Marini vixit, vivat Marini – IT’S DONE!

It’s done.  His Excellency Piero Marini will no longer be the Master of Pontifical Ceremonies. 

How we shall miss him.

This is from the Holy See today:

NOMINA DEL MAESTRO DELLE CELEBRAZIONI LITURGICHE PONTIFICIE

Il Santo Padre ha nominato Maestro delle Celebrazioni Liturgiche Pontificie il Rev.do Don Guido Marini, del clero dell’Arcidiocesi di Genova.

 Rev.do Guido Marini

Il Rev.do Don Guido Marini è nato a Genova il 31 gennaio 1965. Dopo aver conseguito il diploma di maturità classica, [He has a background in Classical languages] ha frequentato il Seminario Arcivescovile di Genova, dove ha ottenuto il Baccellierato in Teologia.

Ordinato sacerdote il 4 febbraio 1989, ha poi conseguito a Roma il Dottorato "In utroque Iure" [He has a canon and civil law degree.] presso la Pontificia Università Lateranense e, nel 2007, la laurea breve in Psicologia della Comunicazione presso la Pontificia Università Salesiana.

Dal 1988 al 2003 è stato Segretario particolare degli Arcivescovi di Genova: il Cardinale Giovanni Canestri (fino al 1995), il Cardinale Dionigi Tettamanzi (fino al 2002) ed il Cardinale Tarcisio Bertone. [Ta da!  There’s the connection… private secretary of Canestri, Tettamanzi and…. drum roll please … Bertone.]

Dei Cardinali Tettamanzi e Bertone, nonché dell’Arcivescovo Mons. Bagnasco, [President of the Italian Bishops Conference] è stato Maestro delle Celebrazioni liturgiche, avendo cura particolare nella redazione dei libretti liturgici e costituendo il "Collegium Laurentianum", associazione di volontari per il servizio d’ordine e d’accoglienza della Cattedrale.

Dal 2003 al 2005 è stato Direttore dell’Ufficio Diocesano per l’Educazione, la Scuola, con specifica competenza sull’Insegnamento della Religione Cattolica. [So, he understands catechesis.  No doubt he understands what one learns of the faith by the way Mass is celebrated.]

Dal 1996 al 2001 è stato Membro eletto del Consiglio Presbiterale Diocesano. Nominato Cancelliere Arcivescovile nel 2005, è divenuto Membro di diritto del medesimo Consiglio Presbiterale e, con il compito di Segretario, Membro del Consiglio Episcopale.

Dal 1992 insegna Diritto Canonico presso la Sezione di Genova della Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Settentrionale e presso l’Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose, dove tiene anche il corso di Teologia dei Ministeri.  [Slowly but surely he was given more positions, which he obviously carried out well.]

Nel 2002 è stato nominato Canonico della Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, della quale dal 2003 è Prefetto. Dal 2004 svolge anche l’ufficio di Direttore Spirituale del Seminario Arcivescovile di Genova.

Ha pubblicato diversi volumi di spiritualità ed articoli su riviste.

Ha svolto il proprio ministero soprattutto nell’ambito della predicazione, della direzione spirituale, dell’accompagnamento di gruppi giovanili e come assistente spirituale di alcune comunità religiose femminili.

[01356-01.01]

# NOMINA DEL PRESIDENTE DEL PONTIFICIO COMITATO PER I CONGRESSI EUCARISTICI INTERNAZIONALI

Il Papa ha nominato Presidente del Pontificio Comitato per i Congressi Eucaristici Internazionali S.E. Mons. Piero Marini, Arcivescovo tit. di Martirano, finora Maestro delle Celebrazioni Liturgiche Pontificie.  [In this position he will, alas, still have influence over "international" liturgies.  Also, I suspect he will still be involved in the CEI’s liturgy efforts for missionary countries and will be teaching at Sant’Anselmo.]

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60 Responses to Marini vixit, vivat Marini – IT’S DONE!

  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    Let there be sung “Non Nobis” and “Te Deum!”

  2. Henry Edwards says:

    The following photo shows the new Papal MC Guido Marini sitting on Cardinal Bertone’s right.

    http://www.diocesi.genova.it/immagini/immagine.php?id=2135

    Can’t seem to put my finger on it, but somehow the ambiance here seems different from most photos showing Piero Marini acting as Papal MC.

