Rorate Caeli

Marini speaks - Outside the Liturgical Reform, there is no Church

Earlier today, we remembered the Holy Father's plea to his flock: "Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves."

Now, we publish the translation of a most enlightening interview of Archbishop Piero Marini, Papal master of ceremonies, to the Italian website Affari Italiani. The occasion for the interview was the presentation of Marini's new book "Liturgy and Beauty" in the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan (the famous "Cattolica"). This interview should be read for what it is: a warning, by certain areas of the Curia.

Archbishop Marini, after the Council, the liturgical reform cost a schism, that of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. What do you make of it?

"After every Council, there has always been a period of tension. There is always someone who does not agree or who does not approve that which has been done. Well, the fact is that we do not have policemen to order the faithful to accept that which the Second Vatican Council has decided (laughter).*"

And then?

"And then we must, first of all, understand that the liturgy is a sign of unity** and that, as Pope Paul VI said: 'The Church is not that of the past or of the future, but of the present, for which we must accept the Church living today. That is not a question of liberalizing the Missal or something else, it is just a question of accepting the Church of today, period. To be clear, I refer to the history of the Tridentine rite".


"The Tridentine rite or that of Saint Pius V, which in reality is the Missale Romanum aggiornato according to the last dispositions of 1962 by the work of John XXIII, was left in place under certain conditions to avoid a traumatic passage from the old rite to the new for the older faithful. Afterwards, pope Wojtyla allowed that, in certain churches, the rite of Saint Pius V could be celebrated. But to walk beyond this is to walk beyond the Church, and that cannot be done. If the liturgy is a sign of unity for the Church, I cannot establish groups of faithful who at a certain day and at a certain time pray in one way, then another group who in another time pray otherwise. And then we come to the Lefebvrists"

Yes, we come to them. What do you think of them?

"It must be clear once and for all: they must accept what the Second Vatican Council has decided, otherwise no reconciliation will be possible. And then, what do these people want? The majority of the faithful has adapted itself; without the new rite, which was not a child of the Curia but a work of international inspiration, the celebrations and foreign trips of pope Wojtyla would have been impossible to make. Now, because they cannot adapt, what is the difference? I wish to tell you a story"


"Some years ago, they came to greet me and I received them. One of them spoke and said: 'Your Excelency, the new rite is a heresy.' 'Why?,' I asked: 'because -- that Lefebvrist told me -- 'in the old rite the celebrant kneeled, worship the Host, lifted himself, showed it to the faithful and then kneeled again to worship it.' 'Ah -- said I -- and now?' 'And now this is a heresy because the celebrant only kneels after the ostension, in reality asking first for the consentment of the community before proceeding to the consecration.'"

And then what did you do?

"What did I do? Well, we simply wished to abolish a duplicate and he talks to me about heresy? 'Here, this is my phone number,' I told him, 'when you have a need, call me'."

In your words, while you presented the book, I felt a certain nostalgia for the past. What for?

"Yes, at times I feel so nostalgic. Because at the time in which the liturgical reform was effected I was only 23, for which I saw the last three months of the Council, but this is part of my feelings. However, in a historical point of view, we had at the time a distant objective, the complete reform of the liturgy, which we wished to accomplish. We have worked through the perspective of the renewal and of the return to the Church of the Holy Fathers, eliminating every crust of time from the Roman liturgy. However, the enthusiasm has had some degenerations..."

Of what kind?

"I think that in Belgium and in the Netherlands, on the wave of experimentalism, more than 300 eucharistic prayers were created, then it slowly returned to normality. But I fear this, the return of neoritualism, that is, of the priest who celebrates Mass thinking: 'Well, I have said my Mass following the rite by the book, I am done.' And that is not good, the celebration is not only a passive respect for the liturgical rules, there is always some space for the celebrant."

Antonino D'Anna

*[Translator's note: the Council never decided a new Roman Rite. That was a post-Conciliar decision.]

**[Translator's note: which must come as a huge surprise to Eastern Catholics. The Second Vatican Council -- the actual text, not its "Spirit"-- has this to say: "The Holy Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is made up of the faithful who are organically united in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same government and who, combining together into various groups which are held together by a hierarchy, form separate Churches or Rites. ... the variety within the Church in no way harms its unity; rather it manifests it, for it is the mind of the Catholic Church that each individual Church or Rite should retain its traditions whole and entire", Orientalium Ecclesiarum. What is most curious is this, though: while the unity of liturgy has never been considered a sign of Catholicity, it is pathetic to argue that there is any unity whatsoever in the new Rite. This stale discussion, which shows that the last aggiornamento some went through was in the 1960s, tries to ignore the fact that there are not two similar new Masses, and there is no possible standard, which the Archbishop himself confesses by parading the "space for the celebrant" -- from one parish to another, the liturgical difference is greater than that between the Traditional form of the Roman Rite and any Eastern Rite.]


  1. This man is a criminal, the very worst kind of criminal. His presence should bring nausea to any Catholic. What contempt, what arrogance.

    That the Holy Father has kept him in, speaks miles. There will be no return of the Traditional Rite, there will be no ending of the excommunication while his very presence in Rome defiles all that is holy, all that is Traditional.

    He is abomination.

  2. It sounds to me like they are just making excuses for why we should adhere to Vatican II teaching. They are so afraid to admit that they were wrong to change anything that they find every possible reason that we should accept the Church as of the present. Hogwash! Again the Tradition of Our faith is the only truth and it should have never been formulated for anything or anyone. This is surely the infiltration of Satan into the Church. Do they not still believe that vanity and pride are sins?? Last I knew they were. Modernism is vanity and pride in itself. If we are truly humble then we can accept tradition. The sins just keep adding up, don't they??

