from the so-called “faithful orthodox” among us. It is a shadow of the cult of celebrity. In this instance, consigning one’s passions, especially anger, to a single person. Pagans had scapegoats. For a Christian, Saint Paul had certain words for those who indulged in biting and tearing at one another. If unsure of that, check most of the letter to the Galatians.

        Bugnini-haters are among the most co-opted of all Catholics.

  3. Paul Schlachter Avatar

    Though CDW keeps its distance institutionally from Sant’ Anselmo, then Sant’ Anselmo is finding its way to CDW in ways such as this. It bodes well for deeper understanding of the Roman rite among those who are charged with promoting it.

  4. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
    Anthony Ruff, OSB

    The liturgical reform did what Vatican II called for. The reformist principles of the Council provided for everything that was done under Bugnini and his hundreds of co-workers, and it all was approved by the Pope and the world’s bishops.

    Those who disagree either don’t understand Vatican II or, more often, simply don’t accept it.


  5. Brendon Ford Avatar

    I’m making no claim on whether or not Bugnini was wrong, or whether or not he correctly carried out the reform. I’m only contesting the idea that “there is no controversy” here. Of course there may be controversy, just as there is controversy in even more authoritative actions, even on this blog (e.g. Redemptionis Sacramentum, Ordenatio Sacerdotalis, and others).

    @Jefferey BeBeau I agree that one cannot lay all blame on one member.

    1. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
      Anthony Ruff, OSB

      @Brendon Ford:
      No, I don’t think so.

      Allow me to clarify the editorial policy of this blog. There really is no controvery for those who understand and accept Vatican II. It’s become increasingly clear to me that those who want to stir up all this controversy about Bugnini either really don’t accept Vatican II, or they fundamentally misunderstand Vatican II, or both. The Council laid out all the principles for reform – principles which clearly call for a paradigm shift that has lots of implications for structural reforms. The reform went beyond what Vatican II said because Vatican II didn’t say that much about the particularities of the reform, but left that to the postconciliar commission. It’s the fundamental principles that are key.

      For those who understand and accept Vatican II, of course there can always be calm discussion about whether this point or that could have been handled differently (which of course can be the case) or should have been. But this isn’t controversy – note the difference.

      This website has a clear mission – to promote the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council. This means that our editorial policy presumes that there really isn’t any serious controversy around Bugnini. Our readers really don’t want to read about those who think it is a controversy – since our readers are people who tend to understand and accept the liturgical reforms.

      Also, note that you’re mistaken about Redemptionis Sacramentum – it is not more authoritative than the reformed liturgy carried out under Bugnini. It is a minor document. The reformed liturgy is not – it’s is the papally approved official liturgy of the Catholic Church.


  6. Brendon Ford Avatar

    I’m interested in finding out from you why one may not be opposed to aspects of the 1970 missal while accepting Vatican II. I know of many people who accept Vatican II and yet disagree with how Bugnini and/or the Concilium handled the reform of the Liturgy, including some well known people such as Bouyer, Lefebvre, Ottaviani, and others.

    I’m not a canonist, so I can’t speak from any sort of authority, but I highly question what you seem to be implying, that the 1970 Liturgy is more authoritative than an instruction coming from a papal office afterwards. The instruction is papally approved, too.

    I’m willing to be proven wrong on this matter, but would be interested in hearing what you have to say.

    1. Jordan Zarembo Avatar
      Jordan Zarembo

      @Brendon Ford:

      Brendon: “I know of many people who accept Vatican II and yet disagree with how Bugnini and/or the Concilium handled the reform of the Liturgy, including some well known people such as Bouyer, Lefebvre, Ottaviani, and others.

      The readers and eds. of PTB are most likely tired of my wheel cliche. It’s okay to tell me to shut up when the salt has lost its flavor. Still, the christfideles’ vantage point at a miniscule turn of the liturgical wheel does not predict either past or future. Someone across the spectrum may eventually “get” what they want out of the liturgy, even posthumously. Yet our turn is now, and the reformation cannot turn faster or slower than some of us might prefer.

      The characterization of Marcel Lefebvre as a liturgical antagonist-catalyst during the reform creation is very troublesome and not accurate. Lefebvre’s motives included the Council, but one might say that the conciliar reform-process was not center stage. Lefebvre hero-worshiped Marshal Petain as the ultimately failed leader of a muy Catolicos state perhaps akin to the Francoist clerical-police regime. So, for Lefebrve, the primary motive of a continuing Tridentine movement was not wholly centered on the preservation and propagation of a liturgy. Rather, the Tridentine liturgy was a locus of wish fulfillment, whether for the Ancien Regime or an anti-semitic FN tract. I’d say that Lefebvre was not either a constructive or destructive force, but rather an opportunist who saw liturgical discontent as a vehicle for ultimately futile projects.