    Guido Marini with Card. Bertone

  3. Henry: Can’t seem to put my finger on it, but somehow the ambiance here seems different from most photos showing Piero Marini acting as Papal MC.

    Hmmm… what could it be.

    It looks…. Catholic?

    I think I might have another bottle of The Widow around here somewhere.

  4. danphunter1 says:

    Now those are awesome vestments.
    I think His Eminence is actually wearing a mitre. I can see it!
    God bless Don Guido Marini.

  5. It’s just rather unfortunate that P. Marini will still have a say over any kind of liturgy at all.

  6. Barb says:

    It concerns me that Msgr. Piero Marini will be teaching at San Anselmo. As a devotee of the inestimable Bugnini, I have no confidence that he practices the “hermeneutic of continuity”. Think of all the young priests who can still be poisoned by the “consilium” of the 1960s. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong. The last thing we need is a continuation of the “hermeneutic of rupture”.

  7. Mathew Mattingly says:

    Beautiful photo! Now if only this can be replicated in the Vatican !!! (Same type vestments, same type surplices for the MC’s- instead of what always looked like starched plain pillowcases).

    I hope bringing back a visual element of real Catholicity to Papal Masses will be an aim of our new MC.

    Too much to ask for the tiara, I am sure. But don’t be surprised if beautiful vestments like these, and magnificent mitres are used once more.

    Piero Marini is gone at last !! Hooray !!! He knew it was coming. Did anyone see how mad He looked at the ceremony to consecrate new Bishops in the Vatican last Saturday !. Arms folded over His chest while everyone else had hands folded in prayer….glaring at everyone (including the Pope) LOL!!
    Good riddance. His new position is very low profile job. Hopefully He’ll have to wait a decade to become a Cardinal !

  8. Arieh says:

    Perhaps the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses will be merged into another department and Marini will become the nuncio to Iran, just like his mentor…

  9. Dustin says:

    Today’s anti-spam word from Fr. Z is the phrase “pray for our priests.” How many of us, instead of thinking uncharitable thoughts about liturgical progressives like Msgr. Marini, regularly offer our prayers for them? We would all do well to remember that many of his liturgies that were deemed inappropriate very often had the direct approbation of Pope John Paul, whose liturgical tastes were very much in line with Marini’s. (“The more African, the better,” the late pontiff is reported to have said concerning a mass in St. Peter’s.)

    Piero Marini has devotedly served the church for many decades, and I’m not hostile to the notion of his receiving the red biretta next month. His ideas may approach the frontier of the hermeneutic of discontinuity, but he is not an evil man, and this change in office is nothing, I think, that should be exulted in, but is a reorientation that’s inevitable with any new pope. John Paul had an MC in Msgr. Marini who matched his own visions for the liturgy. Benedict now has, and deserves, one who matches his own. It would be incorrect to interpret this as “punishment,” or the idea of “promotion by demotion,” or whatever that similar Italian phrase is.

    Pray for our priests, including Marini the elder and Marini the younger.

  10. Dustin says:

    Wikipedia’s an amazing thing sometimes; the change is already up on Marini’s page. The younger does not yet have his own entry. Hopefully, he’ll soon make his mark. I’d like him to remembered well. May progressives not treat him the way conservatives have treated Piero.

    As for the photo posted by Henry Edwards, it’s quite nice, though I do miss the old mitres, the VERY tall ones whose peaks joined at the top. Ah, well. The times.

  11. Garry says:

    Are we not merely making P a scapegoat for the Popes? Were JPII and B16 solely puppets in his hand? I am afraid that we will see little change, and certainly nothing abrupt.

  12. Fr. Stephen says:

    Matthew Mattingly,
    I wear one of those surplices that you called “starched plain pillow cases”. I consider it to be a dignified garment and cannot share your enthusiasm for albs and surplices which remind me of my grandmother’s dining room. I am delighted with being able to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form, but wish that this beautiful liturgy was not associated so much, if at all, with fiddlebacks and lace. “De gustibus” and all that, but I think that the plainer, at least non-lace, albs and surplices have a longer history in the Church which should not be disparaged.

  13. Fr. W. T. C. says:

    “perfecto odio oderam illos inimici facti sunt mihi”

  14. Mark says:

    As a frequent viewer to EWTN’s coverage of papal events, I for one will welcome the absence of P. Marini’s endless adjusting of microphones and the disdainful looks he would give acolytes who had the unfortunate job of holding the liturgical booksfor the Holy Father.