  3. Amy Welborn quotes Marini in another story as saying that Pope Benedict is more demanding. Marini has to tell the Pope what he's got planned for any given liturgy and then Benedict will often respond with suggestions, changes, etc.

    Marini says it's different from the days of JPII when he could do whatever he wanted!


    Really, Marini's thoughts only count for so much. The Pope obviously doesn't agree with him and is keeping him on a short leash. If he keeps blabbing like this, before you know it, he may end up with a small Italian see somewhere! Archbishop and Metropolitan of Funiculi, Funicula.

  4. Actually, it is an open secret that Marini has already refused an Italian bishopric, and is stubbornly staying on against the Pope's wishes, just like Sodano. It is not so easy to get rid of these people. We must pray for the Pope.

  5. I wouldn't worry all that much about Marini. His sudden public appearance is only a cover for what is about to happen to him: dismissal or demotion. They both begin with the letter d. If not, then this new Pope really is, in *every* way, a liberal in a conservative cassock.

    Note well typical liberal tactics. When they win a battle, they scream that they have been persecuted in the hope of getting even more insanity. When they lose a battle, they pretend that no battle was even fought. And when they sense danger, they carve out a position to make it harder to remove them by attracting allies. To them, truth is nothing and appearances are everything.

  6. Did any of us imagine that the serpent would lie down and die?

    Fathers, Ladies, Gentlemen - to our Rosaries.

    Sancte Benedicte, ora pro nobis

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  8. The pope is, proverbially speaking, keeping him on a short leash--I've heard him complain of that. Benedict knows what to do, and will do whatever prudence demands. He is in a much better position to know the wisest course of action than we are.

    Also, are those photos all from Masses that Marini has coordinated, or are they just pictures of abuses shown in order to rouse excessive anger and cloud rational evaluation of our present situation? If it is the latter, please, let's stick to the facts and avoid propoganda. If it is the former, then this man obviously needs prayers, not snide comments.

    I always expect traditionalists to be cautious and prudent when speaking of men who were chosen and ordained to be other Christs, and this expectation is rarely met. No matter what Marini does, he still deserves the honor due to his office and our prayers. Please keep in mind that you will have to answer for everything you say about him to Christ the High Priest. Some of the comments about this other Christ are shameful.

  9. "d'arc", regarding your second paragraph: The whole interview is an ode to the new form of the Roman Mass and to the "unity" it brings to the Church, so it was appropriate to present aspects of this liturgical unity. I believe all our readers are well acquainted with all problematic aspects of the new Mass, so I highly doubt anyone's judgement is "clouded" by a few old pictures. As editor of the post, I believe the pictorial commentary was absolutely necessary.

  10. "d'arc" - regarding your third paragraph: no comment so far has been shameful. What is shameful is the lame defense some defenders of the indefensible, the destroyers of Holy Liturgy, try to make for the mistakes which may have cost the eternal life of mllions. "He must increase, but I must decrease": so many "other Christs" forget the lesson of the Precursor.

  11. We should excoriate this beast, and all in the church like him. It is clear that the Pope is in great danger from him and people like him. Note that the Mass of the Rings, originally scheduled to be celebated inside the Basilica, has been curtly moved outside onto the Sagrata, the steps. The papal liturgy is in thrall to this awful liturgical "architect," who turns even the Holy Father into a mere tenent of the Vatican. Pray for Marini's removal, one way or another. Also I note that Rocco at "Whispers" offered thanks the other day that Marini was "still least for now." Wolves migrate.

  12. I wouldn't berate the Cardinal (e.g. as a criminal or heretic; let us rather pray for him, as he appears deceived by his love for novelty. But as he was only 23 at the time of council, it is easy to see how with out much undestanding of theology or history, one could fixate on such ideas.

    It is also easy to see how if he met someone who claimed it was heretical to omit a double genuflection for the reasons he cites, that he would have some doubts. Catholics do themselves no good when they talk sloppily or erroneously in defense of the truth of Tradition.

  13. Dear Brother,

    Forty intervening years should be plenty of time for an archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church to correct a few youthful misunderstandings. Everyone else in the world does it, so either he's a grotesque case of arrested development, or he is a man wilfully adhering to perversions of ecclesial authority. By the way, it was the sspx that called him a heretic, not me. By all means pray for him, but in another job description as soon as possible, where he'll do less damage. A laicized state, perhaps. By the way, as to his comment about "outside the new rite there is no church," now what would a fervent and convinced new-rite oecumenist make of thaaaat??? Or an unconvinced Orthodox, for that matter. This guy's all over the map, and flacid exhortations don't help the situation. He's had his time, and should move out of the picture. That's not in support of tradition, just damage control.

  14. I wouldn't berate the Cardinal ... let us rather pray for him

    Agreed. We should even -- in all charity -- pray for the soul of Marini's mentor, Archbishop Bugnini.

    Do note, however, Brother, that Marini is not a cardinal, but a titular archbishop. While we should pray for him, heaven forfend that he ever be created cardinal!

  15. "we simply wished to abolish a duplicate"

    And that is the attitude that inspired the New Rite--that repetition in the liturgy is always redundant? Here we have it, from the horse's own mouth.

    "What do these people want? The majority of the faithful has already adapted to it.."

    Someone needs to send these photographs to Marini, right away. Better yet, print a colour photo album of everything on Cathcon, and send it to him, asking: 'is this what you want the faithful to adapt to?'


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