L’OssRom: revealing interview with H.E. Piero Marini (former MC)

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In today’s L’Osservatore Romano there is an interview with the former papal MC, H.E. Archbp. Piero Marini, now head of the office for Eucharistic Congresses.   In interview begins with comments about the upcoming Congress to be held in Quebec.  However, it also delves into the question of these huge outdoor Masses, the implementation of the post-Conciliar reform, and Summorum Pontificum.

Here are some excerpts form His Excellency’s comments in my rapid translation.  I will add to this as time allows.   (Sometimes I wish this were a group blog…)

My emphases and comments in what follows.

Q: Today it seems there has returned to present interest the debate on the liturgical reform sparked by the Council.  How do you judge the progress made in the last 40 years?

MARINI: I followed, starting from the period of Vatican II, the implementation of the liturgical reform for some 22 years, first in the Consilium ad exsequendam constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia [On this see the recent kiss-and-tell book that came out under Marini’s name.] and then in the Congregation for Divine Worship.  After that, for more than 20 yeas I was able to celebrate the liturgy desired by the council [Grrr… this is a problem phrase…. pay attention to how Marini uses it.  We must be on guard against phrases like this and not leaven them unchallenged.] in more than 100 countries, on the occasion of the journeys of Papa Wojtyla.  And so I organized with local experts numberless celebrations of the Eucharist, of the Liturgy of the Hours, of the Word of God, of sacraments, ecumenical celebrations in many languages and cultures. [He has first established his credentials to be able to speak on this…  Now watch the sweeping statements.]  Everywhere, the liturgy desired by the Council was celebrated with lively participation and enthusiasm.  [When the Pope shows up, what do you expect?]  Everyone perceived the liturgy as belonging to the local Church and, at the same time, as an expression of the universal Church. [The real point here is Marini’s emphasis on the local Church.  This is his true love: liturgy which is inculturate.  This comes out again and again in that book and this interview.] The celebrational practice confirmed that the liturgical reform was necessary because it was based on profound theological principles and was of perennial validity. [See how circular that was?  It was necessary because we did it?] For this reason it is an irreversible journey. [This is a shot at Benedict XVI and Summorum Pontificum and at the present papal MC Msgr. Guido Marini, who is restoring traditional things to papal liturgies.]  The Council Fathers and the Roman Pontiff in Sacrosanctum Concilium, making their own the words of Pius XII, defined the renewal of the liturgy as a passage of the Holy Spirit in the Church. [Marini has just invoked the Holy Spirit as a way to justify his ideals] The meaning of this affirmation thus forms a part of the fabric of daily ecclesial faith.  The celebration of the liturgy, therefore, cannot be separated form the life of the Church.  And the Church which lives – I am citing Paul VI – is the Church of today, not the Church of yesterday or or tomorrow.  [This is a good example of how men like Archbp. Marini and some others such as Bp. Trautman, are so focused on the present moment of the Church that they create a de facto rupture with the past and present. Their starting point of the "present" would logically require contant changes in liturgical practice and innumerable adaptions for local communities.]

And this was the reason for which the Council occupied itself especially [?] with the liturgy.  For the Council the renewal of the Church, ecumensim and missionary action depended on the way in which the liturgy is lived.  [Yes… but you see… the men of the Consilium had long-reaching motives that were really theological and ecclesiological and the liturgy was the key to implementing them.  The book under Marini’s name describes this in no uncertain terms: they wanted to reshape the Church.  They went far far beyong the mandate given them by the Council.  That is why when Marini uses the phrase "the liturgy desired by the Council" we must all instantly and firmly reject the premise.  The liturgy we got after the Council was absolutely NOT the liturgy desired by the Council!  The Council mandated a few points for reform.  The Consilium went way beyond the mandate for ideological reasons and they used the Council as the blunt instrument to impose their will, as the Marini book documents.]

But to celebrate the liturgy desired by the Council, as Papa Montini affirmed, is not an easy thing, as it is not easy to live the life of the Church.  [You know… I always get nervous when I hear people talk about how hard and complicated it is to celebrate Mass or simply to be Catholic. That strikes me as an excuse not to be faithful to the Church’s teachings and obey the rubrics.]  Rather, celebrating the liturgy of the Council is difficult and delicate.  There is need for directed and methodical interest, it requires patience, perseverence, personal and loving dedication and great pastoral charity.  ["Such as I, with great personal sacrifice, – sigh – have exemplified so humbly all these years."] This is all necessary, however, if we desire that the life of the Church be renewed and all feel themselves called to salvation[Dramatic!] Pastoral liturgy is a task which is ever enduring.  ["Pastoral" liturgy…. what the heck is that, anyway?  Liturgy which doesn’t have to celebrated according to the book?]

Let us allow ourselves, therefore, to be guided by the Holy Spirit who inspired the liturgical movement, Paul VI, and the Council Fathers and let us continue to carry forward with renewed dedication and ethusiasm pastoral liturgy in our ecclesial communities.

Q: Many have interpreted Summorum Pontificum as a "speed bump" (battuta d’arresto) in this journey of implementation.  What notion has come from this matter?

The text of the Motu Proprio must be read in the context in which the Pope situated it. [Here it comes.   Watch how he invokes context and then ignores the way the Pontiff contextualized it.] "Today", Benedict XVI says in the accompanying letter addressed to bishops, "his glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to enable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew."  [Yah… he also spoke of how there are problems with the way the liturgy is treated and about how young people are drawn to the older forms.  But for Marini, the MP has to be reduced to a handful of dirt thrown to those who are not in unity with the Church.  It can’t be for people who simply want the older form, because that would mean that there was a check on the "Church of this present moment" style liturgy which is his ideal, because he wants a decentralized power-based in the Church.  Watch how he talks about the Pope…] For us Catholics the Pope is the visible sign of unity in the Church, and he is Bishop of the Church of Rome called to preside over all the other Churchs in charity.  The Pope was called by the Lord to exercise the Petrine ministry, and thus to make every effort that the net of the Church remain whole.  And so he has the right and duty to see to the unity of the Church.  Who can deny this duty and obligation?  It is precisely the liturgy, for the one who lives authentically, that is the school which forms the true sense of the Church in respect to the different tasks and ministries and in obedience to the one who presides.  [This way of talking, while correct, is part and parcel of the ecclesiology of those who see the Pope as a kind of primus inter pares and the Church of Rome as a mere reference point, whereas local Churches are really fully their own Churches with their own bishop as their point of reference – all true of course – but in such as way as to diminish the actual authority of the Pope and the Curia in those local Churches.]

Finally, it is necessary to remember that the Motu Proprio does not intend to introduce modifications in the present Roman Missal  [GREAT!  I love this.  What the real fear of the Marini-types is that the older form of Mass may come back to exert a check on the great progress of inculturation etc etc going on.  They are afraid of the gravitational pull which is already taking place.  They see the reintroduction of a sure point of liturgical reference rooted in greater structure, more directive rubrics, a tradition of many centuries as the ultimate threat.  They cannot stand the idea that the older form might influence the newer form.] nor to express a negative judgement on the reform desired by the Council [NB: Reject the premise!] : the Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the "law of prayer"; the Missal promulgated by Pius V must be considered as the extraordinary expression of the same "law of prayer". [Yah… but it is still an expression of the lex orandi in the ROMAN RITE!] With this new disposition Benedict XVI did not want that "the authority of the Council be damaged" or that "there be put into question the liturgical reform".  Rather, the decision of the Pope has not yet entailed any change in the celebrative prayer of our ecclesial communities at all.  His was only a gesture in the service of unity.  [See?  But we see it as a gesture for unity also with the past.] Let us therefore look foward and continue with enthusiam the journey undertaken by the Council.

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77 Responses to L’OssRom: revealing interview with H.E. Piero Marini (former MC)

  1. Janice says:

    Reminds me of the debate Cardinal Ratzinger had with Cardinal Kasper back in 1992. Local church versus universal church, inculturation versus interculturality, bishops versus Pope, hermeneutic of continuity versus hermeneutic of rupture.

  2. Johnny Domer says:

    What an ideologue…anyone who reads the explanatory letter for the Motu Proprio or anything the Pope has written on liturgy knows that he’s just flat out wrong about the Pope’s reasoning for issuing the MP, as well as the Pope’s hopes that the two forms will enrich each other.

  3. TNCath says:

    How do interviews like this get past the editor of L’Osservatore Romano? I’m a bit surprised something like this is allowed to be published with Vatican approval. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to read a backhanded compliment of the Pope and the damning with faint praise for the Extraordinary Form.

    The last line says it all for me: “Let us therefore look forward and continue with enthusiasm the journey undertaken by the Council.”