  15. Mark says:

    As a frequent viewer to EWTN’s coverage of papal events, I for one will welcome the absence of P. Marini’s endless adjusting of microphones and the disdainful looks he would give acolytes who had the unfortunate job of holding the liturgical books for the Holy Father.

  16. leo says:

    love his rochet I think the box pleat Vatican cottas simply need some paraffin and a match even the Holy Father had to wear one on his election and it looked awful

  17. Sid Cundiff says:

    Tennyson would like it, but I’ll say it anyway. The old order comes,the new passes away.

  18. Paul Murnane says:

    I laughed when I read the following in John Allen’s column
    “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.”

    …and almost choked when I read this:
    “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.

  19. Jordan Potter says:

    Dustin said: May progressives not treat him the way conservatives have treated Piero.

    Amen.

    And may Msgr. Marini not treat papal liturgies the way Archbishop Marini treated them.

  20. Derik Castillo says:

    I pray this change in responsibilities
    will be a ‘nudge’ in the right direction for
    Marini the older who is now very aware of the
    consequences of doing his own will over
    the Wisdom of Tradition.

    I pray also that many people who do not
    understand how the Church works and
    dismiss Tradition with a couple of sneers
    will accept the language, vestment, and
    gestures that truly belong to us Catholics.

    Derik

  21. anon says:

    Hmmmmm….might we not be getting ahead of ourselves? Perhaps the vestments in the picture are because they are the vestments of the cathedral and not a conscious choice on he part of the MC. He might follow in his predecessor’s part after all.

    (And what about those clasped hands? Not good! Flat on the lap, that’s what I used to be told.;-) )

  22. Graham says:

    The Lord works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform!

    Deo Gratias Archbishop Marini is gone!

  23. Donna in Ontario says:

    “In this position he will, alas, still have influence over ‘international’ liturgies.” …

    … Which, I suspect, means Canadians will not get a good hearing if we commence a fuss over the liturgical dancing which is scheduled to accompany the opening Mass at the Eucharistic Congress in Montreal next year. Sigh.

  24. Henry Edwards says:

    Perhaps the vestments in the picture are because they are the vestments of the cathedral

    Similarly, let’s hope Marini II promotes the use of vestments from the treasury of St. Peter’s basilica rather than the new “fabrications” Marini I favored.

  25. I am happy to hear this news. I think things can only start improving. It is distressing though to hear that his excellency P. Marini will still have either some influence over certain future liturgies, or that he could teach in a pontifical institute. Of course Sant’Anselmo has many other problems which I would say are much worse than P. Marini teaching there.

    Still, I would hope that maybe G. Marini will be a drastic improvment, and maybe through close collaboration with Pope Benedict, some aspects of the “reform of the reform” can be accelerated (even if it be “festina lente”). I would even hope that improved papal liturgies could instruct and convert the hearts of those who are more opposed to tradition (even P. Marini himself).

    I say we should definitely pray for both Marinis, and especially that G. Marini will do all he can to give as much glory to God through the liturgy. Deo gratias!

    (I agree with Mathew Mattingly in that I too would like to see the tiara, but alas, I think the mitre rather than the tiara is a decision by Pope Benedict himself. Still, one can hope!)

  26. Mathew Mattingly says:

    I was so optomistic about the liturgical prospects under the new Marini, but having read some of the really dreadful pessimistic comments of some posters, I fear we might just be in for more of the same.
    I hope not. But now, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  27. Angelo says:

    Let’s start with this recommendation first:

    Consign that ugly & disfigured cross, too often seen
    at papal liturgical functions, to the dump heap.

  28. Fr. Harrie says:

    Dear Brothers,
    don’t judge Mgr. Piero Marini to hard, we don’t know what forces he had to cope with in the “Vatican Machine”. He was e really nice man, had to de with him this summer, in a rainy ceremony however. Let’s pray for him and his new apostolate. And pray for the new Master of Ceremony’s, that he has the courage to change things.

  29. EJ says:

    “Similarly, let’s hope Marini II promotes the use of vestments from the treasury of St. Peter’s basilica rather than the new “fabrications” Marini I favored.”

    I second that, and I think that that is a very real possibility… and one to very much look forward to!

  30. Paul Murnane says:

    Similarly, let’s hope Marini II promotes the use of vestments from the treasury of St. Peter’s basilica rather than the new “fabrications” Marini I favored.

