John Allen on Archbp. Marini: “enough dance to remind them of Broadway production numbers”

John L. Allen, the nearly ubiquitous former Rome correspondent for the left-leaning National Catholic Reporter has something interesting to say about the changing of the guard in the Office of Pontifical Ceremonies.

This is worth a close reading.

My emphases and comments.

Vatican’s top liturgical liberal steps down
By John L Allen Jr Daily
Created Oct 1 2007 – 09:29

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
New York

In a noteworthy change of personnel, if not of surname, the Vatican announced today that Monsignor Guido Marini will replace Archbishop Piero Marini as the pope’s Master of Ceremonies, meaning the official in charge of how the pope celebrates the Mass and the other rites of the church.

The outgoing Marini was long seen as a more permissive counterpart to the strong traditionalism at the Congregation [You can say that again.] for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Vatican’s policy-setting agency on liturgical matters. Experts have noted the irony that large-scale papal liturgies organized on Marini’s watch are sometimes more innovative than a strict reading of official policy might permit.  [?!  "more permissive"?]

The new Marini, according to Italian observers, does not bring a sharply defined ideological profile into his new position. Though he served as the master of ceremonies in the Genoa archdiocese for both Cardinals Dionigi Tettamanzi and Tarcisio Bertone (today the Vatican’s Secretary of State), Guido Marini, 46, has an academic background in canon law and spirituality rather than liturgy.

Piero Marini, 65, was named the new President of the Pontifical Commission for International Eucharistic Congresses. He holds a doctorate in liturgy from the Benedictine-run College of Sant’Anselmo, and has written widely on liturgical subjects.

Sources close to Piero Marini said today that he had been offered a position as a diocesan bishop in Italy, but turned it down [... "turned it down"... ] on the grounds that he has spent virtually his entire career in curial service.

Those sources also said that the timing of Marini’s departure may be linked to the recent decision by Pope Benedict XVI to liberalize permission for the Latin Mass in use prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Although Marini never took a public position on the move, it’s widely known that he has expressed reservations in private. Since it is taken for granted in Rome that Benedict XVI will himself celebrate a Mass according to the old rite in St. Peter’s Basilica sometime soon, [It looks more and more like this is going to happen.] today’s announcement may have been a way to avoid putting Marini in an awkward position when the times comes. [And thus is my dream shattered.]

Finally, sources said, Benedict at one point raised the idea with Marini of eventually taking the helm at the Congregation for Divine Worship after its current prefect, Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, steps down. Arinze turns 75 on Nov. 1. It’s not yet clear whether today’s appointment precludes that possibility.  [O please God.... O please O please O please.... I'll never be bad again... O please O please O please...  But seriously... that's not going to happen.  And I don't beleive that for a moment.]

One hallmark of Marini’s liturgical outlook is an openness to inculturation, [wrongly understood in my opinion] or allowing the ritual practice of the church to he shaped by local cultures[That needs some qualification.  The Church's liturgy was always influenced by local cultures, but not in the way Archbp. Marini forced it to happen.] That’s something Marini said in a 2003 interview that was lacking in the pre-Vatican II Mass.

“It was the liturgical expression of the countries of the Mediterranean Basin,” he said. “With the separation of the Protestants, also in France, what remained was Spain, Italy, Austria … the church had been reduced to something relatively small. But with the New World, Latin America and the various missions in Africa and Asia, it was necessary to open this liturgy that had been closed to the new peoples. That happened with the Second Vatican Council and with the trips of the pope.”  [In theory this is not a bad idea, but not the way it was done.]

Material from that 2003 interview with Marini can be found here: http://nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/word0620.htm

As a young cleric, Piero Marini served as personal secretary to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, [!  As I have explained elsewhere...] head of the special Vatican commission that oversaw liturgical reform. Bugnini became the lightning rod for what some regarded as unacceptably radical changes, [And for good reason.]  and his fall from power in July 1975 was the beginning of a backlash that culminated in a return to a more traditional language and style during the late John Paul years and now under Benedict XVI.  [This is a pretty sweeping statement.  I wonder if it is true.  This is worth discussing.  Was 1975 the turning point?  Pay attention to what follows.  Allen backs this up.]

One illustrative flashpoint is liturgical dance. The Congregation for Divine Worship officially frowns on dance in the liturgy. In 1975 it issued a document titled Dance in the Liturgy, which concluded, “[Dance] cannot be introduced into liturgical celebrations of any kind whatever. That would be to inject into the liturgy one of the most desacralized and desacralizing elements; and so it would be equivalent to creating an atmosphere of profaneness which would easily recall to those present and to the participants in the celebration worldly places and situations.”

In 1998, the congregation wrote to the bishop of Honolulu to ban the use of hula dancing in any liturgical context, a custom that had become common among Catholics in Hawaii. Yet when John Paul visited Brussels in 1995 for the beatification of Father Damien DeVeuster, the famous saint of the Hawaiian lepers, a hula dance was performed smack in the middle of the ceremony.

For those who know Marini’s style, it was hardly a surprise. Anyone who has ever attended a major papal liturgy, such as a World Youth Day Mass or a major canonization Mass, has seen enough dance to remind them of Broadway production numbers.  [Well said.] During the World Youth Day Mass in Rome in the summer of 2000, for example, a troupe of young dancers bearing flags with different colors representing the different continents was one of the highlights of the event.

