Rorate Caeli

Here to stay?

Piero Marini was named Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations by Pope John Paul II on February 24, 1987, beginning his first term immediately thereafter. He has been reconfirmed for three other consecutive five-year terms, which means that he is about to be reconfirmed for a fifth term, or be named by the Holy Father for another position.

Last week, Marini acted as if he knew he would remain in charge, as he visited Brazil to define the different spaces which will be used for the Papal Masses which will take place in São Paulo during the Papal visit of next May. Marini established the place for the Altar and sacristies in the "Campo de Marte" airfield, and defined other liturgical details (see also the official website for the Papal visit).

Other pictures here.


  1. Oy. Let's hope not.

  2. Anonymous9:14 PM

    Pope in Brazil: you all will see how bizarre is this country. Maybe you notice how the left and the politically correct goups control this country (sub)culture.

  3. I love Marini and therefore I hope he is soon enabled to begin his long and enjoyable retirement.

  4. Deo placeat, ne remaneat

  5. Will the Pope be visiting Campos, Brzil? I'd love to see Marini's head spin while issuing green projectile vomit as the Pope presides over the Tridentine Mass with Bishop Rifan.

  6. Anonymous1:02 AM

    Certiores facti sumus maximam calamitatem incidisse !

  7. Does anyone else feel that perhaps one of the good fathers from the London Oratory might make a suitable replacement for Marini?

  8. Rome doesn't deserve the London Oratorians. But point well made!

  9. Love the striped clergyman.

    Is that within the rubrics?

  10. Dear bloggers:

    The Pope has a great and old relationship with Piero Marini. There is a strong chance for him to remain in charge.

    Do you remember this?



    Fourth Sunday of Advent, 18 December 2005

    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    It really is a great joy for me to be with you this morning and to celebrate Holy Mass with you and for you. Indeed, my Visit to Santa Maria Consolatrice, the first Roman parish I have been to since the Lord wished to summon me to be Bishop of Rome, is for me, in a very real and concrete sense, a return home.

    I remember very well that 15 October 1977 on which I took possession of this titular church of mine. Fr Ennio Appignanesi was parish priest and Fr Enrico Pomili and Fr Franco Camaldo were the parochial vicars. The master of ceremonies assigned to me was Mons. Piero Marini. Well, here we all are together again! This is truly a great joy to me.

    Since then, our reciprocal bond has grown gradually stronger and deeper. It is a bond in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose Eucharistic Sacrifice I have so often celebrated and whose Sacraments I have so often administered in this church. It is a bond of affection and friendship that truly warmed my heart and still warms it today. It is a bond that has bound me to you all, and especially to your parish priest and the other priests of the parish. It is a bond that did not weaken when I became titular Cardinal of the suburbicarian Diocese of Velletri-Segni; a bond that has acquired a new and deeper dimension because I am now Bishop of Rome and your Bishop."

    and this link?

  11. Anonymous3:44 AM

    Off topic:

    Congratulations on your Catholic Blog Award nominations!

  12. Anonymous5:39 AM

    Although it seems he has a very good chance of being given another 5 year term, I don't see why his making preparations in Brazil would be an indication of this. Afterall, who else would do it?

  13. Anonymous9:27 AM

    Well, it is one sign among many others... Naturally, only the Pope and a few chosen people know it for sure.

  14. If Marini, the spiritual and liturgical heir of the great wrecker of the liturgy himself, Bugnini, is re-appointed then it will become clear that B16 is too weak or too nice to make himself master in his own house and that any hopes that B16 will promote "a reform of the reform" or promote the old rite will be dashed. B16 wrote so many criticisms of the new rite and of the way it is "performed" rather than celebrated that I find it impossible to understand why Marini is still in situ. B16 is I am afraid but a "paper tiger," fierce in print and at the CDF, but a veritable lamb to the modernist slaughter as an administrator and as Supreme Pontiff.