    In other words, let’s put that relic (the Extraordinary Form) in the closet where it belongs and bring it out only for the old fogies that still want it just to keep them quiet–just like the beautiful old vestments he locked up while he was Papal M.C.

    When is the next Eucharistic Congress? It’ll be interesting to see what he tries to cook up then!

  4. Theodorus says:

    The phrase “desired by the council” appears constantly from Piero Marini’s mouth, but I seriously doubt the current Ordinary Form was indeed what the Council Fathers envisioned. It is a pity that Old Marini spoke as if Paul VI were still the reigning Pope.

  5. tertullian says:

    Don’t you think he’s just the last vestige of Bugnini? BTW, will we ever know the real reason behind him being shipped to Tehran?

  6. David Kubiak says:

    How many cardinals were there who walked out of the Sistine Chapel when they were given a ‘sneak preview’ of the Novus Ordo?

    Mons. Marini lives in an ideologue’s fantasy world.

  7. Prof. Basto says:

    First, let me start by recalling the words of the Fathers of the Ecumenical Council of Trent at the solemn closing of the General Synod: “Anathema to all heretics; Fiat! Fiat! Fiat!”.

    I’m not suggesting that anyone is a heretic, but God knows who is and who isn’t, and will judge all, irrespective of ecclesiastical rank.

    Have mercy, o Lord, on the followers of Bugnini, and convert them to your ways.

    Now, to the essence of my comment:

    ***

    If it were true that we must live the liturgy of today, that only the Church of today matters – a false premisse, but lets assume otherwise – why is it that this Church of today, and this Liturgy of today, would necessarily mean the Church of the consilium, and the Bugnini Liturgy of the 60’s? The 60’s are the past, after all.

    It doesn’t make sense.

    We are not in the same contemporary world (mundo huius temporis, this reminds me of the transitional character expressed by the title of Gaudium et Spes) as the Council.

    All that line of tought expressed by Marini is completely at odds with the Pope’s much afamed 2005 Christmas Adress to the Roman Curia.

    What is His Excellency still doing at the Holy See, for heaven’s sake?

  8. Trying to Learn says:

    Please may I ask a very stupid question? How can we be Catholic and also fully “inculturated” at the same time?

    This really is a genuine question (and I know I must appear thick) and not a disingenuous attempt to provoke an argument.

  9. Tom says:

    Father Z wrote: “The liturgy we got after the Council was absolutely NOT the liturgy desired by the Council! The Council mandated a few points for reform. The Consilium went way beyond the mandate for ideological reasons and they used the Council as the blunt instrument to impose their will, as the Marini book documents.”

    I agree with Father Z.

    However, Popes Paul VI and John Paul II declared that the liturgy that we received following the Council was the liturgy desired by the Council.

    The Latin Church bishops have confirmed repeatedly the post-Vatican II liturgical reform.

    In the Final Report of the 1985 Extraordinary Synod, Pope John Paul II declared in clear terms the following:

    “The liturgical renewal is the most visible fruit of the whole conciliar effort. Even if there have been some difficulties, it has generally been received joyfully and fruitfully by the faithful. ”

    Either the liturgy that we have received following the Council is the liturgy desired by the Council or not.

    Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, as well as the Latin Church bishops, have taught repeatedly that the post-Vatican II liturgy and liturgical reforms are 100 percent in accord with Vatican II.

    Are we (those who do not believe that we have received the liturgy desired by the Council) correct or are the Popes and bishops correct?

    Either we are right and the Popes and Latin Church bishops are wrong.

    Or the Popes and bishops are right and we are wrong.

    Pax.

  10. What’s this ?

    Summorum Pontificum was only a gesture ?
    Rubbish, and again I say rubbish.
    Summorum Pontificum ended the era of the Indult, and it put the 1962 Missal on a par with the 1970 Missal.

    There’s no point in anyone arguing about it, or attempting to contextualise it, or in some way trying to put their spin on it.
    The fact is the two Missals now enjoy parity in the Latin rite.
    The Pope, who is the supreme legislator, has said so.

    Roma locuta est. Causa finita est.

  11. Tom says:

    Father Z wrote: “Yes… but you see… the men of the Consilium had long-reaching motives that were really theological and ecclesiological and the liturgy was the key to implementing them. The book under Marini’s name describes this in no uncertain terms: they wanted to reshape the Church. They went far far beyong the mandate given them by the Council. That is why when Marini uses the phrase “the liturgy desired by the Council” we must all instantly and firmly reject the premise. The liturgy we got after the Council was absolutely NOT the liturgy desired by the Council!”

    The bottom line is that Pope Paul VI, not the Consilium, controlled liturgy.

    The Consilium was an advisory body.

    Pope Paul VI had final say over the post-Vatican II liturgy.

    As the Vicar of Christ, for example, Pope Paul VI was so powerful that he exiled the exhalted former Consilium member Monsignor Bugnini to Iran.

    To blame the Consilium for whatever liturgical ills that we perceive is flat-out wrong.

    For better or worse, Pope Paul VI promulgated the Novus Ordo and controlled the liturgical reform.

    During his reign, Pope John Paul II, of course, controlled the Mass and liturgical reform.

    Said authority rests today with Pope Benedict XVI.

    The Consilium did not venture beyond any mandate that they may have received from the Council.

    Pope Paul VI initiated, controlled and dissolved the Consilium.

    Pope Paul VI, and nobody else, promulgated the Novus Ordo Mass.

  12. Antonio says:

    “They see the reintroduction of a sure point of liturgical reference rooted in greater structure, more directive rubrics, a tradition of many centuries as the ultimate threat. They cannot stand the idea that the older form might influence the newer form…”

    Yesterday, in our very little community in Argentina, we have our first “ad-orientem” Novus Ordo Mass (in latin). We still don’t know if our priest – and we all – are ever going to be able to celebrate in the Extraordiary Form. But “Summorum Pontificum” and Msgr. Marini’s work (and of course, WDTPRS blog) are really “influencing” the newer form (at least in the way we celebrate it).

    And once again, I apologize for my poor English…

  13. Tom says:

    It is interesting that many Catholics bash Monsignor Piero Marini’s view of Liturgy.

    However, the manner in which he presented the Novus Ordo Mass was blessed by Pope John Paul II.

  14. Theodorus says:

    Some deceive and some are deceived. The self-destruction of the Roman Rite, to a great extent, is due to the lack of capability to perceive the deception. No matter how Catholic a pope could be, he still can make misjudgement.

    We all know what Pope Benedict really thinks about the liturgical reform after the council: “After the Council… in place of the liturgy as the fruit of organic development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it, as in a manufacturing process, with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product”(Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger).

    Yes indeed, it is a “visible fruit,” but it is also true that it is “a banal on-the-spot product.”

  15. TNCath: I think you may be missing the big picture here. I think it is very useful to have interviews like this!

    Also, the new editor of LO can’t do all the interviews himself

    Finally, it is a normal thing for a head of a dicastery to be queried before some event that dicastery is involved in. The answers led to other interesting questions.

  16. Tom: The Consilium was an advisory body.

    No, it was not an advisory body. It had competence in certain spheres of the reform as did the Congregation for Rites.

    You should see that book that came out under Marini’s name to understand better what the Consilium was.

    And yes, the Consilium went beyond the Council’s mandate. But they did so with the permission of Paul VI.

    Also, Tom, I will in a friendly way invite you not to try to dominate the combox in this entry.

  17. TJM says:

    Archbishop Marini appears to be trapped in a time warp – the 1960s to be exact. No where have I read where the Archbishop believes that the Liturgy should transcend time or space, be timeless in its appeal. The Liturgy he speaks of his a man-centered Liturgy, an all about me Liturgy. Fortunately, the Archbishop and his fellow travelers are aging and, unless they are delusional, must understand their time is past and that Holy Tradition is coming back almost like a sweet balm. Tom

  18. Judy says:

    A simple question in the midst of much complex talk–does Piero Marini speak English?

  19. Jordanes says:

    Tom said: Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, as well as the Latin Church bishops, have taught repeatedly that the post-Vatican II liturgy and liturgical reforms are 100 percent in accord with Vatican II.

    However, he also quoted John Paul II’s words, “The liturgical renewal is the most visible fruit of the whole conciliar effort. Even if there have been some difficulties, it has generally been received joyfully and fruitfully by the faithful.”

    Not exactly a glowing “100 percent” endorsement of the post-conciliar reforms. Anyway, whatever the opinions of Paul VI, John Paul II, or most Latin Rite bishops, the record is clear that the liturgy desired by the Council is not the liturgy that was manufactured after the Council.

    To blame the Consilium for whatever liturgical ills that we perceive is flat-out wrong.