In Mexico in 2002 when John Paul II canonized Juan Diego, native Aztec dancers gyrated down a walkway towards the pope in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe as native music blared forth. The next day, when the pope beatified a pair of Mayan martyrs in the same spot, another native song-and-dance routine was performed. This time there was the further twist of a limpia, or purification, ceremony. The Indian blessing is believed to cure spiritual and physical ailments by driving off evil spirits. Indian women bearing smoking pots of incense brushed herbs on the pontiff, Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera and other prelates as the dancing unfolded.

In effect, these indigenous dancers exorcized the pope. Although the choice generated controversy both in Mexico and in Rome, Marini defended the use of such an indigenous ritual within a Catholic framework.  [And this is the wrong notion of inculturation.]

“We discussed it a great deal here in this office with the responsible parties from the local church,” Marini said in 2003. “I spoke with the bishop. At the beginning, I have to say I was against using this rite, which not even they seemed to understand very well. [!] Obviously our penitential act is one thing, their expression is another. But we continued talking, and in the end this was not during the Eucharistic celebration, and the bishop wanted the rite at any cost.”  ["at any cost".   This is an interesting window in to Mons. Marini's modus operandi.  I am glad Allen included this quote.  Very interesting.]

“It was important as a sign of respect for the indigenous, but it’s also a matter of liturgical history,” Marini said. “Often rites that were not originally Christian have been ‘Christianized.’ If the indigenous have this rite, it can with time take on a Christian meaning concerning the purification of sins. Just as we use holy water, which for us recalls the waters of baptism, forgiveness of sins and the resurrection, so for them this element of smoke can have a sense of liberation and forgiveness. This is the reason for which we at the end agreed to insert this element.”  [But not in such a forced and artificial way!   That is what makes what he did... or maybe in some cases permitted... so problematic.]

Marini’s appointment as President of the Pontifical Commission for International Eucharistic Congresses could eventually put him in line to become a cardinal.  [O please God.... O please O please O please... O... um... see the rest, ut supra.]

Meanwhile, Benedict XVI apparently does not intend to maintain the 1998 precedent set by his predecessor, John Paul II, of naming his two secretaries and his master of ceremonies as archbishops, at least not right away. Today’s Vatican announcement did not indicate that the incoming Marini would be made a bishop.

This was, as usual, an interesting and informative article from John Allen, who is well-informed and insightful about what goes on in Rome. 

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59 Responses to John Allen on Archbp. Marini: “enough dance to remind them of Broadway production numbers”

  1. Johnny Domer says:

    Say what one will about Cardinal Tettamanzi, I don’t ever recall seeing a picture of him where he wasn’t decked out in very traditional-looking vestments or celebrating Mass in a pretty traditional-looking way. I suppose that that’s a good sign.

    Also, I think we should highlight how YOUNG Msgr. Guido Marini is…he’s only 42 or so. He’s going to be around a looooong time; let’s hope Pope Benedict made a good choice.

  2. RBrown says:

    “It was important as a sign of respect for the indigenous, but it’s also a matter of liturgical history,” Marini said. “Often rites that were not originally Christian have been ‘Christianized.’ If the indigenous have this rite, it can with time take on a Christian meaning concerning the purification of sins. Just as we use holy water, which for us recalls the waters of baptism, forgiveness of sins and the resurrection, so for them this element of smoke can have a sense of liberation and forgiveness.
    From Abp Piero Marini

    The above is fallacious Sacramental theology that is typical of that adopted by Protestantism.

    The use of water in Baptism for purification, Bread and Wine in the Eucharist, and Olive Oil in anointing comes from the Jews–not from pagan rites that were Christianized.

    Ditto the use of the smoke from incense, which in the OT symbolizes prayer–Dirigatur oratio mea sicut incensum in conspectu tuo.

    “It was the liturgical expression of the countries of the Mediterranean Basin,” he said. “With the separation of the Protestants, also in France, what remained was Spain, Italy, Austria … the church had been reduced to something relatively small.

    Also a typical Protestant approach (found in Rahner)–reducing the Church to an idea that lacks any cultural specifics, instead taking on various cultural incarnations. The problem with such an argument is that the Church is not an idea but rather a reality founded by Christ, who lived in a specific time and place, establishing it on Peter, who went to Rome–not Amsterdam or Zurich.

  3. I happen to be in the present Diocese of that former Bishop of Honolulu. During his time in Hawaii he wrote very eloquently on why he felt there was a difference between hula dancing, especially as relates to hand signing and Broadway style liturgical dance. His argument was based on genuine inculturation vs. dance on the mainland which has no deep cultural roots.
    I’m not sure I agree with his arguments, but would say that he is not known for being excessively liberal, having been posted both to Honolulu and his present diocese in what I believe was a move to bring a more conservative hand to two places suffering under very liberal previous bishops. As might be expected his virtual banishment of a number of liberal diocesan hangers on, the dismissal of commissions formed by previous ordinaries on woman’s ordination, as well as his stand against same sex unions have made him less than popular with the old guard. So much so that there is a web page dedicated to bashing him.
    Not as fervent a supporter of Latin in the Mass, (Latin in the N.O., which is my preference or in the TLM) as I would like, he is still a strong proponent of no- nonsense liturgies in general. I wouldn’t ming him being a little more forceful at times. He seems to be making changes too slowly for my taste sometimes, but perhaps he is just trying to be pastoral rather than dictatorial.

  4. Tom says:

    Fr. Z,

    the usually well-informed “Papa Ratzinger blog” has Mons. Ranijth as likely successor of Arinze. This would be a much more likely appointment than Marini’s.