  15. Anonymous12:21 PM

    From the mind of Marini:

    "In the old liturgy, in use before the Second Vatican Council, the role of the master of ceremonies consisted in applying a series of rigid norms which could not be changed. Today one cannot organize a celebration without first having thought: who is celebrating, what is being celebrated, where is it being celebrated. The celebration is the point toward which converge diverse and reciprocally coordinated elements under the guide of that spirit of adaptation that is the soul of post-conciliar reform. Thus it's a matter of foreseeing and planning the celebration with a view toward the result one wants to obtain. For example, one can't think of a liturgical action without taking account of the space in which it will take place, the hymns that will be performed. Everything that is thought out and predisposed in view of a celebration can be considered real and proper direction. One finds oneself acting, in a certain way, upon a stage. Liturgy is also a show."

    Lord help us. If this is the Pope's man for the liturgy, forget the restoration of the Latin Mass. We've all been suckered.

  16. Anonymous12:26 PM

    The same Chiesa article mentions that Ratzinger as Cardinal was "critical" of certain aspects of Marini's approach. Words, words, words. Where are the deeds? The Chiesa article was written in 2005, and this liturgical wreckovator is still in place. I must agree with Invocante: B16 appears to be a paper tiger.

  17. Anonymous12:48 PM

    'The Pope has a great and old relationship with Piero Marini.'

    If B16 has "a great and old relationship" with such a modernist as Piero Marini, what does this tell us? Perhaps it is time for us to wake from our dreaming and face the harsh reality of things.

    Sorry to be so dour, yet I did not know much about Piero Marini until today, and it is a most unpleasant revelation.

  18. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Interesting article:

    'The Pope’s challenge, then, is how to ensure that the old rite unmistakeably expresses the unity of the universal Church.'

    That is precisely what the old rite did for over a thousand years. Therein lies the heart of the post-conciliar tragedy. The new rite is an expression of disunity and a cause of discord. The Pope is committed to the "new direction" of the Council, and thus his nostalgia for the old rite lands him in an irresolvable conundrum.

  19. Dare we hope that this was an excuse to get him out of Rome for a bit to get his replacement lined up??

    Otherwise, I second Iosephus.

  20. Brideshead and Invocante

    Excellent words. Your quotation brings out who this man Marini is. His words speak - and he shows them through his actions. Marini is reducing the Mass to a naturalist level, to a modernist religious sentiment.

    I can still remember one of his "masterpieces", the tragic World Youth Day Mass from Toronto. I further confirmed, from a number of on site friends, how truly sad that event was.

    Let us increase our prayers for Pope Benedict, surrounded as he is by wolves that he show courage and strength.

  21. Hey Ambrosius, "Dare we hope" -- good one!

    I agree that it would be better if Marini were retired. My question is, do we know of any likely replacements for him?

  22. Just put him in a box or do something with him... maybe he can move in with Rocco since thats his idol.

  23. Whatever the reason for Marini's continued tenure, it is not because he happened to be the M.C. at the Holy Father's taking possession of his cardinalitial church in 1977.
    This does not amount to a "great and old relationship" with him.

    The Pope has been progressively moving rearranging the Curia for some time, and the order in which he does so is doubtless affected by many factors.

    The removal of Marini is certainly much to be wished for, but probably isn't as high a priority as others who have a more direct impact on the life of the Church. With Arinze and Ranjith at the CDW, Marini's impact on the liturgy in general is relatively limited.

    However, it would of course be better if he were removed to the utter and ignominious obscurity which is his due. All in good time. The mills of the Pope grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small...

  24. "The savage brute that makes thee cry for dread
    Lets no man pass this road of hers, but still
    Trammels him, till at last she lays him dead.

    Vicious her nature is, and framed for ill;
    When crammed she craves more fiercely than before;
    Her raging greed can never gorge its fill.

    With many a beast she mates, and shall with more,
    Until the Grayhound come, the Master-hound,
    And he shall slay her with a stroke right sore."
    (Sayers, The Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Canto I)

    If we can imagine the forces of liturgical destruction allegorized in the beasts that blocked the pilgrim's way, then we can say that, sadly, Pope Benedict XVI does not appear to be "the Greyhound" who will come to destroy the works and scatter the likes of Marini the Malevolent.

  25. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Leave all hope ye who enter. Benedict XVI is another modernist pope. Those of you who are waiting for the promulgation of the indult, good luck.

