The Liturgy according to Piero Marini and according to Guido Marini

Source: FSSPX News


The new Master of Liturgical Pontifical Ceremonies has the same surname as his predecessor, Marini. But they do not share the same Christian name, nor the same concept of the Liturgy. Mgr. Piero Marini along the same lines as the progressive Mgr. Bugnini, is very much in favor of inculturation, Mgr. Guido Marini is a disciple  of Cardinal Siri, the archbishop of Genoa. Recently they have both given interviews to the press,- the first in Paris, the second in Rome.

 On November 28, the French journalists of AJIR (The Association of Religious Journalists) received Mgr. Piero Marini, currently president of the Pontifical Committee for Eucharistic Congresses.- Asked about the attitude of Benedict XVI concerning the inculturation of the liturgy, the pope’s former Master of Ceremonies declared that the current Sovereign Pontiff was much more reserved than his predecessor. John-Paul II “had a profound love for the cultures of the world. He wanted to know them and accept their different expressions in the liturgy”. This was manifested through the Aztec dances in the middle of Mass in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico, during the canonization of Juan-Diego in July 2002. Likewise at the opening of the Synod of the Bishops of Oceania, in 1998, by the presence of scantily dressed dancers.

 In reply to the question whether John-Paul II, even though very tolerant, had not been disconcerted by the “Zairese Rite”, at which he assisted during a visit to Africa? Mgr. Piero Marini hastened to reply that the term “Zairese rite” was inappropriate : “It was never anything more than local and approved adaptations of the Roman rite”

 Should the Church go along with this leveling down or resist it? “But she cannot resist it !” protested the prelate, before recalling that the distinctive feature of the Catholic liturgy is to recall the past (anamnesis) for today. According to him, it is about articulating the perenniality of the spirit of the liturgy  and the evolution of forms, to link the past with the present. “Such was the case with the liturgical reform of Vatican II”, he was pleased to say. “In fact it led to an internationalization of the Roman rite.”

 Mgr. Piero Marini does not miss the Rite of Pius V. He is not nostalgic for what he regards as the repetitive nature of the old Mass, neither the exaltation of the celebrant to the detriment of the people of God ; he deplores the marked split between the priest and the assembly.

 As regards the Motu Proprio liberalizing the use of the traditional missal, Mgr. Piero Marini declared cautiously that he personally, could no longer celebrate according to the ancient rite. He pointed out that the pope’s decision was guided by his desire for unity in the Church, and said that John-Paul II himself had received thousands of letters asking him for the authorization of the ancient rite. The prelate hoped that this gesture by Benedict XVI would bring back those who had broken with the Roman Catholic Church, but he doubted it… And he stated that this question of the ancient rite, so sensitive in France, was not an issue in Italy.


On November 25, Mgr. Guido Marini was interviewed by the Osservatore romano about the liturgical ceremony in the Vatican basilica for the creation of 23 new cardinals, on November 24. Here are his responses:

 OR : The first liturgical element which strikes one, is the position of the Cross  in the center of the assembly.

GM : The crucifix at the foot of the altar of the Confession of St. Peter, turned towards the faithful, is the expression of the desire that everyone be oriented towards Him. It is a sign of the continuity between the past and the present, in a liturgical tradition which looks to the future.

 OR : What ornaments were used by Benedict XVI?

GM : This continuity between the past, present and future is equally visible in the ornaments. The cope is in gold silk with a detachable stole, belonging to an older ornament (without doubt from the XVth century) decorated with images of the lives of saints, including Saints Peter and Paul. The Miter belonged to Pius IX. The fact that the pope wore the cope, which has not been the case during the past few years, shows that the consistory took place within a liturgical framework.

 OR : The entrance procession was particularly impressive. Unlike previous consistories, the pope was preceded by the cardinals .

GM : The consistory was placed within the liturgy of the word. This is why the procession of entry with the pope preceded by the cardinals, manifested the liturgical character displayed through the ornaments.

 OR : Who assisted the pope during the rite?

GM : There were two assistant deacons, J. M. R. Fuentes and B. Saiano, out of respect for tradition.

 OR : Which  throne was used ?  

GM : It was that of Leo XIII, already used by the pope, but not during a liturgical celebration. So this was the first time in modern times that it was used as the throne of the Sovereign Pontiff.


The website Pro Liturgia, in favor of post-conciliar liturgical reform, drew from it the following conclusion : “What may really be seen here is that Benedict XVI basically, did no more than respect to the letter, the current Ordo Missae, as well as the new Caeremoniale Epsicoporum. And this is what gave the ceremony so much allure (…) In other words, : when the “ordinary” form of the Roman rite is celebrated taking intelligent account of liturgical books, celebrations do have allure. No-one can say the contrary. Thank you to Mgr. Marini  for making sure of the authentic application of the liturgical directives decreed in the wake of Vatican II”.

(Sources : Apic/Zenit/ L’Osservatore Romano/ L’Homme Nouveau/Pro Liturgia)