    Tom

  5. kat says:

    Terry,
    The bishop you refer to in Richmond has been in office 2 years and very little has changed in reforming the liberal garbage there. There are still many parishes where the priests sit back and allow EMs to distribute leavened bread (with raisins!) during Communion, spout theology contrary to the Magisterium, and have lay people preside over services. There has been no increase (to my knowledge) in vocations, and he is hostile to the TLM “you got 2, what more do you want?”

    When it was announced that this bishop was replacing Bishop Sullivan I heard about this hula dancing stuff. Right away I thought, uh oh, this is NOT good.”

  6. Boniface says:

    Father,

    Can you indicate please where you spoke about Piero Marini served as the personal secretary to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini ?

    Many thanks.

  7. Tom says:

    “where the priests sit back and allow EMs to distribute leavened bread (with raisins!) during Communion”

    - so that was a protestant communion service, since there would have been no valid Eucharist in such a case?

  8. John says:

    It is true that Bishop DiLorenzo shortly after his arrival in Richmond threw “the drunks out of the bar” but then he bought another round for the ones remaining. Many churches in his dioceses have no kneelers and practice all manner of liturgical offenses, religious education is in the hands of small time petty bureaucrats. Recently, a group of confirmation candidates when asked about the Cathechism had no idea what it was, claimed to have never heard about it before. The list is just too numerous.

    I forgot to say, in addition to throwing out the drunks, the Bishop also fired those who might have been able to assist him to steer a more orthodox course in theology. So, it is more or less business as usual in Richmond.

  9. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    The two foci of the Church Militant should be (1) the proper worship of God and (2) the salvation of souls. If liturgical inculturation serves those purposes, then have at it…

    But I’m not so sure it does. The “Mediterranean Basin” liturgy enshrined in the Extraordinary Form served quite well in the evangelization of many diverse cultures the world over. Latin America. South America. Philippines. Large parts of North America. Japan (on the road to embracing Catholicism until the warlords had conversions forcibly suppressed and missionaries expelled). Large swaths of Africa and India. In many (if not all) cases, the native peoples were fascinated/enthralled by the rites of the Church.

    The record of the Extraordinary Form and the role it played in evangelization simply cannot be matched by the recent history of the Ordinary Form (inculturated or not).

  10. ray from mn says:

    This is really sad.

    If it takes 30 months for an orthodox Pope to get rid of someone in essentially what is a ceremonial position, whether one agrees with Msgr. Marini or not, it tells me that there’s not much hope for a dramatic improvement in the quality of episcopal appointments.

    And there is no hope whatsoever in the Vatican issuing corrective instructions to those bishops and priests who have created their own liturgies.

    Summarum Pontificum will have no major effect on the Church in our lifetimes.

    Recall that it took 26 years to convene the Council of Trent after Martin Luther’s actions at Wittenburg and it took maybe another 100 years for the Council’s decisions to be implemented, and then only after the Thirty Years War that devastated central Europe.

  11. Ruthy Lapeyre says:

    “The record of the Extraordinary Form and the role it played in evangelization simply cannot be matched by the recent history of the Ordinary Form (inculturated or not).” It’s hard to ignore 1700 years of history but they try, oh do they try.

  12. Tim Ferguson says:

    It’s taken 2000 years and we Christians still haven’t preached the Gospel to our next door neighbors, let alone all nations. It’s easy to bemoan how slow other people do their jobs. Or perhaps the suggestion is that we should try to start a war in central Europe in order to bring about the implementation of the Second Vatican Council?

  13. ray from mn, I certainly sympathize with your comments, but when you are dealing with a Church spread across the entire globe, with a huge amount of people who are not well catechized, it is difficult to enact sweeping reforms in a quick way. I think we need to learn from the poor example after Vatican II. The speed with which things were done was, at best, ineffective to lukewarm Catholics, and at worst destructive to the faith of many, either by scandal (SSPX’ers) or distorting the faith (“liberal” agendas).

    I guess you could just add sweeping reforms and just force people to do things. I certainly think you could make arguments for it, but holiness is not just about forcing people to do the right thing, but converting them so that they willingly give assent to the Truth.

    Like I said, I sympathize with your comments, and, yes, I wish things could be changed ASAP, but I don’t think the Pope agrees with that modus operandi. The last thing he wants to do is just make reform something based on whoever is “in charge.” Then the papacy just becomes a political battle. While there may be elements of that, I think that what the Pope really wants to do is bring about true conversion and holiness in the faithful. Is that the best plan? I don’t know, but since he is in charge and I am not, that’s about the best we can do. Certainly pray for change. The more people who pray, the more likely God will answer our prayers. I know for many of us, this appointment is an answer to prayers that gives us some concrete hope.

  14. Father Bartoloma says:

    I am very impressed with John Allen’s journalistic skills. This is probably one of the best articles I’ve read of his. It was informative, balanced (he always is),insightful, and he backed up everything he said very nicely. I can’t believe that the National Catholic Distorter continues to allow him to write for it!

  15. RBrown says:

    – so that was a protestant communion service, since there would have been no valid Eucharist in such a case?
    Comment by Tom

    Not necessarily. Without knowing the specifics, I would think the matter is valid but illicit.

    Valid matter is wheat bread–thus the use of wheat flour and water (the Easterns use leavening). The matter ceases to be valid when there are substitutions for the wheat flour and water, so that they no longer are the main ingredients.

  16. Joe says:

    Fr. Z.,

    I’d like to second the motion made by Boniface.

    AMDG,

    -J.

  17. Henry Edwards says:

    Ray: Summarum Pontificum will have no major effect on the Church in our lifetimes.