  26. I dislike Marini as much as I dislike Cardinals Martini and Kasper.

    Mr. Soria, the Holy Father's address doesn't mean that much. He's always polite to the assembled company, including people with whom he disagrees. Cerimoniere is right. Marini is basically small potatoes. He's an errand boy.

    I once heard that Francesco Camaldo would succeed Marini.

  27. Anonymous4:03 PM

    The Greyhound in Dante's allegory is Christ. Does that mean that we must wait for the Lord to come at the end of time before we are rid of effete she-wolves in Roman collars who devour the Holy Mass?

    I'm not quite ready to "leave all hope", but I'm finding patience to be a most difficult virtue.

  28. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Also, I'm not quite convinced by the argument that Marini is insignificant. Two years into this pontificate and an arch-modernist is still the ORGANIZER OF PAPAL LITURGIES??? Please. Let us continue to pray for the Holy Father, but let's stop trying to make excuses for him.

  29. Anonymous4:47 PM

    'Liturgy is also a show.'

    He is talking about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. A show! This is nothing short of sacrilege against our Lord Jesus Christ, coming from the man who is responsible for organizing the PAPAL MASS. The Pope does not approve of this (as Cardinal he was "critical" of "certain aspects" of Marini's "approach"), yet in practice he tolerates it. I don't want to hear about the Pope's far-reaching and influential curial appointments. The fact is that he allows a Master of Sacrilege to plan and organize the Papal Mass. It is disgusting and disheartening.

  30. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Marini must be named Bishop of a Italian Diocesis, no more in Vatican.

  31. Anonymous5:48 PM

    This is the critical appointment that will alow us to see what are the real plans of the Holy Father.

  32. Brideshead,

    If you've noticed, the papal liturgies have undergone a change since Benedict became Pope. They have become more simplified, there is much more stress on the Mass qua Mass, no extraneous elements, all the junk Marini USED to append to the Mass under John Paul. And Benedict has to approve everything Marini does now, unlike under John Paul, when he had a free hand.

    By the way, Marini is approaching his 20th anniversary. I don't think he'll go beyond it. I think Benedict is simply letting him achieve that milestone (and it's really not such a big deal) and then he'll shuffle off to the Fabbrica of St. Peter's, where he can do research or something.


  33. "Marini must be named Bishop of a Italian Diocesis, no more in Vatican."

    Why inflcit the man on any diocese? What has the diocese done to deserve him. If he's as bad an influence as everyone seems to think he is, then giving him a diocese would be a worse sin. Why not just give him some honorofic title in a curial back-water? It won' be the first time that's been done.

  34. Prof Basto:

    I have my attention fixed on Germany: the Archdiocese of Munich & Freising, and the dioceses of Limburg, and Speyer, have all come vacant in the last ten days.

    These appointments might indicate the relative strength of the chairperson of the conference of German Bishops, His Eminence Karl Cardinal Lehmann of Mainz.

    Munich & Freising is basically the "diocese of Bavaria" (Augsburg, Passau, Regensburg) so surely...

  35. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Janice, perhaps there is hope. Benedict XVI is no John Paul II. No disrespect intended to the latter, yet the "organic development" of post-Vatican II liturgical abuse occured largely under his watch. I'll try to be more patient with Benedict XVI. It's the least that I can do, since the Lord is patient with me.

  36. Simon-Peter,

    With all due respect, Cardinal Lehmann is not Benedict XVI's favorite person by a long shot. In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger argued against Lehmann's appointment as cardinal and finally got trumped. So what influence could Lehmann possibly exert on Benedict vis-a-vis these three German dioceses?

  37. Well said, Brideshead. Of course we have a duty as Christians to pray for the Holy Father, but not to go along with the never-ending excuses often to be found in this blog for his failure as Pope to take any measures consistent with his previous trenchantly expressed support of the traditional liturgy; this smacks of papolatry. Of course Marini is an arch-modernist, but an extension of his tenure would be no more surprising than the appointment of Levada and Ricard to Ecclesia Dei early on in this pontificate. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei genetrix.