    The Consilium is not blamed for “whatever liturgical ills that we perceive,” but only for those liturgical ills it introduced.

    The Consilium did not venture beyond any mandate that they may have received from the Council.

    Looking at Sacrosanctum Consilium general norms, and looking at the massive changes implemented by the Consilium, the only conclusion is that the Consilium ventured beyond the mandate they received from the Council.

  20. TRP says:

    “And the Church which lives – I am citing Paul VI – is the Church of today, not the Church of yesterday or or tomorrow”

    But isn’t Benedict XVI TODAY’S Pope? Paul VI was Pope much longer ago than YESTERDAY.

    And if the EF of the rite is celebrated TODAY, isn’t that part of the Church that lives?

    You can’t get more YESTERDAY than a 70s-style multiculturalist Mass.

  21. Tom: You have written quite a lot here. So far, I’ve read it all. Surely you must have a central point you’re trying to make. However, I cannot guess what it is. If you can make your point it in two or three sentences that occupy no more than one vertical inch on the screen, I will read it. Otherwise, …. well, perhaps you get my point.

  22. TRP says:

    Just to elaborate, I don’t think that Marini really cares about reflecting what is happening in the Church today–if he did he’d love Juventutem, FSSP, BXVI’s changes. His real agenda, I suspect, is to have the Church look and sound like today’s SECULAR world. That agenda may come from good intentions, but it is very misguided, to say the least.

  23. RichR says:

    There are those who are still very invested in the “Spirit of Vatican II.” To see its demise is to destroy all that has supported their lifetime achievements.

    I understand where H.E. is coming from, but I disagree. For example, I have no interest in justifying my previous actions as a guitarist and folk Mass choir leader. When I read the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, I realized that my approach to music was not in line with the spirit or the letter of the law. That’s why I started a men’s Gregorian chant schola (now 13 members strong). I also do the pipe organ accompaniment when we need it.

    I’m no liturgical genius. I just read the documents and did what it said to do.

  24. Tom says:

    In reponse to my statements, Jordanes wrote: Not exactly a glowing “100 percent” endorsement of the post-conciliar reforms. Anyway, whatever the opinions of Paul VI, John Paul II, or most Latin Rite bishops, the record is clear that the liturgy desired by the Council is not the liturgy that was manufactured after the Council.

    “The Consilium is not blamed for “whatever liturgical ills that we perceive,” but only for those liturgical ills it introduced.

    “Looking at Sacrosanctum Consilium general norms, and looking at the massive changes implemented by the Consilium, the only conclusion is that the Consilium ventured beyond the mandate they received from the Council.”

    I don’t know whether I’m permitted to reply to you…I respect the fact that this is Father Z’s blog to control as he sees fit and he may erase the following…but I’ll try to respond to you.

    1. The Novus Ordo was given a “100 percent” endorsement by Pope John Paul II and the Latin Church bishops.

    2. I don’t disagree with you (and Father Z) in principle with that which we’ve received regarding the Novus Ordo.

    I simply disagree with folks, here and elsewhere, who tend to blame the failed liturgical reform upon the Consilium.

    We need to pin the Consilium’s so-called “liturgical ills” to Pope Paul VI. The Consilium acted only with Pope Paul VI’s permission. The Consilium did not promulgate the Novus Ordo. Pope Paul VI promulgated the Novus Ordo.

    I guess that it’s just a matter of words. After all, we’re on the same page. You and I believe that the “reform” is out of control and requires correction.

    That said, Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and the Latin Church bishops (current bishops as well) taught the Faithful that the liturgical “reform” is in perfect harmony with Vatican II.

    Therefore, should we adhere to the teachings of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, as well as our bishops? Or should we continue to insist that the Novus Ordo is not, if you will, authentic Vatican II Liturgy?

    Pax.

  25. Tom, I would urge you to recognize the difference between the liturgy as found in the official Vatican Press editions of the liturgical books published between 1969 and 2002 and the actual experience of the liturgy in most parishes. It’s one thing to praise the books the Council produced…quite another to realize that…I would guess…more Catholics experience a 1962 Mass on Sunday than a 2002 (certainly true in America, where we still use a 1985 translation of a 1975 Latin edition).

  26. John Enright says:

    “[T]he Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the ‘law of prayer'; the Missal promulgated by Pius V must be considered as the extraordinary expression of the same ‘law of prayer’.”

    The Archbishop’s emphasis of “ordinary” versus “extraordinary” betrays his belief that the Mass of Paul VI is somehow superior to the Mass of the Ages. While the Holy Father used those terms in the MP, it is abundantly clear from the totality of the MP that the Holy Father does not consider either form to be superior or inferior. While the Archbishop is literally correct, I think the gist of his statement is intended to convey a dishonest point, i.e., that the Extraordinary Form is somehow inferior to the Mass of Paul VI.

  27. Hiberniensis says:

    This Marini-bashing stuff is starting to get a bit old. I for one am very happy with the way things are unfolding on Pope Benedict’s and Guido Marini’s watch, but there is also much in this interview that I agree with. Those ridiculing his quotation about the Church of today, not of yesterday or tomorrow, would do well to note that Joseph Ratzinger himself has said the same thing. Furthermore, Marini is quite entitled to express theological and liturgical opinions that have not been censured by the Church, even if some disagree with them. And just because he may seem to be to the left of other positions does not make him ‘sinister’.

    The Consilium-bashing is also unconvincing. It’s true that there are various ways in which Sacrosanctum Concilium might have been differently interpreted, but it seems to me that the Missal of Paul VI (as opposed to the way that Missal is often used) is, overall, a valid interpretation of that document. SC is, admittedly, ambiguous in places, but that does not alter the fact that the document as it stands is what was voted for by the Council Fathers and promulgated by the Pope and the Council. Even though there may have been ‘weaker’ interpretations of it, the ‘strong’ interpretation that resulted in the 1969/1970 Missal is valid and defensible.

    Furthermore, it should be obvious to anyone with even limited knowledge of how ecclesistical governance operates that by itself the Consilium had no power whatsoever to implement anything. Even permanent dicasteries of the Roman Curia have no power independent of the Pope. It was Paul VI, and Paul VI alone, who promulgated the new edition of the Missale Romanum, a promulgation that was entirely valid and licit. IMO, “the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal” (to quote the letter accompanying the Motu Proprio) are still waiting to be truly discovered. They have, unfortunately, been covered over by many serious abuses and misunderstandings. It would be worth re-reading the two General Audience addresses that Paul VI gave just before the introduction of the new Missal in Italy.

  28. Jordanes says:

    Hiberniensis said: Furthermore, Marini is quite entitled to express theological and liturgical opinions that have not been censured by the Church

    As are we, even if such expressions end up sounding to some like “Marini bashing” or “Consilium bashing.”

    Can the post-conciliar liturgy be seen as, “overall,” a valid interpretation of Sacrosanctum Consilium? Sure. But that’s not what’s at issue. We’re talking about whether or not the post-conciliar fabricated liturgy is “THE liturgy of the Council” as Msgr. Marini claims. There is just no way that the Council Fathers could have desired or expected what the Consilium created. And yes, it was Paul VI who approved the Consilium’s work — but it was the Consilium’s work that he approved, and the Consilium’s work was ill-conceived and not in accordance with some of the general norms of Sacrosanctum Consilium (most notably the norm that a liturgical form should not be replaced with something new unless the good of the Church genuinely demanded it), let alone the principles found in Mediator Dei which ought to have been referred to as a guide to interpreting Sacrosanctum Consilium.

  29. David D. says:

    In the debate on this topic, what seems to consistently be forgotten (and maybe with good reason) is the 1965 Missal. IMHO, this Missal, though still lacking the greater selection of readings, essentially was that desired by the Council and Sacrasanctum Concilium. I remember, I was an Altar Boy. The Propers were replaced by really bad hymns (I still suffer pain when I recall “The Mass is Ended”); the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar were there but without the psalm and mostly ignored, there were lay readers, communion received standing and Prayers of the Faithful (but thankfully, no handshake). It was still the 1962 calendar with excellent English translations from the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine approved for use here in Canada. The priests gestures were shortened and I think we said one Confiteor all together.

    But it was ALL in English, and facing the people.

    I suggest that even this Missal went further than the Fathers of the Council recommended. But, perhaps it is where the “Reform of the Reform” should look for its future. I think we could live with that Mass as the Ordinary Forma.

    I clearly recall my mother sadly opining, “Oh well, Father says it is all Vatican II!”

    The funny thing, it was known as the “New Mass!”

    So, I guess the Concilium, Bugnini, Marini and Paul VI gave us the “New” New Mass…but make no mistake, the “New” New Mass is a “rupture!’