    Those who now have a weekly TLM, but did not before Summorum Pontificum, may well feel it has already had an effect in their lifetimes. Cause and effect are not always obvious, but some of us may suspect its possible effect in the more reverent ordinary Masses we’re seeing daily. And certainly in many bishops saying things we never heard from them before Summorum Pontificum. Whether or not you’re seeing right where you are, there are many signs at large that a historic restoration of the Church is finally underway.

  18. John Eakins says:

    ray from mn,

    Summarum Pontificum may not have a major effect on the entire Church in our lifetime but its already having an effect on those people who are in the vicinity of priests who are celebrating the TLM or preparing for the celebration of the TLM.

    The journey of a thousand miles, etc.

    As to major reforms, we know that the ‘renewal’ that happened after Vatican II happened very fast. But, as a stone rolls down hill easily and quickly (destruction) getting that stone back up the hill is more difficult.

    I doubt that the Holy Father could do much more now even if he wanted to, given the level of resistance we know exists in the hierarchy and in the Curia. He’s just got to pick them off one at a time for as much time as he has left.

    Pray for the Holy Father’s health and his safety.

  19. RBrown says:

    Ray from Mn,

    I think there are various reasons why it took BXVI 30 months.

    1. The Ratzinger approach to liturgy is in opposition to that of Wojtyla. And so it was not likely that any key appointment would come from within the Curia. Bertone, Filoni, Ranjith, and Guido Marini were serving outside the curia.

    2. Although he was a member of the Curia, Cardinal Ratzinger was not in an administrative position. He already knew a lot of good men around the world but not many administrators.

    3. It took BXVI a while to familiarize himself with the job.

    4. NB: The coordination of Summorum Pontificum with the change of MC. Thus there was really no need to change the MC (who didn’t want to go) until SP had been promulgated.

    I think it better to take some time and get these key appointments right rather than use the quick and dirty MO.

  20. Matthew says:

    RBrown:
    I am almost certain that in the West leaven INVALIDATES the matter.
    Matthew

  21. I think it is interesting to compare and contrast Msgr P Marini (the European) and Mgsr Ranjith (the Asian) on inculturation.

  22. danphunter1 says:

    Summorum Pontificum is already having a huge effect on the world specifically in bringing Protestants back to the Church.
    My family has, with the Grace of the Holy Ghost, helped bring a number of Protestant family members into the Church.
    They have had no interest in the Novus Ordo mass because to them it looks like theire Protestant services, but we have exposed them to the now more available Tridentine Mass and they are hooked.
    I am teaching them catechism from the Baltimore Catechism and their eyes are being opened.
    I would state that the release of Summorum Pontificum is becoming the greatest tool for ecumenism and evangelisation in the Church, today.
    God bless you.

  23. anonymous from Michigan says:

    RBrown:

    I am almost certain that in the West leaven INVALIDATES the matter.
    Matthew

    ——

    Think about this statement for a second. If the leavened bread in Eastern-rite churches (the majority use leavened bread)is valid matter how could it suddenly be invalid if a priest in the Roman-rite would use it? While it would be illicit if a Roman-rite priest used leavened bread ,it would certainly not invalidate the confecting of the sacrament. The Council of Florence says in its “Decretum pro Armenis” that “the body of Christ is truly confected in wheaten bread, whether it be leavened or not, and priest of the Eastern or Western Church are bound to consecrate in either according to the respective customs of each rite.”

  24. Dionysius Harriedopolis says:

    Whether leaven invalidates the matter is a moot point. Raisins certainly do. Period. The matter was invalid. However a Mass celebrated with invalid matter does not by that token automatically become invalid. Illicit, yes, invalid no, unless also the words were invalid and the intention of the priest invalid. Others may know better and I am ready to be corrected, but this is how I understand the matter.

  25. danphunter1 says:

    What if a priest does not believe what the Church intends,when he attempts the Consecration.
    In other words he does not believe that transubstantiation occurs and therfore he believes just a symbolic change is taking place. If the priest believes this internally,and we have no way of knowing this unless he tells us,theoretically if he does not intend to do what the Church does, is the consecration invalid?

  26. anonymous from Michigan says:

    Whether leaven invalidates the matter is a moot point. Raisins certainly do. Period. The matter was invalid. However a Mass celebrated with invalid matter does not by that token automatically become invalid. Illicit, yes, invalid no, unless also the words were invalid and the intention of the priest invalid. Others may know better and I am ready to be corrected, but this is how I understand the matter.

    ——–

    I don’t want to derail the topic further but all four requirements (Matter, Form, Intention, proper minister) must be present for there to be a sacrament. If one is missing there is no sacrament. In short, invalid matter by its very nature invalidates the sacrament.

  27. Val says:

    Dan,

    here is your answer:
    “A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a sacrament is truly conferred by the ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed” (AC 33).”
    check this out:
    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0402fea4.asp

  28. RichR says:

    Fr Z.,

    You crack me up. I now have you on my short list of “Clerics I’d Love To Have A Beer With”.

  29. danphunter1 says:

    Michigan,
    Thank you. That answers my question.
    God bless you.

  30. Val says:

    Dan,

    here is your answer:
    “A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a sacrament is truly conferred by the ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed” (AC 33).”
    check this out:
    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0402fea4.asp
    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9905chap.asp

  31. danphunter1 says:

    Val,
    According to what you are saying anyone who has some form of ministry can consecrate the Blessed Sacrament.A heretic, or protestant can or a pagan, as long as he employs the Catholic Rite.
    Hmmm… that is a new one to the Church.

  32. dcs says:

    Dionysius writes:
    However a Mass celebrated with invalid matter does not by that token automatically become invalid.