  38. Is wanting to think the best of the pope and his hidden motivations "papolatry"? I mean, really?

    This word and accuation smacks of the propaganda of Anglicans and Gallicans and their accusations of "papism" and "ultra-montanism."


  39. Charity in all things, certainly, but God also gave us our critical faculties, and nobody and nothing should be above their scrutiny. Do you condemn Erasmus for his Julius Exclusus satire on Pope Julius II?

  40. But our critical faculties are fallen, fallible and prone to error. This is why God undertook the historical revelation of himself, which is transmitted through Scripture and Tradition and divinely interpreted by the Magisterium alone. This is of the essence of what the Catholic Church means by "faith": Trusting the Church's teaching, "because you have revealed it, who can neither deceive nor be deceived." Because it comes from God and enjoys his protection, we trust this teaching more than our own critical faculties (which come from God but do not enjoy the same sort of protection).

    Is the pope subject to our critical faculties? Let's let Boniface VIII answer this one: "If earthly power deviates, it will be judged by spiritual power; but if a lesser spiritual deviates, by its superior; but if the supreme (spiritual power deviates), it can be judged by God alone, not by man . . . Therefore whosoever resists this power so ordained by God resists the order of God" (Unam Sanctam, Denz. 469).

    I do venerate Erasmus neither as a saint nor as a doctor. I regard him as a humanist with a great mind and a good-intentioned heart.

    God bless,

  41. with peter - interesting! I agree entirely with the remarks in your first paragraph regarding the magisterium, and I think we share the same high regard for Erasmus. I am sorry, however, but I simply cannot agree with what I take to be the point of your second paragraph, that the Pope, that is, presumably, any Pope, should be exempt from criticism. I do not wish to get into a debate about the late medieval papacy, but I really think that your choice of Boniface VIII as your authority is singularly ill-chosen. This Pope probably did some terrible things; accusations, unproven, of sodomy swirled persistently about him, and without doubt he nakedly used the papacy to extend his temporal power - Dante placed him upside down in a subterranean furnace in nether-hell - was Dante wrong to criticise him? I think we'd better just agree to disagree! God bless you.

  42. Perhaps a view with rose colored glasses but perhaps Marini's noxious presense indicates that the unleashing of the Tridentine Mass is very close.

    Keeping Marini where he is keeps him under control, forced to accept the counter-revolution.

    Spin him loose and he becomes a loose cannon. Keep him in tight and he can do nothing but sweat.

    Then again, does the Pope want more rock concert Masses at World Youth Day in Australia?

  43. Anonymous1:38 PM

    Note to self (and to self only) while observing the doings of Piero Marini:

    "Because we have the conviction that we are upholding the Truth, Truth must plot our course, Truth must convince. It is not our person, it is not outbursts of anger, or insult of people, which will give added weight to Truth. On the contrary, that could cast doubt upon our possession of the Truth. Becoming angry and insulting shows that we do not completely trust in the weight of Truth, which is the weight of God Himself. It is in God that we trust, in Truth which is God, which is Our Lord Jesus Christ. What can be surer than that? Nothing. And little by little that Truth makes, and will make, its way. It must. So let us resolve that in our expressions and attitudes we shall not despise and insult people, but be firm against error. Absolute firmness, without compromise, without relaxation, because we are with Our Lord-it is a question of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the glory of the Blessed Trinity is at stake-not the infinite glory in heaven, but the glory here below on earth. It is Truth; and we defend it at any cost, whatever happens." (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre)

    "Serenity now!" (Frank Castanza)

  44. With respect Thomas Shawn Marini's power rests solely on his role as papal MC, without that he is nothing. Papal masses matter because, whatever the words of the Pope or the CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENT whether in the GIRM or in Redemptionis Sacramentum what really matters is what the pope DOES when he celebrates the sacred mysteries. De facto if the pope does something in a mass it is considered licit, perhaps even desirable by most of the laity and clergy. Marin himself is well aware of the power of papal example:

    “Marini sat down in his first-floor office in the Apostolic Palace, with its sweeping view of St. Peter’s Square, for an exclusive interview on Friday, June 20. He told me he’s conscious of how much responsibility his office bears for setting the liturgical tone.
    “The liturgy of the pope has always been imitated,” he said. “In the early centuries pilgrims came from the north and took notes from what was happening in Rome, and these collections are the so-called Ordinis Romanae. So the papal liturgy has always been a point of reference for the entire church.”
    [taken from interview with John Allen at]