    Comment by Henry Edwards

    Indeed. How about declaring the sanctuary a “polyester-free” zone? :)

    I also pray this appointment means those awful vestments we saw in Austria and their ilk will be confined to the dustbin of papal history.

  31. RBrown says:

    Today’s anti-spam word from Fr. Z is the phrase “pray for our priests.” How many of us, instead of thinking uncharitable thoughts about liturgical progressives like Msgr. Marini, regularly offer our prayers for them?

    At mass every morning there are prayers in the canon for the entire Church, which includes priests.

    We would all do well to remember that many of his liturgies that were deemed inappropriate very often had the direct approbation of Pope John Paul, whose liturgical tastes were very much in line with Marini’s. (“The more African, the better,” the late pontiff is reported to have said concerning a mass in St. Peter’s.)

    Agree. On other hand, the simple fact is Msgr Marini’s liturgical ideas are now out of favor.

    Piero Marini has devotedly served the church for many decades, and I’m not hostile to the notion of his receiving the red biretta next month.

    Lots of people have devotedly served the church who never became Cardinals.

    His ideas may approach the frontier of the hermeneutic of discontinuity, but he is not an evil man, and this change in office is nothing, I think, that should be exulted in, but is a reorientation that’s inevitable with any new pope. John Paul had an MC in Msgr. Marini who matched his own visions for the liturgy. Benedict now has, and deserves, one who matches his own. It would be incorrect to interpret this as “punishment,” or the idea of “promotion by demotion,” or whatever that similar Italian phrase is.
    Dustin

    1. It is unusual for a papal MC to become a bishop while he is MC. My guess is that certain people (e.g., Sodano and Dziwisz) wanted Marini positioned to become Sec to Cong of Rites. BXVI had other ideas.

    2. I agree it’s not punishment, but neither is it reward. He wanted to stay in Rome, and so was given a position usually manned by a retired Cardinal.

    3. One final point: In a way the Papal mass is the model for the entire Latin rite. And so the MC engineers the liturgy not merely for a very powerful man but also as a model for the Church in the West.

  32. Fr. Harrie says:

    think we need a new sacristan of St. Peter’s Basilica too, who trains the altarboy’s to serve the 1962 Rite for the priest’s who desire to celebrate private in the Basilica their daily Mass at 07.00.

  33. B. says:

    A longtime poster and known traditionalist on a german forum said, that he once met Msgr. Guido Marini at the Seminary of the Institute of Christ the King.

  34. Guy Power says:

    Mathew writes: …[HE Piero Marini’s] [a]rms folded over His chest while everyone else had hands folded in prayer….glaring at everyone (including the Pope) LOL!!

    Found this on Fr. Guy Selvester’s site (nice name “Guy” … by the way!)
    http://bp2.blogger.com/_Avrxp9PybFw/RwDQe6eNVvI/AAAAAAAAAd4/CJ2QM4SMx9k/s1600-h/marini.jpg

    http://www.shoutsinthepiazza.blogspot.com/

    –(the other) Guy

  35. Berolinensis says:

    B., that sounds very good. May I ask which forum you’re referring to?
    I have to repeat here what “A Monk of Heiligenkreuz Abbey” posted over on the NLM:
    “When he was here in Heiligenkreuz to prepare for the Papal visit, Archbishop Marini told one of my confreres that Pope Benedict on his election wanted to reintroduce the papal fanon, and that it took him (Archbishop Marini) a long time to persuade him (the Holy Father) to introduce the new style of pallium instead.
    As I said over there: This is breaking my heart. What an opportunity lost! I used to find the new pallium ok, not great, but ok, but now it will always remind me of the lost opportunity to bring back the glorious piece of tradition that is the fanon (think of how St. Pius X is pictured in S. Paolo fuori le mura).
    Is it reasonable to hope it can still happen with the new MC?

  36. Henry Edwards says:

    In a way the Papal mass is the model for the entire Latin rite.

    This is why a new Papal MC gives so much hope for restored liturgy throughout the Church. We now can pray that an opportunity lost for a couple of decades will finally be taken.

  37. Richard T says:

    Fanon – why not? Perhaps the rumoured Papal Mass will be its first outing?

    That was one of the things I was thinking of that the Pope could easily reintroduce. Does anyone have any decent photographs of a pope wearing one?