    I’m afraid it does. Both elements must be consecrated for a valid Mass. If there is invalid matter used for one of the elements, that consecration is invalid and hence so is the Mass. No consecration = no sacrifice.

    I don’t know whether raisins in the bread to be consecrated would make for invalid matter. I think it would depend on the relative number of raisins used. That said, I think we can all agree that raisin bread is doubtfully valid matter at best.

  33. RBrown says:

    RBrown:
    I am almost certain that in the West leaven INVALIDATES the matter.
    Comment by Matthew

    Nope. Matter is invalid in se (ontologically)–it is not made invalid by a law.

    It’s very simple: Valid matter is Wheat Bread. Invalid matter is that which is not Wheat Bread.

  34. danphunter1 says:

    RBrown,
    So why,in the west, is unleavened bread used, exclusively,in the host?

  35. RBrown says:

    Whether leaven invalidates the matter is a moot point. Raisins certainly do. Period. The matter was invalid.

    Incorrect. Wheat Bread is valid matter. Additives produce illicit matter. If those additives reach a point where it can no longer be considered Wheat Bread, then it is invalid matter.

    However a Mass celebrated with invalid matter does not by that token automatically become invalid. Illicit, yes, invalid no, unless also the words were invalid and the intention of the priest invalid. Others may know better and I am ready to be corrected, but this is how I understand the matter.
    Comment by Dionysius Harriedopolis

    Also incorrect. The Sacrifice of the mass depends on the double consecration, which is the Sacramental separation of the Body and Blood. If one of the species is invalid, therefore, there is no Sacramental separation. Therefore, no Sacrifice. And therefore, no mass.

    But if one of the species is invalid and the communicant receives from the other species (which is valid), then he has truly received the Body of Christ.

  36. RBrown says:

    RBrown,
    So why,in the west, is unleavened bread used, exclusively,in the host?
    Comment by danphunter1

    In the West unleavened bread is used because of the connection of the Last Supper with the Jewish Feast of Unleavened Bread.

    In the East leavened bread is used because of the symbolic association of Leaven with the Kingdom of Heaven (cf NT).

  37. danphunter1 says:

    RBrown,
    Thank you.
    So we are talking about earthly substance in history[West}
    vs.
    symbolism in Sacred Scripture.[East]
    God bless you.

  38. RBrown says:

    I think we went over this some months ago:

    According to St Thomas the MINIMAL intention for the validity of any Sacrament is the same: To do what the Church does.

    This MINIMAL intention is always GENERAL and always the same for every Sacrament: To do what the Church does. Thus the minimal intention for the Eucharist is to intend to do what the Church does. The minimal intention for Baptism is to intend to do what the Church does.

    MINIMAL intention is never specific to a specific Sacrament. And so the MINIMAL intention for the Eucharist is to intend to do what the Church does. MINIMAL intention is not to Transubstantiate–that is a specific intention.

    The reason is that the Church’s specific intention is expressed in the Sacramental Form.

  39. RBrown says:

    So we are talking about earthly substance in history[West} vs. symbolism in Sacred Scripture.[East]
    Comment by danphunter1

    Earthly substances, wheat flour and water, are used in both. But the use of leavening in the East is symbolic.

  40. danphunter1 says:

    Val,
    How could a heretic, who cannot recieve Orders, or a non-baptised man,who cannot recieve Orders confect the Sacrament?
    Is there a new teaching?

  41. Syriacus says:

    O please God…. O please O please O please… O… um…please God…O please O please O please… O… um…(…see the rest ut supra!:).

  42. RBrown says:

    How could a heretic, who cannot recieve Orders, or a non-baptised man,who cannot receive Orders confect the Sacrament?
    Is there a new teaching?
    Comment by danphunter1

    Obviously, not the Eucharist, but the principle would apply to a heretic or unBaptized Baptizing someone.

  43. Fr Arsenius says:

    > One hallmark of Marini’s liturgical outlook is an openness to inculturation, [wrongly understood in my opinion] or allowing the ritual practice of the church to he shaped by local cultures.

    Fr. Z. nails it on the head. I think what happened is that His Excellency, Mons. Marini (the former) confused “inculturation” — the adaptation of the way the Gospel is presented for the specific cultures being evangelized — with “acculturation” — a process in which members of one cultural group adopt the beliefs and behaviors of another group.

    With eager anticipation I look forward to the future of the Sacred Liturgy in the Holy See, and how that will influence how the Liturgy is celebrated in the Latin rite throughout the world.

  44. RBrown says:

    I think what happened is that His Excellency, Mons. Marini (the former) confused “inculturation”—the adaptation of the way the Gospel is presented for the specific cultures being evangelized—with “acculturation”—a process in which members of one cultural group adopt the beliefs and behaviors of another group.
    Comment by Fr Arsenius

    I think it’s a matter of cultural relativism, i.e., that there is nothing special about a culture that sprouted and grew from within Christendom. Thus that there is something in some pagan culture that is–or can be–the equivalent of Gregorian Chant.

    IMHO, behind it all is a progressivism that has a lot in common with Joachim di Fiore’s Age of the Spirit, with which Joseph Ratzinger the scholar is very familiar.

  45. Athanasius says:

    The next day, when the pope beatified a pair of Mayan martyrs in the same spot, another native song-and-dance routine was performed. This time there was the further twist of a limpia, or purification, ceremony. The Indian blessing is believed to cure spiritual and physical ailments by driving off evil spirits. Indian women bearing smoking pots of incense brushed herbs on the pontiff, Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera and other prelates as the dancing unfolded.

