Trinum non semper perfectum est: The Three Marini

There is an interesting little article in the Italian Il Riformista about the three Vatican Monsignors Marini.  There is a little pun here on the well-known Italian "Le Tre Marie".

Remember that Italians use terms like "Monsignor" a bit more liberally than English speakers and they refer to Pope’s also by their family names. 


Here is my translation: 

Trinum non semper perfectum est

The Marini Walz and the new consistory

by Paolo Rodari

The three Marinis are working like beavers these days in their respective offices in the Vatican.  Marini I, or the ex papal Master of Ceremonies Msgr. Piero, just a little while ago in high style baptized his arrival as head of International Eucharistic Congresses.  At the ribbon cutting on the day of his entrance in that rather small and modest office was (and these are the mysteries from the other side of the Tiber [NB: the Vatican is sometimes referred to as the "oltre Tevere"]) noone less than the Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.  A great enthronement, therefore, even though this new job isn’t very tough, at least on paper.

The Letter of Marini I

Indeed Marini I had already rightfully baptized his new post: with an unpublished initiative – namely, with a letter sent by internal mail to major superiors of dicasteries of the Roman Curia – he had explained all the successes he attained in these twenty years as head of papal ceremonies,  twenty years as strenuous defender, in the liturgical sphere, of the faith in the "spirit" of Vatican II.

Marini II, the Successor

The passage from Marini I to Marini II was immediate. Both, in fact, that is Msgr. Piero and his successor as head of papal ceremonies, namely the Genovese Msgr. Guido, will meet next Sunday for a televised passing of the baton.  Both with be at the Pope’s side (like a walk-on part next to the other two) on the occasion of the Eucharistic celebration to take place in the Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples.  Two ceremonieri, that is, for only one Pope.

But it won’t be Sunday – and it’s still long to wait – the moment when Ratzinger will celebrate in public Mass with the old rite of St. Pius V.  Marini II, however, is on alert but it seems that mainly for organizational reasons some weeks still have to go by before the great event.

The scratches of Marini III

In these days, moreover, Marini II, or rather Msgr. Mario, adjunct Secretary of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", has been gathering from dioceses around the world all the letters of protest from the faithful and priests about the lack of application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

In this light, there is being drafted a note which looks to underscore the importance of papal instructions and the definition of some points to keep in mind for the correct celebration of the old rite, celebration that must be conceded to whomever desires it without the possibility of refusal.

Three Flunked Sees

The halls of Vatican offices ("nei sacri palazzi"), in anticipation of the apostolic visit to Naples, many are talking about the red hats that yesterday the Holy Father wanted to give to various prelates.  Other than the exclusion of Msgr. Paolo Romeo (predicted in this column), there were noticed three cardinalatial sees that the Pontiff left out of his second consistory: Washington, Dublin and Warsaw.

Donald William Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, thought he had done it.  Instead, probably on account of the high number of cardinals already present on the West Coast ["West Coast" –  I wonder if the writer meant East Coast], and because the emeritus Cardinal of the same Washington, Theodore Edgar McCarrick, who is certainly maintaining high visibility remaining the only prelate in the capitol of the States present in the College of Cardinals, the thing didn’t go through.  [The writer has forgotten Cardinal Baum, I think.]

The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, on the other hand, has passed some not so excellent months at the helm, in addition to his perhaps too harsh a personality, not very soft, which has made him unpopular among the local clergy.

As far as Warsaw is concerned, the missing biretta granted to Msgr. Kazimierz Nycz left a taste of victory for the Cardinal of Krakow, the ex secretary of Wojtyla, Msgr. Stanislaw Dziwisz.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. danphunter1 says:

    It is encouraging to hear that Marini II is on the alert to prepare for the Mass of Pope St. Pius V.
    Soon now.
    God bless you.

  2. Louis E, says:

    In Dublin’s case,the hat has returned to the see that had expected it when the previous Archbishop of Dublin got it…indeed,Whitaker’s Almanack had gone ahead and listed Brady as a Cardinal as soon as he succeeded Daly,and then Connell was chosen instead.Now the surprise is on the other foot.

    As far as Warsaw is concerned,it is Gniezno that is the primatial see of Poland,and the primacy was reserved to Cardinal Glemp ad personam when the two sees were separated in 1992,a concession that expires on his 80th birthday.So will Nycz be in line for a cardinalate or will Archbishop Muszynski of Gniezno (senior to Nycz by quite a number of years) get one first?

  3. Victor says:

    reg. West Coast: Could it be that he was referring to the Atlantic’s West Coast (i.e. America) in opposite to its East Coast (i.e. Europe)? Just a thought…

  4. Aq says:

    Fr. Guido met with pope today on an audience.

  5. fxr2 says:

    “In this light, there is being drafted a note which looks to underscore the importance of papal instructions and the definition of some points to keep in mind for the correct celebration of the old rite, celebration that must be conceded to whomever desires it without the possibility of refusal.”

    This has to be wishful thinking.

  6. I think Cardinal Baum (the closest Kansas City will ever get to its “own cardinal”) is still living in Rome and because he spent so many years in the curia is not really associated (in the minds of the media) with Washington, DC
    But I will defer to Fr. Z’s wisdom and experience!

  7. Matthew Alexander says:

    Even in English, “Monsignor” (“My Lord”) is an appropriate form of address for such churchmen (and I myself prefer it), though the usage has indeed essentially fallen out of use. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) tells us:

    “… in France it is still customary to address a cardinal as Monseigneur. In all other languages this usage has completely disappeared, so that, practically speaking, cardinals are no longer counted among the Monsignori. All other prelates, from patriarchs down, who have received a papal distinction or are archbishops, bishops, or mitred abbots (among the secular clergy only), have a right to this title. The fact that it lapsed in usage in many countries, so far as these are concerned, does not affect the question. Instead of addressing patriarchs as ‘Vostra Beatitudine’, archbishops as ‘Your Grace’, bishops as ‘My Lord’, abbots as ‘Gracious Lord’ one may without any breach of etiquette salute all equally as Monsignor.”

  8. jaykay says:

    I think the commentator is being harsh on Abp. Martin of Dublin. Whatever about his personality being “harsh” – and I don’t think that’s true – it shouldn’t be overlooked
    that he has celebrated the TLM in public and in addition has set aside a beautiful 19th century city church for the use of the Rite with full-time clergy. Believe me, in Irish (or British) terms that’s practically enough to gain him a reputation as virtually a closet member of the SSPX. It will also earn him the undying scorn of the “liberal” media (practically the only sort we have over here).

  9. Eamonn says:

    Indeed, Abp. Martin has been very generous to us in Dublin (especially with formerly contentious things like funerals in the Extraordinary Form). Oddly enough, he was curate, albeit very briefly, in my home parish. He celebrated the very first Mass (or said the Eucharistic Prayer at least) versus populum there in 1973. Prior to that, it was ad orientem or nothing!

  10. CS Gibson says:

    The inflation of titles started in the 19nth century. Before that Monsignor(or local variant) was the normal address for bishops in Latin countries. The granting of the title to honorary functionaries of the Roman curia non resident in Rome is a 19nth century phenomenon. At that point bishops became Excellency and in France even “Sa Grandeur”, which later title has, thank goodness, died out.
    England kept to the older usages of My Lord for bishops. Your Grace for Archbishops and My Lord Cardinal for cardinals, all of which have Mediaeval precedent.

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