    I accept it and attend it only in select parishes where I know the priest will say it properly…and I have now walked out three times where it is not!

  30. Hiberniensis says:

    “it was Paul VI who approved the Consilium’s work—but it was the Consilium’s work that he approved”

    But he did approve it, and that’s the important thing. Much of what Popes do is prepared beforehand by others (just think of encyclicals and dogmatic definitions). But once they approve it and promulgate it in their own name, it’s no longer just the work of others. It bears papal authority. The Missal of Paul VI is precisely that – the Missal of Paul VI, not the Missal of the Consilium.

  31. Tom says:

    Dr. Lee Fratantuono wrote: “Tom, I would urge you to recognize the difference between the liturgy as found in the official Vatican Press editions of the liturgical books published between 1969 and 2002 and the actual experience of the liturgy in most parishes.”

    At a given parish, Catholics may encounter a Novus Ordo Mass that is offered in fashion similar to the Traditional Latin Mass…with everything from Latin to Eucharistic Prayer I…from Mass ad orientem to Gregorian Chant.

    Conversely, the Novus Ordo may be offered in “liberal” fashion…vs. populum, with Communion in the Hand, altar girls, EMs, non-Catholics serving as lectors, Eucharistic Prayer II, vestments that many Catholic consider ugly, and music in line with that which was presented during the National Stadium Papal Mass.

    Each Mass that I have just described is in harmony with Rome’s teachings.

    The problem with the liturgical reform is that Rome has initiated many liturgical novelties.

    Said novelties lead to monumental differences regarding the experience of the liturgy at the parish level.

    I believe that a future Pope will consign the awful liturgical novelties to oblivion and return to the Traditional Latin Mass.

    For now, we will experience striking Novus Ordo liturgical differences from parish to parish…even from hour to hour at a parish.

    Only Latin Catholics who seek the Traditional Latin Mass can be certain that from place to place, that they will encounter liturgical stability.

    Pax.

  32. Jordanes says:

    Hiberniensis said: But he did approve it, and that’s the important thing.

    For the purposes of this discussion it isn’t important at all.

    But once they approve it and promulgate it in their own name, it’s no longer just the work of others. It bears papal authority. The Missal of Paul VI is precisely that – the Missal of Paul VI, not the Missal of the Consilium.

    All true, and all irrelevant. There is no dispute that the reformed Missal bears papal authority, but that is unimportant when discussing whether or not the Consilium did its work correctly and in accordance with the principles laid down by the Council Fathers and sound liturgical principles. When the work and methodology of the Consilium is under discussion, it’s no good to change the subject to whether or not Pope Paul VI subsequently approved the results of their work and methodology. The Pope’s approval only proves that the Missal has been approved by the Pope, not that what he approved is in perfect, or even “overall,” accordance with Sacrosanctum Consilium.

  33. RC says:

    Give him enough rope, and he’ll end up in charge of ministry to the Esperanto community.

  34. adamsaj says:

    Tom,

    “We need to pin the Consilium’s so-called “liturgical ills” to Pope Paul VI.”

    our purpose here is not to judge people but to discuss the liturgy. we talk about the NO as being a product of the consilium only because they did all the grunt work in inserting the progressivest ideology into the Mass. we dont care who is responsable for these problems, only that the existance of the consilium demonstrates that the NO isnt organic development. lets leave the judgement to God.

  35. RBrown says:

    I simply disagree with folks, here and elsewhere, who tend to blame the failed liturgical reform upon the Consilium.

    We need to pin the Consilium’s so-called “liturgical ills” to Pope Paul VI. The Consilium acted only with Pope Paul VI’s permission. The Consilium did not promulgate the Novus Ordo. Pope Paul VI promulgated the Novus Ordo.

    I guess that it’s just a matter of words. After all, we’re on the same page. You and I believe that the “reform” is out of control and requires correction.

    That said, Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and the Latin Church bishops (current bishops as well) taught the Faithful that the liturgical “reform” is in perfect harmony with Vatican II.

    Therefore, should we adhere to the teachings of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, as well as our bishops? Or should we continue to insist that the Novus Ordo is not, if you will, authentic Vatican II Liturgy?

    Pax.
    Comment by Tom

    Once again, you are right and wrong.

    Right in saying that the final authority (and blame) rests on Paul VI. But you are wrong in insisting that Paul VI micro-managed the Consilium.

    I think a key to the Montini mind can be found in the following story: Some years ago the previous Abbot of Fontgombault attended a Benedictine conference in Rome. Finally, Paul VI spoke to them, praising Gregorian Chant. Afterwards, the Abbot approached him, saying, “You spoke in favor of Greg Chant, but it has vanished from most monasteries.” PVI said he knew that. When the Abbot asked him why he chose to do nothing about it, Paul VI answered, “Because I want my children to be free.”

  36. RBrown says:

    Furthermore, Marini is quite entitled to express theological and liturgical opinions that have not been censured by the Church, even if some disagree with them.

    That’s a vacuous line that means nothing. The topic here is what he said, not whether he had the right to say it.

    The Consilium-bashing is also unconvincing. It’s true that there are various ways in which Sacrosanctum Concilium might have been differently interpreted, but it seems to me that the Missal of Paul VI (as opposed to the way that Missal is often used) is, overall, a valid interpretation of that document.

    BXVI disagrees. He thinks the present state of the liturgy is out of line with SC. I suggest you read The Spirit of the Liturgy.

    SC is, admittedly, ambiguous in places, but that does not alter the fact that the document as it stands is what was voted for by the Council Fathers and promulgated by the Pope and the Council.

    As I’ve said here before, there are texts in SC that can be used to defend every liturgical opinion from that of the SSPX to balloons on the altar and celebrants in clown suits.

    Even though there may have been ‘weaker’ interpretations of it, the ‘strong’ interpretation that resulted in the 1969/1970 Missal is valid and defensible.

    But, as is well known, not defended by JRatzinger.

    Furthermore, it should be obvious to anyone with even limited knowledge of how ecclesistical governance operates that by itself the Consilium had no power whatsoever to implement anything. Even permanent dicasteries of the Roman Curia have no power independent of the Pope. It was Paul VI, and Paul VI alone, who promulgated the new edition of the Missale Romanum, a promulgation that was entirely valid and licit.

    Agreed. But its validity and liceity are not guarantees that it is of high quality. For example, Chapter IV, on the reform of the Divine Office, is a mess.

    IMO, “the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal” (to quote the letter accompanying the Motu Proprio) are still waiting to be truly discovered. They have, unfortunately, been covered over by many serious abuses and misunderstandings. It would be worth re-reading the two General Audience addresses that Paul VI gave just before the introduction of the new Missal in Italy.
    Comment by Hiberniensis

    I have read them, quoted from them here (and in my theology classes), and find them largely a disaster.

    The foundation for the entire mess is Montini syncretism–he says that the Eucharist is both a memorial of the Passion and Death and (following Protestantism) the Last Supper. He is doing little else than trying to glue two opposing concepts glued together.

    The new catechism corrects the problem. But the dissonance between lex orandi and lex credendi remains.

  37. RBrown says:

    Those ridiculing his quotation about the Church of today, not of yesterday or tomorrow, would do well to note that Joseph Ratzinger himself has said the same thing.
    Comment by Hiberniensis

    I agree about the Church and liturgy of today. But celebrating the Eucharist versus populum and in the vernacular comes from the Protestantism of about 400 years ago. Hard to be more “yesterday” than that.

    ______

    I notice also:

    1. That Abp Marini invokes the magic word “Pastoral”. But by any pastoral measure, the Paul VI liturgy has been a flop.

    2. That he refers to “Ecclesial Communities” when he speaks of Catholics. That is a theological phrase used to describe Protestant groups. And so he seems not to distinguish between the Church and Protestant groups.

  38. Martha says:

    “As I’ve said here before, there are texts in SC that can be used to defend every liturgical opinion from that of the SSPX to balloons on the altar and celebrants in clown suits.” –RBrown

    :-) That’s something with which people like Tom and I would agree!

    Pope Paul VI, after all, wanted his children to be free. Liberty is the foundation of anarchy. Isn’t that what we have today?

    Respectfully, Father, I don’t see that Tom “hogs” the board more than some others do.

  39. Habemus Papam says:

    An irony here is that those so-called progressives living in the past with Paul VI are very often the same people who once decried traditionalists for living in the past with Pius XII.

  40. Hibierniensis said, “It would be worth re-reading the two General Audience addresses that Paul VI gave just before the introduction of the new Missal in Italy.”

    I have read those two audiences and they scare me half to death.