    This is why John Paul can not be made a saint. His personal holiness or lack thereof, only God knows, has absolutely nothing to do with it. What you are saying in effect by elevating him to the altars is that this type of lunacy is good and praiseworthy and something Catholics should imitate. It sends a message of what Cardinal Biffi called “apostasy” in 1986, and it suggests that is what Catholicism is about. There is a difference between making a mistake here, or having a mistaken theological opinion that was not corrected by the Church or a future Pope, but this was something that should simply be condemned and a future Pope should condemn him for it in the most severe terms. That particular “limpia” ceremony was being used a few hundred years before that, and was stopped by Juan Battista and Jacinto de los Angeles, the dominican martyrs who John Paul II was beatifying that very day! That is why they were martyred! For stopping the same demonic pagan ceremony that JPII permitted, directly or indirectly, to take place at a beatification ceremony!

    Some might say well, Marini set it up. But was John Paul II Pope or not? I’m not a sede, so I say he was, and as such is responsible for abominations like this, regardless of Marini’s involvement. The departure of Marini is a cause to break out the 20 year old scotch to be sure, but it should also lead us to reflect and seriously ask whether or not JPII can be a saint. I can’t see how the right thinking can say anything other than Mai Santo!

  46. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    JPII was not completely responsible for some of the liturgies he presided over as Benedict was not responsible for the hideous vestments he wore in Austria.The early days of JPII all liturgies were absolutely correct thanks to his Irish MC. When Msgr.Magee came to the USA he expressly forbade the request of the bishops to use extraordinary ministers to distribute communion.The mass in Washington D.C. for priests had all the priests in choir -not concelebrating-and chanting the Latin ordinary.I still recall JPII on television refusing to give communion in the hand to the wife of the President of France.It has always puzzled me why such a Pope devoted to the Eucharist and from a highly conservative country would tolerate the often scandalous liturgies over which he presided.I was told by someone who works in the ceremonial office and worked under both Magee and Marini that JPII left every thing liturgical in the hands of his MC>He might not like a certain thing-like dance-and would remark about it afterwards but he would do nothing to prevent it happening again. This was confirmrd to me by a Curial Cardinal who was a personal friend of JPII. I believe he will and ought to be canonized but only after the parade of discerning and forgetful years.

  47. Daniel Anselmo says:

    [From Mexico City, with the sound of the seashell:] I would like to go further on the case of the canonization of saint Juan Diego and the beatification of Juan Bautista and Jacinto de los Ángeles. Here in Mexico the visit of John Paul II was percieved clearly (and mainly by the media) as a “reinvindication” of the ancient cultures, as confronted by the modern world (of which they, I believe, are part). So the use of native music and dance (which was the way aztecs, and prehispanic people worshipped) was percieved by the main public as a rather positive “feature”. And, anyway, that was a very joyful day throughout the nation.

    Personally, I was shocked not by the dance at Juan Diego’s canonization, but by the “limpia” ceremony. In fact, there were voices (in the media, again) that argued that the limpia never happened. They said (or implied) that the women carrying branches were just swinging them “very close” to the Pope.

    Anyway, since that day I have been asking myself: “Why? Why did the Pope permit something like that?”. It is hard to believe that he did not know that things like those were going to happen.

    On the other hand, about the rumors of Piero Marini becoming the prefect of the CDWDS or a cardinal: “O please God…. O please O please O please…”, as Fr. Z. said, quoting what I thought earlier.

    Guys, any opinion about the convenience of studying liturgy at the Sant’Anselmo??? I’ve been thinking about it.

  48. Athanasius says:

    He might not like a certain thing-like dance-and would remark about it afterwards but he would do nothing to prevent it happening again.

    I’m sorry Father, but that just doesn’t do. He was the Pope, he held the keys, he had supreme, complete and apostolic authority in his hand. He can’t be excused on the grounds that he trusted Marini to come up with everything. If he didn’t approve of what was happening he could have politely and charitably made a switch. That he did nothing only shows he approved of these grave scandals, either because he changed his mind or because he was too weak to do anything about it. Either way such a man can not be a great Pope, neither can he be a saint. Marini’s legacy illustrates that perfectly. Saintly Popes made mistakes, but they did not make them over and over and over, especially with such gravely scandalous things as liturgical abuse and pagan affronts to the Holy Eucharist.

  49. EJ says:

    Athanasius- more respect please, or simply do us a favor and shut your disrespectful and judgemental mouth. My parents were among the thousands who stood 12 hours straight with no access to water or first aid in the Nicaraguan sun at the hands of the Sandinistas in 1983- to witness John Paul II finally lose his temper at the lack of respect toward the Sacred Liturgy and from the microphone silenced every last heckling Sandinista supporter in the middle of his homily. This is not a man who wanted to endorse liturgical abuse- but he was one who in his later years, trusted those closest to him to help him serve as he was called to serve. Whether they did it faithfully and prudently, God will decide, but John Paul II trusted. The man whose memory you sully is also the author of Ecclesia De Eucharistia, his last encylical, which called for an end to liturgial abuses, among other things. Do you know the kind of mayhem he inherited as Pope in 1978, and how this had to force him to define what his priorites as Pope were to be? Do you all see no connection to the fact that the limpia occured in 2002, when Marini was also in charge of wiping the Holy Father’s drool as he spoke? Do you not remember what John Paul II looked like from 2001 until his death or how much strength and mobility he DIDNT have? I suppose he could have just walked off his chair in 2002 in protest…honestly! When you are old, frail, and prisoners in your own bodies, come and tell me what you will or wont tolerate from others. Father made the point above that in his early years, his more robust years, things were different. Do not presume to judge any Pope, much less John Paul II, until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes- and let me tell you, most of us, me being the first, wouldn’t last but a few paces compared to what that man endured and accomplished out of love for Christ and His Church. And the whole “the more African the better” quote that some of you drone on and on about..John Paul II was a philosopher, not a liturgist or a theologian – Christian humanism shaped the essence of his spirituality – his was a pontificate of reaching out to others and giving of himself, until he spent himself at the end – do not trivialize and disrespect the memory of this Pontiff, who suffered and prayed so much for you, with your lack of understanding, depth, and charity.