    Unfortunately under Marin a very bad example has been set, indeed I once read somewhere that under JP2 Marini deliberately tried to break the provisions of the GIRM or of Redemptionis Sacramentum whenever he organised a papal mass! Now JPII may have actually liked the rock bands, the jugglers and the performing bears but B16 has no excuse – he knows better. Yes papal masses aren't as bad as they were but they are still not great. To give but 2 examples: At the world youth day a juggler was still considered a suitable accompaniment to Benediction! The vestments the Pope wears are generally in the worst modernist style. Yet the pope has still to celebrate mass eastward (other than in the vox poulum manner in St Peter’s) or place crucifix on the altar when he celebrates westward (as he himself suggested in the Spirit of the Liturgy) and off course he has failed to celebrated the Old Rite publicly. If he were to do that one it would be worth a 1,000 motu proprios.

    The reason Marin’s continued presence is so significant and so depressing is that it shows that B16 lacks either the desire, the will or the strength of personality to remove him. For heaven’s sake Marini is the papal MC and if the Supreme Pontiff can’t even appoint a traditionalist MC for his own masses how likely is it that he is going to impose his (alleged) will on the church universal full of liberal bishops and disobedient curia?

  45. Anonymous1:44 PM

    Let me reiterate, my note above is to myself, especially as Lent approaches. It is not a veiled reproach to anyone else.

    Let me also say that I heartily agree with Invocante's last comment.

  46. I just found this artile on the web an it seems to confirm our fears that B16 is too weak or too old to impose his will:

    Benedict seen as isolated at Vatican
    John Phillips
    January 21, 2007

    “Benedict does not have a decisive temperament and must take into account his age,” said the Italian Panorama newsmagazine. “The initiatives he has taken are meeting with much resistance.”

    Marco Politi, the respected Vatican reporter for La Repubblica newspaper, said many officials in the Curia, the church’s central government, resent the conservative pontiff and see him as “a man of the past.”

    But Benedict, who is more used to playing a low-key role as John Paul’s personal theologian, evidently has had difficulty becoming a team leader.

    “For months, Benedict appeared isolated, closed up in his study polishing his speeches, writing his book on Jesus of Nazareth to be published in April or playing the piano,” said Ignazio Ingrao, who writes for Panorama.

    “His only outings were dinners at the home of his former secretary, Monsignor Josef Clemens. He has paid dearly for not being a team player.”

  47. Anonymous3:48 PM

    Very interesting, Invocante! Although I dislike the term "team player" applied to Papal leadership, the point is well taken.

    I have just read Benedict's Lenten message. It is quite beautiful. I have no doubt concerning this Pope's deep and profound devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet many Novus Ordo (and anti-Traditionalist) Catholics have a deep and profound devotion to our Lord. Therefore something in addition to devotion is needful in the person of a Pope.

    Having recently read the FSSPX-authored book The Problem of the Liturgical Reform, I could not help but detect the so-called "theology of the paschal mystery" in the Pope's Lenten message. I suppose that this would require a separate discussion. New Catholic, do you take topic requests?

  48. Janice:

    I don't know, I said "might indicate"...the "relative" strength.

  49. Anonymous6:18 PM

    '... how likely is it that he is going to impose his (alleged) will on the church universal full of liberal bishops and disobedient curia?'

    Indeed. Yet more than that, how likely is it that he will influence parish priests and their flocks to even take advantage of the wider permission for the Traditional Mass? While we surely need the Pope to impose his will on stiff-necked bishops who oppose the desire of priests and faithful to worship according to the ancient rite, what if such desire barely even materializes? Such is the corrosive effect of 40 years of the New Order.

  50. Anonymous6:29 PM

    'Such is the corrosive effect of 40 years of the New Order.'

    Not to mention the bad example of Papal Masses since Marini became Master of Sacrileges ... er, Ceremonies.