  41. Hiberniensis says:

    “Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me add that as far as its contents is concerned (apart from a few criticisms), I am very grateful for the new Missal, for the way it has enriched the treasury of prayers and prefaces, for the new Eucharistic Prayers and the increased number of texts for use on weekdays, etc., quite apart from the availability of the vernacular. But I do regard it as unfortunate that we have been presented with the idea of a new book rather with that of continuity within a single liturgical history.”
    Joseph Ratzinger, ‘The Feast of Fatih: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy’

    The problem is not with the Missal of Paul VI (that is, with its contents), but with the way it is thought of and used (as if it were a new book and not simply the most recent, revised edition of the Roman Missal). Practices such as versus populum and Communion in the hand and the complete monopoly of the vernacular are not intrinsic to the Missal nor are they in any way mandated by it. To repeat, the Missal is fine; it’s the liturgical climate in which it’s used that’s the problem.

  42. Hiberniensis says:

    “if we look at the matter properly we shall see that the fundamental outline of the Mass is still the traditional one, not only theologically but also spiritually. Indeed, if the rite is carried out as it ought to be, the spiritual aspect will be found to have greater richness. The greater simplicity of the ceremonies, the variety and abundance of scriptural texts, the joint acts of the ministers, the silences which will mark various deeper moments in the rite, will all help to bring this out.”

    This is the problem, that the rite is hardly ever carried out as it ought to be, with hieratic austerity and restraint. What Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict was and is doing is teaching us by word and example how to celebrate according to the Missal of Paul VI the way it ought to be done. He is not preparing by stages to do away with the Missal.

  43. Hiberniensis says:

    The quote in my comment above is by Paul VI.

  44. EDG says:

    David D: “I think we could live with that [1965] Mass as the Ordinary Forma.”

    That’s an interesting idea, because while it was different from the old Mass (and people did in fact call it the “New Mass”), it wasn’t an absolute shock when it was introduced. The priest told us on the last day of the Latin Mass that this would be the last time we would ever see it, and then the new rite was introduced the next day.

    But it was like the lowest of low masses, and the translation used was already familiar and accepted because it was the translation used in most of the missals that people had been reading for years. The hymns were awful, but then, Catholic hymns had been awful for years, including the two that used to be done even at the old Mass. Also, everybody knew it was temporary, and we thought the 1965 missal might be a jumping off point for a better revision later on. But I think its temporary character was one of its liabilities, and encouraged a tendency to be sloppy with the words and the celebration (although it must be recalled that a lot of priests were sloppy with the earlier Latin words and celebration, too!), which then led to creative reinterpretations. And of course, the “hymns” were immediately replaced by awful folk-songs, usually expressing some left wing sentiment or other.

    However, are you sure the priest was facing the people in that revision? I don’t seem to recall that until somewhat later; most churches weren’t even set up to make this possible, and I remember at the time of the NO they started adding tables for this purpose. Of course, it’s possible that this was a local option. In any case, I agree that we’d be better off with the 1965 rite than the Novus Ordo, although I think it’s highly unlikely that this would happen.

  45. Luca says:

    Father, what do you think about the first part of the interview, in which mons. Marini says that his Commission will be concerned with all the local Eucharistic Congresses? It is a promise or a menace? :-)

  46. RBrown says:


    “Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me add that as far as its contents is concerned (apart from a few criticisms), I am very grateful for the new Missal, for the way it has enriched the treasury of prayers and prefaces, for the new Eucharistic Prayers and the increased number of texts for use on weekdays, etc., quite apart from the availability of the vernacular. But I do regard it as unfortunate that we have been presented with the idea of a new book rather with that of continuity within a single liturgical history.”
    Joseph Ratzinger, ‘The Feast of Fatih: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy’

    The problem is not with the Missal of Paul VI (that is, with its contents), but with the way it is thought of and used (as if it were a new book and not simply the most recent, revised edition of the Roman Missal). Practices such as versus populum and Communion in the hand and the complete monopoly of the vernacular are not intrinsic to the Missal nor are they in any way mandated by it. To repeat, the Missal is fine; it’s the liturgical climate in which it’s used that’s the problem.
    Comment by Hiberniensis

    “Feast of Faith” is a fairly old book, published in German in 1981 and probably written before he became Prefect of the SCDF.

    Generally, JRatzinger has spoken in more general, theological concepts about the liturgy. But in later years his observations and criticisms have become more pointed–a man nearing retirement (or so he thought) who felt free to say whatever he wanted. And so in his Memoirs, he is not so kind to the New Missal. “The old building was demolished and another was built, to be sure using old materials . . .” (p. 148)

    The 1970 Missal is thought of and used as a new book simply because that is what it is. In those two weekly audiences to which you refer Paul VI refers to it as an “innovation”, repeatedly using the word “new” to describe it–new rite, new rules, new directions, new anaphoras.

    It is revisionist history to say now that it was not new.

    Having said that, I do agree that Latin Novus Ordo ad orientem would be a huge improvement over the present situation and end most of the liturgical nonsense. But I also want to note that many of the gestures have been eliminated. And I think that that the Novus Ordo Offertory is seriously deficient.

  47. RBrown says:

    “if we look at the matter properly we shall see that the fundamental outline of the Mass is still the traditional one, not only theologically but also spiritually. Indeed, if the rite is carried out as it ought to be, the spiritual aspect will be found to have greater richness. The greater simplicity of the ceremonies, the variety and abundance of scriptural texts, the joint acts of the ministers, the silences which will mark various deeper moments in the rite, will all help to bring this out.”

    This is the problem, that the rite is hardly ever carried out as it ought to be, with hieratic austerity and restraint. What Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict was and is doing is teaching us by word and example how to celebrate according to the Missal of Paul VI the way it ought to be done. He is not preparing by stages to do away with the Missal.
    Comment by Hiberniensis

    If Paul VI thought the 1962 Missal and the 1970 Missal were basically the same, why would he have worked so hard to suppress the former

    And I disagree about was BXVI wants to do. I think there are some serious changes that he wants to make to the Novus Ordo. His age, however, will limit them.

  48. Antiquarian says:

    “We all know what Pope Benedict really thinks about the liturgical reform after the council: “After the Council… in place of the liturgy as the fruit of organic development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it, as in a manufacturing process, with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product”(Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger).”

    Despite the widespread misuse of this quotation on the internet, His Holiness was NOT referring to the Novus Ordo per se here– he was condemning abusive innovations thought up “on-the-spot.”

    http://www.barroux.org/docum/RATZINGER_REF.pdf

    In the same essay he laments as a “source of sadness” those who separate themselves from the Church because of attachment to an older form of the liturgy. The seeds of his motu proprio, where he suggests both forms will influence each other, are clearly in evidence even this long ago.

  49. Hiberniensis says:

    If one sits down with the two ordines – the 1962 ordo and the 1970 ordo – and compares them, they are not actually that different on paper. The Offertory is probably the most different, but I don’t think the 1970 version is deficient, especially considering that the most important part of the Offertory is the Secreta/Super Oblata. The problem is that the two ordines, while very similar on paper, usually look very different in practice – mostly because of the orientation of the priest and the music (unsuitable songs instead of even the minimum of Gregorian chant), but also because of the language and because the Roman Canon is almost never used. It is in the actual practice of parishes that change must come about, rather than in the existing liturgical legislation. I would welcome a change in legislation in favour of a silent Canon on week-days and possibily an audible Canon with a silent Consecration on Sundays and Holy-Days, but pretty much everything else that needs to be done to rescue the Roman Rite can – and should – be done by parish clergy under the existing legislation – versus Deum, Gregorian chant, the Roman Canon as the preferred option on Sundays, Communion on the tongue while kneeling, etc. (even a private recitation of psalm 42 in the sacristy and the Placeat Tibi during the return to the sacristy can be done under the existing laws).

  50. Jordanes says:

    Hiberniensis said: If one sits down with the two ordines – the 1962 ordo and the 1970 ordo – and compares them, they are not actually that different on paper.

    Nonsense. They have little in common with each other — their differences are much more numerous and significant than what they have in common. But I think you aren’t referring to the 1970 Ordo, you’re referring to the first Eucharistic Prayer of the 1970 Ordo, that is, the Roman Canon. The 1962 Ordo has just the Roman Canon, but the 1970 Ordo has several Eucharistic Prayers, and the latest edition of the Latin Ordo has even more. Indeed, in the U.S. there are now several more Eucharistic Prayers not in the Roman Missal at all — I could be wrong, but I think they exist only in English and are Roman Rite liturgy only in a technical sense (in the sense that Latin Rite clergy in the U.S. may use them, even though they aren’t in the Roman Missal). They’re found in a red softcover book — my pastor has used some of them within the past year, and my bishop used one of them just this morning at the cathedral. (I’ve lost track — just how many Eucharistic Prayers are now weighing down the Ordinary Use of the Roman Rite?)