  50. Alex says:

    The problem with Piero Marini’s claims and speculations is that they stem from a very small group of elitist liturgical revolutionaries since the 1940s, and that the peoples of Africa and South America in practice resent(ed) every innovation which brought secular local culture into the sacred realm. There is nothing wrong with native artworks and Christianizing local shrines, but I am Germanic, and there is no Germanic language in the traditional Mass, and yet it formed the cultures of Norway, Netherlands, England, Germany, Switzerland, Prussia, Sweden, Danmark, Austria like nothing ever did. And the Mediterranean area is not uniform either, but separeted. Latin areas were not like the Syrian areas, or like the Coptic churches in southern Egypt’s Upper Nile.

    Mgr. Marini is on his way out, and so should these inculturation theories be. As if native Africans are so primitive that they could not understand the Roman Rite Mass, as if they would not sense the sacrality, as if they only want to play some wooden drums and dance around.

    Marini is a liturgical exponent of the “Volonté Générale” of Roussea. Nobody really asks the natives what they want. The Indians and Africans knelt down in awe at the ancient Roman Mass. As did the Celts and Germanic peoples and the Baltic ones. They did not want to sing their secular songs and have beers in church and dance around like Vikings.

    Sancta sanctis!

  51. RBrown says:

    The problem with Piero Marini’s claims and speculations is that they stem from a very small group of elitist liturgical revolutionaries since the 1940s, and that the peoples of Africa and South America in practice resent(ed) every innovation which brought secular local culture into the sacred realm.
    Comment by Alex

    I agree. The idea of Liturgical Inculturation is Western Bourgeois and is a celebration of US–not Christ’s Church. We are affluent, and therefore we are going to celebrate Ourselves.

    The principles of this self-centered celebration have simply been applied to primitive cultures, who, as you note, have been much more interested in Latin liturgy and Gregorian Chant.

  52. RBrown says:

    I still recall JPII on television refusing to give communion in the hand to the wife of the President of France. It has always puzzled me why such a Pope devoted to the Eucharist and from a highly conservative country would tolerate the often scandalous liturgies over which he presided. I was told by someone who works in the ceremonial office and worked under both Magee and Marini that JPII left every thing liturgical in the hands of his MC. He might not like a certain thing-like dance-and would remark about it afterwards but he would do nothing to prevent it happening again. This was confirmed to me by a Curial Cardinal who was a personal friend of JPII. I believe he will and ought to be canonized but only after the parade of discerning and forgetful years.
    Comment by fr.franklyn mcafee

    It is true that JPII changed liturgically, but Piero Marini wasn’t the reason. And the fact that the pope began giving Communion in the hand cannot be blamed on Marini.

    The change in Papa Wojtyla happened after the fall of the Soviet Empire. It was then that JPII the Anti-Communist Pope became JPII the Ecumenical Pope.

  53. Pat says:

    RBrown
    Your comment about the change in Pope John Paul’s theology of the Eucharist, is most interesting. Do you have any suggestions for further reading on John Paul’s change to becoming an enumenical pope and how this is all related to reception of the Eucharist?
    EJ,
    This is not meant to be disrespectful. I, like Athanasius, am just trying to make sense out of all this. What should we expect the Holy Father to do when a pagan purification ceremony is inserted into Holy Mass? Understanding that in this case we were dealing with a very frail man, what should others have done? Liturgical dance looks like a small issue next to this abomination. How can we expect reverence to return to Mass when progressives can point to events like this to justify ad libbing Mass?
    Pat

  54. EJ says:

    What should be expected is that one not judge as harshly and callously as has been done by some here. To think that the Pope should be in heaven now, and we could face hell for our sharp tongues. I am not saying that this was not disturbing or seriously off-what I am asking is how you calculate the blame that some of you put on the shoulders of John Paul II for what happened at this ceremony. Even the author of this article does not presume to lay any blame on the Pope. It seems to have been a serious mistake on the part of an imprudent and eccentric former head of the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff… but how easy it is to condemn a near incapacitated octogenarian who may have not known even what was going on until it happened. Give it a rest already- go to your parish and pray for him if your this hurt and confounded still. Be greatful that alot has been accomplished recently to turn things around for the Sacred Liturgy-be greatful for this new and promising nomination, and for the hope we should all feel. One can babble on here and sound of on how unworthy he is of canonization, as if it were up to us to presume whether or not he is or isn’t a saint. It’s the self-righteousness of some of us who call ourselves traditional Catholics that does not allow whatever good we wish for the Church to be fully understood by others. I’ll pray for you and pray for me too, and I’ll lay this topic to rest too on my part, I think enough has been said.

  55. RBrown says:

    Your comment about the change in Pope John Paul’s theology of the Eucharist, is most interesting. Do you have any suggestions for further reading on John Paul’s change to becoming an enumenical pope and how this is all related to reception of the Eucharist?