  7. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
    Anthony Ruff, OSB

    Dear Brendon and Jordan,

    I’ve left these last two comments from you two, but then that will be enough. Pray Tell readers have said ‘loud and clear’ that they like Pray Tell as a place to support the reformed liturgy and celebrate it better. They’ve heard all the arguments about ‘reform of the reform’ and what Vatican II supposedly really intended and aren’t interested in re-hashing it over and over. There are other places for that – Pray Tell isn’t the place and it isn’t our mission.

    There was an article in our Worship magazine by an expert on the low canonical status of RS – you can search it out there if you’re interested. Or any basic textbook on liturgical law by a reputable author would clarify this matter.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    1. Brendon Ford Avatar

      @Anthony Ruff, OSB:
      With all due respect, you were the one that made the claim that this isn’t a controversy. I have only contested that statement. I was not fishing for a debate on the reform of the reform. I’m only stating that, in fact, this appointment may be controversial, and there is certainly room for it to be.

      But I think we got to the heart of a fundamental difference: you seem to believe that to accept authority of Vatican II is to accept the post-conciliar reform as a flawless reform. I disagree.


      1. Jeffery BeBeau Avatar
        Jeffery BeBeau

        @Brendon Ford:

        I don’t necessarily see it this way. There was an assertion by another commentator that Annibale Bugnini was a “highly controversial” character, especially because of his role in guiding the liturgical reform after Vatican II. My point and Anthony’s was to challenge that characterization, especially here at PrayTell where the accepted hermeneutic is that the liturgical reform carried out after Vatican II was faithful to the vision articulated by the council fathers. Thus, he is not seen as a controversial figure.

        That doesn’t mean that people accept the proposed reform as flawless and isn’t in need of on going reform. On the whole, I find the liturgical reform to be a true gift of the Spirit to the Church, including other denomination, which have found their own worship incredibly enriched by liturgical renewal that Vatican II ushered in. There are however, instances where I don’t think the reform was implemented as well as it could have been, but this doesn’t make it controversial.

        To apply to something like the Divine Office. I accept the reform of the Divine Office as mandated in SC, so I don’t debate whether the Office of Prime should have been suppressed or not. I do however, disagree with the decision to remove the 3 imprecatory psalms and similar verses from the 4 week Psalter, for example. On this I am in disagreement with both Bugnini and Paul VI.

        I could cite more examples, but that isn’t the point of this post or my comment. I wanted to demonstrate by example something I viewed as not being implemented as well as it could have been.

      2. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
        Anthony Ruff, OSB

        @Brendon Ford:
        I’m repeating myself but I say it once more:
        There is not controversy for those who understand and accept Vatican II. Yes there can be controversy – but it’s among those who either misunderstand or do not accept Vatican II, or both. These are the people who think the postconciliar reform isn’t faithful to the Council.

        As I said, there is room for calm discussion around what could have or should have been done better in the Vatican II reforms, and such calm discussion happens all the time among those who both understand and accept Vatican II, including the liturgical reform. Given what I said, your statement around “flawless” is mistaken. Note what I said about the difference between calm discussion and controversy.


      3. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
        Karl Liam Saur

        @Anthony Ruff, OSB:
        Fr Ruff

        I think one problem is the equivocal nature of “controversy” – it can mean polemic or disagreement to different people. It’s clear that Abp Bugnini has been much polemicized in circles that reject or fundamentally misunderstand Vatican II.

        There are plenty of blogs where such polemics are normative for the blog audience. This is not such a place.

      4. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
        Anthony Ruff, OSB

        @Karl Liam Saur:
        +1, Karl Liam Saur.

  8. Paul Inwood Avatar
    Paul Inwood

    Brendon Ford:
    For the last time, there is no controversy here, or there wouldn’t be if you’d only go and read the books. Then you’d see that Bugnini was right, and only did what the world’s bishops asked for. if you won’t read the books, pipe down here.

  9. Ben Yanke Avatar

    Fr Ruff,

    How can you honestly say that Vatican II was implementated properly without controversy, when the council’s decrees about Latin and chant having an important place in the liturgy have been more or less ignored?

    1. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
      Anthony Ruff, OSB

      @Ben Yanke:
      Ben, the question before us is whether there is controversy around Bugnini’s reformist work under Paul VI. How people apply it at the level of their community is something else, so your comment is off-topic.