  51. Don Altabello says:

    Frankly, this entire thread is one reason why I tire so much of liturgy debates. One group brings up legitimate questions about the reform. Another group of conservatives (seemingly from the “apologist” tradition) come in and castigate everyone for disagreeing with anything or any position that bears the mark of a Pope (even if prudential). This group (led by Mark Shea) represent the folks who think music and art seemingly cannot be judged on any aesthetic level, thus making any criticism of music at last week’s stadium mass disrespectful and over the top.

  52. Hiberniensis says:

    In claiming that the two ordines are very similar I’m obviously talking about the original Latin versions rather than the ICEL transaltion (the new translation will be a massive improvement).
    The Kyrie, Gloria, Creed, Sanctus, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei and Ite Missa Est in both ordines are exactly the same.
    The Penitential Rite and the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar do present notable differences. But Penitential Rite Form A and B are simply parts of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar now recited by all (admittedly the Confiteor has been shortened, but it is still recognisably the Confiteor). There is nothing to prevent the priest reciting those parts of the Prayers at the Foot of Altar that have not been incorporated into the Penetential Rite privately in the sacristy. Form C, which seems to show the least continuity, actually has the most from the point of view of the congregation in that it is simply the Kyrie (with tropes – medieval accretions restored!), which is what the congregation actually hears in practice while the priest is reciting the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar.
    The lectionary is completely different, but is IMO perhaps the most beneficial of all the changes (also, SC did specifically call for a wider cycle of readings spread over several years).
    The Offertory is different – most of the prayers have been changed or omitted – but the Orate Fratres and its response is still there (kept by Paul VI even though the Consilium wanted to remove it) and it is the Secreta/Super Oblata that is the most important part of the Offertory anyway.
    The Roman Canon is almost exactly the same (the addition of “quod pro vobis tradetur” to the words of consecration actually emphasises even more than before the sacrificial nature of the Mass). The option of alternative Canons is the biggest change of all, but if they are used less exclusively and the Roman Canon is seen as the preferred option for Sundays and Holy-Days, they are in no way offensive.
    The embolism after the Pater Noster is very similar. The addition of “Expectantes beatem spem” (a Scripture quote) actually emphasises even more than before the eschatalogical aspect. The words of the priest’s private prayers at Communion are the same, except that one (Domine Iesu Christe) is now plural and said by all, and of the other two the priest chooses one only per Mass (admittedly the endings “Qui vivis…”/”Qui cum eodem” have been omitted). The words of the Ecce Agnus Dei and the Domine non sum dignus are the same, but with the addition of “Beati qui invitati sunt…” (again a Scripture quote and again emphasising the eschatalogical dimension).
    The Placeat Tibi has been omitted but there is nothing to prevent the priest reciting it privately while returning to the sacristy.
    The music of the Roman Gradual has not been changed. Hopefully it will be redisovered by more choirs.
    So while there are differences between the two ordines, there is clearly an abundance of common ground and continuity.

  53. Malta says:

    Fr., very percipient comments.

  54. Victoria says:

    I have read Archbishop Marini ‘s interview and your translation Fr. Z has nothing to do to what he said. Your post is just pure difamation, a fruit of you imagination. You , as always ,are twisting his words . What you are talking about here is is just the product of your sick mind filled with hatred, which seems to be the tonic of all the people who contribute to this disgusting blog.
    I am sorry to say all this to you because you are a priest but in my opinion a priest who does a terrible service to the Church, and I don’t have any respect for you. Stop bashing Mons. Marini and do something better , take care of your own soul .
    How come you are still in Rome ? Hoping to get some post because you worked for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith ? You should be in the North Pole or Iran ( good places for you) working for the salvation of souls not wasting your time writing in a blog and expreading hatred about people who you don’t like.

    RBrown: Mons. Marini is a catholic Bishop , he is not a protestant , this is difamation as well.
    And yes, Mons. Marini speaks English.
    If you think that the Holy Father would be happy reading your posts you are gone bananas… No, he would not like what I just wrote either… I don’t like myself for doing it but someone has to come here and tell you how pathetic you are.

  55. Victoria says:

    I have read Archbishop Marini ‘s interview and your translation Fr. Z has nothing to do to what he said. Your post is just pure difamation, a fruit of you imagination. You , as always ,are twisting his words . What you are talking about here is is just the product of your sick mind filled with hatred, which seems to be the tonic of all the people who contribute to this disgusting blog.

    I am sorry to say all this to you because you are a priest but in my opinion a priest who does a terrible service to the Church, and I don’t have any respect for you. Stop bashing Mons. Marini and do something better , take care of your own soul .

    How come you are still in Rome ? Hoping to get some post because you worked for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith ? You should be in the North Pole or Iran ( good places for you) working for the salvation of souls not wasting your time writing in a blog and expreading hatred about people who you don’t like.

    RBrown: Mons. Marini is a catholic Bishop , he is not a protestant , this is difamation as well.

    And yes, Mons. Marini speaks English.

    If you think that the Holy Father would be happy reading your posts you are gone bananas… No, he would not like what I just wrote either… I don’t like myself for doing it but someone has to come here and tell you how pathetic you are.

  56. Volpius says:

    Perhaps you could give us the correct translation then Victoria instead of just ranting.

  57. Jordanes says:

    Victoria is Not Amused!

    And yes, Mons. Marini speaks English.

    On the subject of speaking English, in what language is “difamation” a word? I’ve never heard of the act of difamating? Is that different than monofamating?

  58. EDG says:

    Victoria is probably a native speaker of Italian or Spanish (although with an excellent level of English) judging by “difamation” and her sentence structure. However, that’s irrelevant. I looked for the original Italian of the article but I couldn’t find it. The daily edition is today’s issue only, and I couldn’t find a way to retrieve earlier editions. But I am sure Fr Z’s translation is accurate. Personally, I thought his comments were simply factually accurate observations, and I can’t imagine what triggered this tirade. In fact, this triple tirade…

  59. Hiberniensis says:

    One does get the sense that Archbishop Marini has become the ‘George Bush’ of some people.

  60. Limbo says:

    Gee ! I like the new Marini ! In time we will all forget the old one and all that went with him.
    Hang on in there Catholics ! We’ve lost a few battles over the years but we’re winnin’ the war !

  61. Victoria: I would be pleased were you to post your own, perfect translation to demonstrate how badly I misrepresented him.

    And thanks for the prayers!

    o{];¬)

  62. For the sake of being above board, here is the Italian text of the interview in L’Osservatore Romano.  I didn’t translate the whole thing.

    I will put in blue what I did.

    Intervista all’arcivescovo Piero Marini,

    presidente del Pontificio Comitato per i Congressi eucaristici internazionali

    Celebrazioni eucaristiche

    sempre più curate e partecipate

    di Gianluca Biccini

    Presto anche i congressi nazionali e regionali organizzati dalle Chiese locali saranno di competenza del Pontificio Comitato per i Congressi eucaristici internazionali:  la revisione degli statuti, in corso di completamento, attribuisce infatti al comitato nuove e più ampie facoltà. Lo riferisce in un’intervista al nostro giornale il nuovo presidente, l’arcivescovo Piero Marini, chiamato da Benedetto XVI a portare la propria esperienza ventennale di Maestro delle Celebrazioni liturgiche pontificie nell’organizzazione di questi eventi ecclesiali. Il presule parla anche del prossimo appuntamento a Québec auspicando che sia “un tempo forte di meditazione e di preghiera, perché la Chiesa diventi nel mondo testimone del dono della vita del Signore offerta e condivisa nell’Eucaristia”.

    Dallo scorso 30 settembre lei presiede il Pontificio Comitato può tracciare un bilancio di questi primi mesi.

    Questa nomina mi ha permesso di continuare a occuparmi di un settore della vita ecclesiale per me non completamente nuovo. Come Maestro delle Celebrazioni liturgiche pontificie ho avuto l’occasione di preparare e di prendere parte alla celebrazione eucaristica conclusiva, presieduta dal Papa, di quattro Congressi eucaristici internazionali:  a Seoul nel 1989, a Siviglia nel 1993, a Wroclaw nel 1997 e a Roma nel 2000. In qualche modo, dunque, fin dall’inizio mi sono sentito inserito nella tradizione di tali congressi. Inoltre tutta l’attività del Comitato ha come centro e finalità il mistero eucaristico e in particolare la celebrazione concreta dell’Eucaristia. Questo mi ha posto davanti una realtà bella e interessante riguardo l’Eucaristia.