  51. Anonymous7:57 PM

    oh yeah,that's it ,go ahead and say all kinds of idiotic things about a man u know absolutely nothing about.Listen,if he's that bad then u are also implying that JP II and Benedict are stupid .Marini is just great and u are a bunch of people who just love the conservative/traditionalist things 'cause they sound good and 'cause some big great cardinals say so.I ask u : what do u really know about liturgy and would any of u be good to replace him now?

  52. Reading the last posting reminds me what a remarkable site this is. Generally, we have the increasingly rare privilege here of reading relatively rational and well-expressed comments, which are at least written in coherent English.

  53. Cer:

    let me try, I speak his lingo:

    D34r m30nly:

    1 4m s0rry y0u th1nk th4t. M1ght 1 sugg3st y0u st1ck t0 x-b0x, g4m3b0y, my sp4c3 0r wh4t3v3r 1t 1s y0u d0 b3tw33n spl1ffs 4nd k00l 41d.

    1f y0u c0m3 b4ck h3r3 y0u w1ll g3t pwndt.

  54. meonly said...
    oh yeah,that's it ,go ahead and say all kinds of idiotic things about a man u know absolutely nothing about.

    Now take a moment and think about what you've written, and you will see that your blanket claim couldn't possibly be true for everyone. Many of us have observed his work for many, many years, so we do know something about him. Beyond that, I've read his remarks and interviews, and having studied in Rome, I've observed his work first-hand and I know people who know him, including someone involved in all Papal Liturgies at St. Peter's. I know quite a bit more than nothing about him.

    If you don't like my opinion about his work fine, argue with them; don't make wild claims that are patently untrue.

    As for my opinion, I think he has perpetrated profound damage on the Liturgical Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.

  55. Atticus, sorry for taking long to get back to you. We can agree to disagree, but I'd still like to raise some points for your consideration.

    I am not the judge of Boniface's character (and it's hard to discern his actual character from later Gallican propaganda), but, for the sake of argument, let's assume the worst.

    Having faith in the promise of Christ, I believe he uses EVEN a man like Boniface as his instrument to teach, govern and sanctify the Church according to his will. Boniface is not worse than the high priest Caiaphas who conspired to crucify our Lord. Remember that even as Caiaphas was bent on his malicious designs, God honored his office as Israel's high priest and prophesied through him. If this is true for the successor of Aaron, how much more true is it for the successor of Peter?

    See John 11:45-52.

    God bless you, my friend,

  56. I love Marini and truly believe he has earned his retirement. I myself would help purchase his plane ticket to a nice sunny Caribbean beech. I believe we could gather a nice pot of cash for him on this website: So much do we appreciate him and his work.

    Given that our Church has enjoyed the presence of so many Marini's in our history, what greater proof do we need of God's providence?

  57. I know this about Cardinal Marini: he was the personal secretary to Monsignor Anibale Bugnini, the architect of the New Mass.

  58. Anonymous1:24 PM

    I agree with the comments "Invocante" has made. These are the most perceptive on this column.
    I think that Benedict XVI is too much of a wimp to expel Marini. He is too much of a wimp to change anything in favor of Catholic tradition, especially the Mass.
    His writings are wonderful, but He has fooled us all.
    He is another "do nothing Pope"

  59. Isn't this accusation of being a wimp a little ironic coming from a person who identifies himself as "Anonymous"?

    Setting this aside, this is not the kind of language with which to identify someone appointed by God to be the Vicar of Christ.

  60. So, was he reconfirmed?

  61. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a little while to find out.

  62. Anonymous2:48 PM

    Marini friend and enabler of the liturgical heretic Annabale bugnini and the discredited novus ordo (venacular) mass & puppetmaster of John Paul 2 is still there, still up front and center and still the (masonic?) mastermind of the circus called the modern venacular mass. When he is gone and the hundreds of masters of modernity that still roam the halls of the Vatican are gone, when the grey haired hippies from the 60's Bishops, priests and cardinals are gone and Orthodox Bishops are installed around the world then I can believe the Catholic haters in the Vatican are in the dustbin of history & the Reform of the Reform and the return of the Tridentine liturgy and the renewal of the Catholic church has begun


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