Rorate Caeli

The man who will not go away

Main excerpts of the interview granted by the President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, Archbishop Piero Marini, to the official Vatican daily, L'Osservatore Romano (permanent link):

The debate on the liturgical reform effected by the Council seems today to have become again of current interest. How do you judge the path accomplished in over forty years?

I followed, from the end of the Vatican II period, the implementation of the liturgical reform for around 22 years, first in the Consilium ad exsequendam constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, and then in the Congregation for Divine Worship. Afterwards, for over twenty years, I was able to celebrate the liturgy willed by the Council in over one hundred nations, on the voyages of Pope Wojtyla. I have thus organized with local experts countless celebrations of the Eucharist, of the Liturgy of the Hours, of the Word of God, of sacraments, Ecumenical celebrations in so many languages and cultures. The liturgy willed by the Council was celebrated everywhere with lively participation and enthusiasm. Everyone understood the liturgy as specific to their local Church and, at the same time, as expression of the universal Church. The celebratory praxis has confirmed that the liturgical reform was necessary because it was based upon sound theological principles of perennial value. It is, therefore, an irreversible path.

The Conciliar Fathers and the Roman Pontiff, making the words of Pius XII their own, defined the renewal of the liturgy, in Sacrosanctum Concilium, as a movement of the Holy Spirit in the Church. The meaning of this affirmation is thus part of the tissue of contemporary ecclesial faith.

The celebration of the liturgy cannot, therefore, be separated from the life of the Church. And the Church that lives - I quote Paul VI - is the Church of today, not the Church of yesterday or the Church of tomorrow.

This is the reason for which the Council concerned itself, first of all, with the liturgy. For the Council, the renewal of the Church, Ecumenism, and missionary action depend on the way in which the liturgy is lived. Yet, celebrating the liturgy of the Council, as Pope Montini affirmed, is not an easy matter, as it is not easy living the life of the Church. Rather, celebrating the liturgy of the Council is a difficult and delicate matter. It demands direct and methodical interest, it requires patience, perseverance, personal and loving effort, and so much pastoral charity. All this is necessary, however, if we wish that the life of the Church to be renewed, and that all may feel called to salvation. Liturgical pastoral [care] is an always permanent effort.

Let us, therefore, be guided by the Holy Spirit who inspired the liturgical movement, Paul VI, and the Conciliar Fathers, and let us continue to bring forward, with renewed effort and enthusiasm, the liturgical ministry in our ecclesial communities.

Many have interpreted "
Summorum Pontificum" as a full stop in this path of action [of Conciliar Reform]. What is your though regarding this event?

The text of the motu proprio is to be read in the context in which the Pope placed it. "Today - the Pope says in the accompanying letter addressed to the Bishops - an obligation is imposed upon us: to make every effort to unable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew." For us, Catholics, the Pope is the visible sign of unity in the Church, he is the Bishop of the Church of Rome called to preside over all the other Churches in charity. The Pope was called by the Lord to exercise the Petrine ministry , to make every effort so that the Church shall remain whole. He has therefore the right and the duty to provide unity to the Church. Who can deny him this duty or this obligation? The Liturgy itself, for those who live it with authenticity, is a school which shapes the very meaning of the Church in the respect of the different competences and ministries and in obedience to the one who presides it.

Finally, it should be remembered that the motu proprio does not intend to introduce modification in the current Roman Missal nor to express a negative judgment on the liturgical reform willed by the Council: the Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the "law of prayer"' the Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V must be considered as the extraordinary expression of the same "law of prayer" . With this new disposition, Benedict XVI does not wish that "the authority of the Council be attacked" or that "the liturgical reforb be put in doubt". On the contrary, the Pope's decision has not entailed, up to now, any change in the celebratory praxis of our ecclesial communities. His gesture has been solely in the service of unity. Let us look forward, then, and let us continue with enthusiasm on the path carried out by the Council.


  1. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Please, Almighty Father, do not permit this man to become a cardinal.

    ~ Belloc

  2. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Excellent and beautiful words.