    Questi primi mesi nel Pontificio comitato sono dunque per me come una finestra aperta sulla celebrazione dell’Eucaristia fonte e culmine della vita della Chiesa.

    Mancano due mesi all’appuntamento del 49º Congresso eucaristico internazionale, che avrà luogo in Québec. A che punto è la preparazione?

    Per tale celebrazione devo ringraziare coloro che si sono impegnati nell’organizzazione di questo grande congresso. Anzitutto il mio predecessore il cardinale Jozef Tomko, che ha portato avanti con cura e amore il lavoro di preparazione iniziato fin dal 2004 subito dopo il congresso di Guadalajara. Debbo inoltre ringraziare il cardinale Marc Ouellet, arcivescovo di Québec e primate del Canada, per l’entusiasmo, la competenza e l’impegno che ha dedicato al congresso. Il cardinale arcivescovo e la Chiesa particolare di Québec hanno portato in questi ultimi anni il peso più grande della preparazione. Per questo spero che il congresso sia fonte di vita e segni una rinnovata primavera nella Chiesa nel Québec, in Canada e in tutto il mondo.



    Benedetto XVI ha invitato di recente a “ripensare le celebrazioni di massa”. Lo ha fatto proprio con un esplicito richiamo a uno dei più importanti Congressi eucaristici della storia, quello di Monaco 1960 in cui prese vita il concetto della “Statio Orbis”. Il Papa ha anche accennato a due problemi pratici:  la partecipazione consapevole dei fedeli, che potrebbe venir meno, e l’eccessivo numero di concelebranti. Lei cosa pensa di questa sollecitazione?

    A partire della seconda metà del secolo scorso, in prossimità del Concilio Vaticano II e anche a seguito delle riforme di Pio XII concernenti la veglia pasquale e la settimana santa, l’attenzione nei congressi eucaristici venne sempre più indirizzata, oltre all’adorazione e alla processione eucaristica, sulla celebrazione della messa:  ne è testimonianza il titolo Statio Orbis dato alla celebrazione conclusiva del 37° congresso celebrato in Baviera. Da allora la celebrazione conclusiva dei congressi eucaristici ha assunto la fisionomia di una sosta in cui le Chiese particolari di varie parti dell’Orbe si uniscono in comunione con il Papa o con il suo Legato intorno al mistero eucaristico, per manifestare e approfondire la propria fede.

    È evidente tuttavia che il fenomeno delle celebrazioni di massa si è sviluppato soprattutto dopo il Concilio. Oltre ai mezzi della comunicazione sociale due fattori hanno contribuito in modo determinante:  la relazione tra celebrazione liturgica e Chiesa messa in risalto dal Vaticano II e i viaggi apostolici intrapresi dai Pontefici, divenuti ormai espressione caratteristica dell’esercizio del ministero petrino.

    Le celebrazioni presiedute dal Papa sono così diventate icone dell’unità e della cattolicità della Chiesa. Alcune di esse tuttavia, soprattutto quelle con grande numero di fedeli come le Giornate mondiali della gioventù, presentano – ha osservato di recente Benedetto XVI – alcuni problemi di difficile soluzione. Essi riguardano il numero dei concelebranti, la distribuzione della comunione ai fedeli e più in generale la partecipazione concreta.

    Il Papa ha già dato alcune indicazioni per quanto riguarda la partecipazione dei sacerdoti concelebranti, fissando la condizione che essi siano collocati sul palco-presbiterio in modo che appaia evidente la loro relazione con l’altare.

    Rimangono tuttavia irrisolti molti problemi concernenti l’attiva partecipazione, che bisognerà in qualche modo risolvere tenendo conto che la celebrazione dell’eucaristia è nata per una comunità limitata di persone. Il termine Statio, proprio del periodo medioevale, usato nel congresso eucaristico di Monaco e riproposto a tutta la Chiesa dal nuovo Cerimoniale episcoporum, che denomina la messa presieduta dal vescovo Missa stationalis, ha come soggetto proprio la comunità radunata in assemblea, a differenza del titolo Missa pontificalis che aveva come soggetto il Pontifex. Il termine Statio si riferisce in primo luogo alla comunità locale riunita (statio) per la celebrazione:  e quindi indica sempre che la comunità che si riunisce per la celebrazione dell’Eucaristia è in qualche modo limitata.

    Nella stessa occasione Benedetto XVI aveva invitato a trovare soluzioni concrete a quello che per lui rimane un problema. Vi sentite interpellati come Pontificio Comitato?

    Il problema si pone ormai all’attenzione di tutti da vari decenni. A mio giudizio è necessario che si affronti con uno studio serio e si diano indicazioni di carattere liturgico-pastorale.

    Oggi sembra tornato di grande attualità il dibattito sulla riforma liturgica scaturita dal Concilio. Come giudica il cammino compiuto in oltre quarant’anni?

    Ho seguito, fin dal periodo del Vaticano II, l’attuazione della riforma liturgica per ben ventidue anni, prima nel Consilium ad exsequendam constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia e poi nella Congregazione per il Culto Divino. Successivamente, per oltre vent’anni ho potuto celebrare la liturgia voluta dal Concilio in oltre cento Paesi, in occasione dei viaggi di Papa Wojtyla. Ho così organizzato con gli esperti locali innumerevoli celebrazioni dell’Eucaristia, della Liturgia delle ore, della Parola di Dio, dei sacramenti, celebrazioni ecumeniche in tante lingue e culture. Ovunque la liturgia voluta dal Concilio è stata celebrata con viva partecipazione ed entusiasmo. Ognuno ha percepito la liturgia come propria della Chiesa locale e nello stesso tempo come espressione della Chiesa universale. La prassi celebrativa ha confermato che la riforma liturgica è stata necessaria perché basata su principi teologici profondi e di perenne validità. Pertanto essa è un cammino irreversibile.  I  padri  conciliari  e il Romano Pontefice nella Sacrosanctum Concilium, facendo proprie le parole di Pio XII, hanno definito il rinnovamento della liturgia come un passaggio dello Spirito Santo nella Chiesa. Il significato di questa affermazione fa dunque parte del tessuto della fede ecclesiale odierna. La celebrazione della liturgia quindi non può essere separata dalla vita della Chiesa. E la Chiesa che vive – cito Paolo VI – è la Chiesa di oggi, non la Chiesa di ieri o la Chiesa del domani.

    È questo il motivo per cui il Concilio si è occupato anzitutto della liturgia. Per il Concilio il rinnovamento della Chiesa, l’ecumenismo e l’azione missionaria dipendono dal modo in cui si vive la liturgia.

    Ma celebrare la liturgia voluta dal Concilio, come affermava Papa Montini, non è cosa facile, come non è cosa facile vivere la vita della Chiesa. Anzi celebrare la liturgia del Concilio è cosa difficile e delicata. Occorre interessamento diretto e metodico, richiede pazienza, perseveranza, impegno personale e amoroso e tanta carità pastorale. Tutto questo però è necessario se vogliamo che la vita della Chiesa si rinnovi e che tutti si sentano chiamati alla salvezza. La pastorale liturgica è un impegno sempre permanente.

    Lasciamoci dunque guidare dallo Spirito Santo che ha ispirato il movimento liturgico, Paolo VI e i padri conciliari e continuiamo a portare avanti con rinnovato impegno ed entusiasmo la pastorale liturgica nelle nostre comunità ecclesiali.

    Molti hanno interpretato la “Summorum Pontificum” come una battuta d’arresto in questo cammino di attuazione. Che idea si è fatto riguardo alla vicenda?

    Il testo del motu proprio va letto nel contesto in cui il Papa lo ha collocato. “Oggi – dice Benedetto XVI nella lettera di accompagnamento indirizzata ai Vescovi – ci si impone un obbligo:  fare tutti gli sforzi, affinché a tutti quelli che hanno veramente il desiderio dell’unità, sia reso possibile restare in questa unità o di ritrovarla nuovamente”. Per noi cattolici il Papa è nella Chiesa il segno visibile dell’unità, è il Vescovo della Chiesa di Roma chiamata a presiedere tutte le altre Chiese nella carità. Il Papa è stato chiamato dal Signore ad esercitare il ministero petrino, a fare cioè ogni sforzo perché la rete della Chiesa rimanga integra. Egli pertanto ha il diritto e il dovere di provvedere alla unità della Chiesa. Chi gli può negare questo dovere o quest’obbligo? Proprio la Liturgia, per chi la vive con autenticità, è scuola che forma al vero senso della Chiesa nel rispetto dei diversi compiti e ministeri e nell’obbedienza a chi presiede.