  38. Mathew Mattingly says:

    The last Pope to wear the fanon was John Paul II, very early on in His pontificate. He was very elaboratly dressed on this occasion, beautiful vestments and the Papal fanon. I don’t think He ever wore it again.

    Also, I don’t think it was Archbishop Marini’s place to convice the Pope to drop the use of the Papal fanon. I can just see Marini panicking when Benedict hinted that He wanted it back. Archbishop Marini should have simply said “Yes , Holy Father”. Not convinced Benedict to do otherwise.

    Thank God Piero Marini is gone. IN Austria I read that the monks and others wanted Benedict XVI to wear elaborate Baroque vestments for Mass, but Piero Marini insisted on the garbage that Benedict eventually did wear….which of corse became a source of laughter and ridicule the world over.

    Which maybe is why Piero Marini is gone so fast??

  39. Mathew Mattingly says:

    Guy Power,

    Thank you for including those hilarious pictures on your post. On Saturday, Piero Marini’s face was just like that!!! Except He was standing beside the Pope’s chair (I which I could say ‘Throne”). Maybe that’ll be back too with PM gone.
    Anyway, I burst out laughing when I clicked and saw that face !! What a happy fellow! : )

  40. B. says:

    Berolinensis:
    mykath.de. Normally not my kind of Forum, though. ;-)

  41. RBrown says:

    almost choked when I read this:
    “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.
    Comment by Paul Murnane

    Interesting if you examine the three stories from John Allen.

    From Sources around Marini:

    1. He was offered a diocese in Italy. Old news.
    2. His move MAY BE be linked to the use of the 1962 Missal at a Papal Mass. My guess is that Marini’s friends spun this to cover up the extreme differences between BXVI and him–and the fact a new MC was inevitable after Apr 19, 2005.

    From Sources not said to be around Marini:
    3. The job as Prefect of the Cong of Rites was mentioned. This story is at odds with #1. If the pope thought of making him head man at Rites, there would have been no mention of a diocese.

    Why is Marini leaving now? A few months ago when the new Sostituto, Filoni, was named, I said here that Marini would soon go. Why? The Sostituto is the most powerful operative in the Church–he’s the man who actually gets things done. With Filoni BXVI now had his own man–and things would start to happen.

  42. Syriacus says:

    Are you looking for photos from Genoa?

    http://www.diocesi.genova.it/immagini.php

    Quaerendo invenietis…

  43. Berolinensis says:

    Re: fanon – I think you miss the point. He not only convinced the pope not to wear the fanon, but to wear the new pallium instead. It will be very difficult for the pope now to go back to the fanon because a) it will look like an inconsistency, because he is seen to have introduced it (even though it was PM’s doing) and b) it was viewed as an ecumenical gesture, being similar to what is worn in the Orthodox churches, so abolishing it again would be seen as an ecumenical affront. This is why I fear PM’s parting gift of robbing us of the fanon will stay with us for this entire pontificate, if not longer. I hope I’m wrong, though.

  44. Gustavo Ráez-Patiño says:

    Regarding last Saturday’s ceremony, there were a variety of traditional details which must have been hard to tolerate to Msgr. Piero Marini: the fact that the Pope was using a pontifical dalmatic beneath his chasuble (a very nice chasuble, by the way, with a nice mitre); the chanting of “Flectamus genua” and “Levate” at the beginning and at the end of the Litany, and the new bishops using not only purple cassocks but also purple socks, as in the good old days. Also, there were some croziers and mitres used by the new bishops which were magnificent indeed.

    I say, what a way to end his duty as Papal MC in such a ceremony in St. Peter’s.

  45. Rose says:

    What’s wrong with simple clean vestments and a very reverent liturgy. Cloistered monks have beautiful liturgies and they wear plain brown habits. I love Papa Ratzinger very much but I actually think that he, not being a very large person (physically speaking, I mean), should not be wearing anything that overpowers him. Brocade and lace would overpower him. Lighter fabrics (very light silk) with minimal designs (nothing psychedelic) would actually look better on this Pope (the gold and yellow vestments he wore at his installation looked great). Maybe the consecrated religious women of the pontifical household should be consulted on this (and I am not joking). Why not?

  46. Charles A. says:

    Let’s hope the new Marini discontinues the contemptible practice of the MC sitting on his kiester next to the Pope. MCs are supposed to be out of the way – and standing (except maybe for the homily) unless directly needed. The Pope should properly only be flanked by Cardinal Deacons.

