Job security

I already wrote about this little piece on the Vatican website before, but in light of the departure of His Holiness for Turkey I reviewed it and am driven to ask you a question. Here is the first line of the piece on the website "presenting" the papal trip:

1. The Significance of the Apostolic Journey

In the footsteps of his predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to honour the land of Turkey with one of the first Apostolic Journeys of his Pontificate.

This was written by the Papal M.C., His Excellency Piero Marini. It was widely thought (and not without substance) that His Excellency was going to be removed by Benedict from his present role and either give him a diocese to shepherd (some say he declined more than once) or a curial desk to shepherd (rumors had him going to … well… enough of that). However, after all this time, His Excellency is still running the liturgical show.

It is my dream to see His Excellency M.C. a pontifical Mass with the "Tridentine" Rite at the main altar of St. Peter or in the Lateran… heck… in Hoboken, New Jersey for all I care, just as long as he does it. Marini would do the thing perfectly despite his antipathy for the older rite. After all, he likes his job, right?

Does the text above strike you as having been written by someone who really wants to keep his job? I would say so.

Just to remind you, this also appears in that same piece on the Vatican website.

The Byzantine Divine Liturgy, like that of all the Eastern Churches, is celebrated facing East. The priest and all the faithful look to the East, whence Christ will come again in glory. The priest intercedes before the Lord for his people; he walks at the head of the people towards the encounter with the Lord. At different moments the priest turns to the people: for the proclamation of the Gospel, for the dialogue preceding the anaphora, for the communion with the holy gifts, and for all the blessings. These symbolize moments in which the Lord himself comes forth to meet his people.

This, too, was authored by His Excellency.

It is amazing how a little anxiety can produce greater clarity of thought, no?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. billsykes says:


    Oh, yes. Per Dr. Johnson, I believe his mind has been concentrated wonderfully.

  2. Aq says:

    During pope Benedict XVI’s journey to Poland last May, His Excellency was insolent enough as to pronounce the words of consecration together with the pope, while not concelebrating (i.e. wearing his white surplice over his purple cassock; the way His Excellency is seen dressed most often). During Agnus Dei the pope turned to His Excellency with a few words, presumably a rebuke. That act of His Excellency didn’t seem to me as an expression of willingness to keep the job, but rather the contrary.

  3. Diane says:

    I have suspected from the beginning that Pope Benedict left Archbishop Marini in place for a primary reason. He knew many of us would expect Marini to be ditched. But, he felt there was a lesson well worth teaching:

    Above all, Pope Benedict is a charitable teacher – one who knows we can’t just bench every liturgist in the process of reform, provided they know who the boss is. Aside from that, many who are liturgically progressive have followed Marini. Leaving him where he is at, keeps him in the public eye as the liturgies in which he is involved shift from their former flamboyancy to a sense of the sacred.

    Bottom line: Pope Benedict has a reason for having him where he is at and I only give one possible set of explanations which may or may not be on target.

  4. RBrown says:

    My guess is that Msgr Marini would be more than happy to be (either as MC or celebrant) at only masses using the 1962 Missal if it meant that he could stay in his present position. That for two reasons: First, he likes life in the Vatican; second, he knows that once he is sent to a diocese, his chances for the Red Hat have evaporated–or more a propos, gone up in smoke.

    He appears to have all the liturigical principles of a seismograph.

  5. Tim Ferguson says:

    Another consideration is that the Holy Father genuinely likes Italians, and would not want to inflict Marini upon even a small diocese. By keeping him close to the vest for now, he’s saving some poor unsuspecting cathedral the trauma of a potential Marini-created installation Mass, replete with garbled attempts at inculturation.

  6. Pingback: Utter Muttering

  7. Argent says:

    A changed heart is a powerful witness, no? ;)

  8. Proklos says:

    Every time I see Marini officiating at a papal mass I am reminded of the origins of the ill-considered novus ordo. Was he not associated with Annibale Bugnini the chief framer of that infamous document? His secretary perhaps?

Comments are closed.