    Infine è da ricordare che il motu proprio non intende introdurre modifiche nel Messale Romano attuale né esprimere un giudizio negativo sulla riforma liturgica voluta dal Concilio:  il Messale  Romano promulgato da Paolo VI è l’espressione ordinaria della “legge della preghiera”; il Messale promulgato da san Pio V deve essere considerato  come  espressione  straordinaria della stessa “legge di preghiera”. Con questa nuova disposizione Benedetto XVI non vuole che “venga intaccata l’autorità del Concilio” o che “venga messa in dubbio la riforma liturgica”. Anzi la decisione del Papa non ha comportato finora alcun cambiamento nella prassi celebrativa delle nostre comunità ecclesiali. Il suo è stato solo un gesto a servizio dell’unità. Guardiamo dunque avanti e continuiamo con entusiasmo il cammino intrapreso dal Concilio.

     

  63. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    Although Marini the former does speak English, I can testify that he does not like to and often refuses to. As an MC he was a real jerk to English speakers. I learned this when I served as lector once at a papal Mass.

  64. sacerdos: I have my own horror stories about him as well.

  65. Joseph says:

    Re: Anything and everything.

    Having worked in a major met. area for 25 yrs as a music facilitator wearing various hats, there is much to be commented on.

    Taste & Aesthetic sense: Americans don’t have much. Many of out better artist must seek out European and Japanese and other audiences to make a living.

    The same regarding church music, even more so, as many of my age – 50ish – have not really heard the great sacred music, to either like it or not. They are, however, slavishly inclined to “the new” and even the great hymns of “the Church” (Protestant and Catholic) are frowned upon.

    I live near one of the wealthier areas, where churches could probably afford a small orchestra, and the music is dreadful, fingernail on the blackboard bad, and I am not a Julliard grad (or close) type snob.

    When calling on the phone just for some info from the Office of worship, the director of that office, opon picking up the phone and recognizing me, lamented the fact that I was not “gay,” so as to suggest we could be “dating” and this on a strict business call to the diocese. Same person teaches the local liturgical certificate program (one of only two, I believe, or maybe the only} at the Catholic College in the area.

    Anyone who has been to these weirdly twisted PC events that are called “liturgy” conference, or Catichetical conferences with the heavy handed treatment and poetry clubbing (like seal clubbing, as in beat the life blood out of it) vis-a-vis “inclusive language” (fully championed by indoctrinated “artists” who are not much more than “song pluggers” for publishers) and furthermore, those who know the older text and who are asked to swallow the “improved” versions, (again, royalty generators for copywriteable “translations” [and someone explain how that works, you get a royalty on a work that is not really “your own”]. And these are rammed down our throats as “approved” editions, which then all musical adaptations of r. psalms etc. must adhere to.) And I could go on, and on, ad naseum, but this is the world of the modern liturgical proponents, and it is fey, and it is artless, and it tends to be trite, it is invented in our time, for our time (throwaway art, which seems not to get tossed past its “pull date) and with no historical referencing. It is attention grabbing, (and some times for the unintended reasons of just being so bad).

    Re: Marini

    Backhanded complements and “killing with faint praise” are hard to manufacture, bad translation or no. Seems like some (Victoria maybe) have an axe to grind. I don’t know the man, but I know a jellyfish when I hear one talk. I just did grind my ax, but for all to see, and the reasons are based somewhat on “taste,” or the discernment of the lack of the same, but most people can tell the difference between sour creme, (beautiful dissonance) sour milk (needs to be thrown out) and sour grapes (just sour by choice or through spite).

    I believe I am squarely in the middle regarding my referencing present day tartness generators.

  66. TRP says:

    I just want to pick Victoria up, hug her, and tell her that everything will be OK.

  67. Excellent commentary Father Z!

    I’m a convert, and people with Marini’s mindset AKA “V2 is the greatest thing since the resurrection!” make me sick. They empty churches and seminaries and call it “renewal”. Help us O Lord!

    It’s a wonder anyone converts when there local parish is infected with the same mindset.

  68. EDG says:

    Well, the translation looks accurate to me! I think Fr Z’s observations were very interesting; in fact, what Marini said is interesting, because he frankly reveals the real agenda behind his liturgical theories. Maybe what Victoria (alter ego of Marini???) is upset about is that he was so up front in revealing it, perhaps more than he meant to be.

    In many ways, what happened with the Novus Ordo is less about liturgy than it is about control. Most of the Council fathers probably did not intend to seed the future with “local control” landmines, but obviously, some of the people involved in the Council (such as, of course, Bugnini) no doubt had this objective in mind from day one. And they largely succeeded in weakening the trans-national unity of the Church, weakening the power of the Pope and of Rome, and building national churches that merely pay lip service to Rome. The “local option” and “pastoral reasons” clauses in every directive sent from Rome regarding the liturgy effectively remove any power these documents might have and hand it over to the bishop – or, worse still, the national bishops’ councils. We’re seeing this with the impossibility of obtaining respect for the terms of the motu proprio, even though the Pope tried to make an end-run around the bishops by handing it over to the priests. The bishops still asserted control over it and those bishops who are opposed to it simply say it is not needed in their dioceses and hence, as a pastoral decision that is theirs to make, they don’t have to observe it.

  69. EDG: In many ways, what happened with the Novus  Ordo is less about liturgy than it is about control.

    You’ve got it!  Yes, by Jove, spot on.

    Anyone who really wants to know what Bugnini was about, and the whole effort of the Consilium, should read the marvelously useful book which came out under the name of H.E. Piero Marini, but which was certainly ghost written for him mostly (am I guessing) by Fr. Keith Pecklers with contributions by Fr. Mark Francis and maybe John Page.  The book also underscores how P. Marini’s work was/is a conscious continuation of Bugnini’s goals.

    I would only hope that people don’t buy the book new, if they can help it.  Perhaps several people could share a copy and then give it to a point of reference person, such as their priest, who can (after reading it himself) lend it out.  Maybe give a copy to a library. 

  70. TRP says:

    EDG and Fr. Z.,

    Yes, it’s about control, but I respectfully submit that it’s also about turning the Church into a secular institution, with a secular message (Christ=social justice and statism) and a secular look and sound. It’s the 70s-style liberation theology translated into aesthetics. It’s the musical correlate of USCCB statements on matters like farm subsidies and the appropriate length and height of the border fence.

  71. Habemus Papam says:

    I wonder how much of what happened at Vatican II was ever really willed by the Bishops attending. They voted of course but the Curia lost control of the Council early on and I can’t help wondering how many of the Fathers were bounced into the new agenda, or were just along for ride. Pope Benedict who was active in this Council has implied that it may have been a waste of time. He should know.

  72. Catherine says:

    Are you really a priest? All this Marini bashing, this post and others,are not the sort of behaviour one would expect from a man of the cloth.

  73. Eva says:

    Catherine, that is exactly what I wanted to ask Fr. Z a number of times.

    Fr. Z, the way you express your thoughts and also provoke others to do the same directly opposes everything a priest should stand for.

    No offence, but many of us are really sick and tired of your anti-Marini articles, which go far beyond cultural and civilized way of showing disagreement with his opinions. Your repeated hate speech is not worthy of any human being, yet alone of a man who calls himself a Catholic.

  74. Chris Molter says:

    Funny, the two prior comments are exactly how I feel about Msgr. Marini\’s articles and commentary re: the liturgy, the Church, and the Holy Father. Fr. Z is doing a splendid and thankless job countering the errors in the Marini article.

    Both men are entitled to their opinions of the implementation of the reforms of Vatican II, the liturgy, etc. If you think Fr. Z is acting \”out of bounds\” for his station, please show us where he does so. Personally I think he\’s doing a great service to his readership, and although it\’s nice to have a dissenting opinion or two cheerleading for Marini here, the blatant disrespect shown to FATHER Z (who is kind enough to host us on his blog) reflects poorly on those who speak it. (Hate speech?? please..)

    Armchair clergy, indeed.

  75. I find it amusing that the people who want to defend Piero Marini from any criticism write the nastiest comments I see on this blog.

    All I did was translate part of Archbp. Marini’s interview and then add my ow observations, bases in part on what you yourself can read in the book that came out under Piero Marini’s name.

    Do you think I have been unfair? Don’t believe me… go read the book.

  76. Habemus Papam says:

    “Marini bashing” This man and his mentors are in large part responsible for the crisis in the liturgy and therefore the welfare of souls. It is an act of charity to make this known.

  77. Michael says:

    “If one sits down with the two ordines – the 1962 ordo and the 1970 ordo – and compares them, they are not actually that different on paper.”

    If the above is true, then the obvious question becomes, why are there two?