    I never said that there was any change in JPII’s theology of the Eucharist. My guess is that he came to Rome with a Novus Ordo theology of the Eucharist (Eucharistic meal, etc.) but with the discipline of the Church in Poland. Such discipline was produced by the firm hand of Cardinal Wyszynski as well as the Communist persecution of the Church.

    I was in Rome during this time–I don’t know what to tell you to read.

  56. RBrown says:

    Also: JPII was a talented man, but he had almost no formal training in dogma beyond the basic seminary courses. His doctoral work was in Mystical/Ascetical Theology (at the Angelicum) and Ethics (in Poland). As you no doubt know, he was a professor of Ethics.

  57. Athanasius says:

    EJ,

    I probably shouldn’t respond, because you are not going to get it, but I’ll give it a try.
    First, it is you who are judging, not me. I merely made a logical deduction, you are arguing purely on emotion and imputing to me all sorts of things that I never even said! If you really want to know what I think of John Paul II read this. Second, I’m judging the Pope’s external actions, if they shouldn’t be judged then they shouldn’t be carried out in public. We are body soul unities, what happens physically affects what we understand intellectually and spiritually. If something physically happens we judge it, and apply to it an adjective. That doesn’t mean we impute motives of a spiritual nature, i.e. the Pope was evil, a heretic, a secret communist or free-mason, all things which have been said by those who judge him and not been said by me. His sanctity is of little interest to me for the simple reason that I have no way to know anything about it! When our Blessed Lord said “Judge not, lest you be judged according to the measure by which you judge” (Matthew VII), he was not talking about making judgments about people based on their actions. He was talking about judging their souls, something God alone can do. He is talking about false witness and gossip, based upon things you can’t know, and how painful it is to suddenly have the same judgments made about you when you know it isn’t so.

    That’s not what is going on in my critique of John Paul II. If the incident in Oxaca were the only one amongst many glories, or the Qur’an kissing if it was an innocent mistake meant to show solidarity, as I argue in the link I gave, then fine, he made some mistakes, as did many saints. My problem is when you have the Qur’an incident, the limpia, Assisi I & II where the vicar of Christ had representatives from every religion imaginable yet did not even mention the name of our Blessed Lord, the refusal to correct numerous dissident theologians, to correct erring bishops, permitting aztec dancers at Juan Diego’s canonization, when Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego to crush the heathen aztec religion, authoring theological opinions that appear at variance from Tradition which a future Pope may well correct him for, being signed with the mark of Shiva, meeting publicly with Yasser Arafat a notorious terrorist and murderer, giving away Churches repeatedly to the Orthodox and abandoning the needs of Eastern Catholics to appease the Orthodox, asking John the Baptist to protect Islam(!) a religion perennially at the throat of non-muslims, appointing and then leaving in place notoriously bad bishops like Cardinal Mahony, even when he was young. It was in 1992 that Bishop Hubbard in Albany opened up the “Bishop Hubbard center for women’s ordination”. John Paul II only made the Bishop take the name off, he didn’t suspend, excommunicate or remove Bishop Hubbard, who unless I’m mistaken, is still there like Bishop Clark of Rochester who has liturgical dance frequently. He could have even politely replaced them and moved them into a desk job somewhere. That is really a smattering, and it isn’t like the Dimond Bros. “the 1000 heresies of JPII” or some other truly scandalous, evil or disrespectful thing. It is public actions which I see with my own two eyes and when comparing them with true saintly Pope, I come up with a question mark. We are making him a saint before Leo XIII why? Before Pius XII, why? It is not like one or two mistakes. Yes he did indeed do a positive with the Sandanistas but he could have done much more, like excommunicating them, like officially declaring Liberation Theology a heresy in an encyclical rather than in a small clarification from the CDF published in L’Osservatore Romano. I can understand not declaring Communism a heresy for fear of provoking the Soviets to launch a nuke, but condemning liberation theology would hardly have angered Moscow if his work as Cardinal Wojtilya with Solidarity had not already.

    Lastly, you seem to be arguing that JPII was an invalid incapable of cognitive thought. Yet many argue that when his body failed him his mind was still alive. Which is it? The various trips between 2000 and his death are said to have been on his initiative. George Weigel claimed on EWTN that his curial advisers asked him not to do WYD 2002 and that he chose to do it anyway. The reason I bring this up is, he could have removed Cardinal Marini with a word, in fact he chose to make the man cardinal. If he was that upset about the countless, unceasing abuses at papal liturgies which go against what he wrote in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, (and unenforced document, or else the Bishops would not still be talking about abuses as of the Eucharistic Synod two years ago) he could have politely gotten rid of Marini later, which would be enough to satisfy me that he didn’t approve of what took place. Yet papal liturgy after papal liturgy we see the same abuses. Even if he couldn’t walk off stage, he could have done something later, especially at the ones occurring in the 90′s.

    These all raise questions, can we elevate as a saint, whose virtues should be imitated, someone who (even while he was young) was not capable of bringing discipline to the Church, and chose to go along with the insanity instead? That doesn’t mean we have to condemn him either. Someone I know said “He was a great man but not a great Pope.” We call such people bad parents when they are laity, and bad priests in parishes and bad bishops in chanceries. Why does the Pope get exempted? This has nothing to do with how God will judge the man, as our Lord judges according to a different measure, one we can have nothing to do with. I pray every day for John Paul II, but I do not and can not pray to John Paul II. I hope that explains things.

  58. danphunter1 says:

    Athanasius,
    Well, and bravely stated.
    God bless you,and God bless our Holy Mother Church.