  47. Mathew Mattingly says:

    I saw a few pictures of the new Papal MC. Either it’s just a trick of photography, or the new Master of Pontifical Ceremonies is very tall….almost basketball player tall (6′ 4″ +).
    Very traditional looking priest however. Dignified vesture and posture during Mass.
    I read that He’s visited the Institute of Christ the King at Gricigliano several times. That’s a good sign.

    I also did some research on Piero Marini’s new job. Although many would not call it a demotion, Piero Marini’s is coming to it after 20 1/2 years constantly at the Pope’s side at all Masses and Ceremonies. He’s traveled everywhere with the Pope constantly in the limelight. Now He’s going to a job usually that’s been given to retired Cardinals past their prime into a position that is a very obscure appointment with no influence in the Roman Curia. I would say that it’s a demotion for high profile Piero. The Cardinal’s red hat (hopefully not at this coming consistory) would be his one consolation.

  48. Geoffrey says:

    Does anyone know when the next televised Papal Mass will be? I can’t wait to see it! :-)

  49. Richard T says:

    Berolinensis says that it will be difficult to reintroduce the fanon because the Pope has started “to wear the new pallium instead” and “abolishing that again would be seen as an ecumenical affront”.

    Why? Wasn’t the fanon worn under the old pallium, so presumably could be worn under the new one just as well? I’m told the new pallium is broader than the old, but not so broad as to cover the shoulders!

    I did have some pictures of various popes wearing the fanon, but can only find one of JPII at the moment.

  50. Geoffrey says:

    This website/blog has a vast collection of photos of vestments and ecclesiastical attire, including the papal fanon…

    http://dappledphotos.blogspot.com/

  51. Michael says:

    Seeing as how the fanon and pallilum are liturgical vestments, why can’t there be more than one pallium? The pope could wear one with fiddlebacks and another with Gothic vestments if he feels the new design must be retained. But it’s worth mentioning that the pallium the Pope wears had fallen out of use long before the Gothic or even Romanesque. I remember reading a quote by Marini about how the new pallium would never have worked with fiddlebacks, but since those are forever out of the picture, or so he hoped, it’s time to revert to the original form, as if every later form of it were somehow a corruption. Frankly, I think that sounds a lot like archaeologism.

  52. ParmenTaylor says:

    Did Fr. Z bring some Brioschi back from Italy with him?

    I don’t think poor Mathew Mattingly is going to be able to get to sleep without something calming tonight!

  53. R says:

    I am so happy with this news. Now I can look at pictures of the Holy Father, when he celebrates Mass, without my eyes hurting.

  54. RBrown says:

    Did Fr. Z bring some Brioschi back from Italy with him?
    Comment by ParmenTaylor

    I buy it here at the CVS pharmacy.

  55. John says:

    May Archbishop get a red hat — but — I would prefer that it happens after he turns 80.

  56. H.M. says:

    This thread is the cyber equivalent of the office water cooler or coffee pot. The folks have gathered ’round to gossip and dismantle the reputation of a recently dismissed colleague. The way they talk you’d think he had run the company. In reality, he was only the presidents’ assistant for formal affairs and meetings, even if he held that position for some 20 years, through three presidencies. And those men he worked for were not softies – they were powerful men who made powerful decisions: not a one of them needed to keep this man in his job – but they did.

    And the chatter over coffee? Mostly about the width of the ties and the material of the shirts and the shape of the hats the assistant bought for the president – and the local banquet customs the president witnessed on international trips to the companies outlying divisions. The demands? Bring back the old ties; Dress him in more lace (to restore a more muscular, masculine authority); higher crowns on the hats – or even just plain crowns; and make sure all the branch outfits do everything the way we do at the home office.

    A new guy is now the president’s assistant – and welcoming him with open arms is certainly appropriate. But you just might have hoped that the Christians in the office would have had the civility if not the charity to simply let the former assistant leave in peace. No need to for the detraction.

    Heck, in polite circles, they would have taken him out for a really nice dinner.

    Folks at the water cooler, the coffee pot: watch out. Jesus works here, too, and he really has little patience with this kind of sorry talk.

  57. H.M. says:

    Mea culpa on the repeat.

  58. Richard T says:

    Hm – false analogy, because the Mass matters. Unlike a company’s formal meetings, it has a meaning beyond ourselves.

  59. H.M. says:

    Right, Richard T, it was an ANALOGY.
    Sorry you failed to get it.