    Now that the Lefebvrists have decided they do not want unity hopefully the time for the abrogation of Summorum Pontificum has come.

  3. Anonymous6:55 PM

    Piero Marini is just blowing hot air. Read through his comments and they amount to this: Long live the post-conciliar revolution! Ra, ra, ra, ra, ra. He closes with an affirmation that a need for unity is the only reason Benedict XVI is tolerating the old Missal.

    While it is true that the Pope stresses the need for unity above all, especially in the covering letter accompanying S.P., he also points to the riches of the old Missal as a treasure which should be preserved.

    The old liberals are dying off. They will now shake their beards like Methuselahs and rage against the inevitable, these men who always called themselves the New Order.

    It's time for us to throw their old slogans back in their faces: As for the restoration, Go with it, man, it's inevitable.


  4. I must confess, though, that I deeply admire Marini's honesty in saying that it is extremely difficult to celebrated the "Mass willed by the Council".

    In fact, it seems truly impossible to find the RIGHT celebration of said Mass. Is it the way in which Father Fessio famously celebrates it? Saint Agnes in Minneapolis? The Brompton Oratory? Saint-Joseph de Clairval?

    Was the way Marini, the Elder, organized Papal Masses for John Paul II the right one? Or the slightly different way he organized them for Benedict XVI? Or is the "right" way the one adopted by Don Guido Marini?

    Who knows? "Celebrating the liturgy of the Council... is not an easy matter, as it is not easy living the life of the Church. Rather, celebrating the liturgy of the Council is a difficult and delicate matter."

    Thank God that any priest can celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass nearly flawlessly after learning by himself or after a not very rigorous course.

  5. Anonymous8:51 PM

    Nothing like selective postings is there Neo-Cons?

  6. Yeah...bla,bla,bla. Marini the elder and his ilk are a dying breed(thank God). He's living in a fool's paranoid like so many of these vociferous relics that can't seem to face the reality that the liturgical reform of VatII was a failure.
    We've all heard the phrase" Save the Liturgy...Save the World".
    I say "Scrap the NO...Restore the TLM ...Save the World."

  7. Nailing jelly to the wall is no easy matter.

  8. Anonymous10:47 PM

    Celebrating the liturgy of the Council is indeed difficult, so difficult that no one can celebrate it -- because it doesn't exist. The liturgy manufactured after the Council is not the liturgy that the Council Fathers had in mind and is in conflict with some of the norms of Sacrosanctum Consilium. Frankly the liturgical reform is such a botch-up that probably the best thing to do is to start over from scratch. Not that that'll ever happen, of course. A simplification of the reformed Roman Rite (one of the ostensible guiding principles of the liturgical reform, and yet the end result was the most complicated and ramshackle form of liturgy the Roman Rite has ever known), bringing it closer to the classical Roman Rite, would go a long way toward making the celebration of the liturgy much less difficult.

  9. "The liturgy willed by the Council"

    Sorry, your Grace you are wrong! That liturgy willed by the Council was the 1965 Missal which only lacked the New Lectionary. It was vernacular for the most part, facing the people which it did not need to do, the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar were radically reduced, motions by the Priest simplified, the Propers substituted by really bad hymns, people stood for communion and the laity read the Epistle!

    I remember it being called the "New Mass" so I guess what we have today is the "New" New Mass!

    For those too young to remember this was the case (I was an Altar Boy) so why the Novus Ordo!

    Why can't these guys retire quietly...or at least go on to their next job with their mouths shut!

  10. Bugnini's liturgical fabrications is the demon that haunts the modernist liturgy. It is beset with protestantism & savours of collectivism and horizontalism. It propagates illicit behaviours and implements false catechesis. It is the focal point of the ceremonial abomination type that led the Chosen People into idolatry. The NO service has become a confounding labyrinth of permutations and varieties. This observable fact in itself condemns it as un-Catholic. The only reasonable action would be to abolish it and restore the only authentic and truly Catholic liturgical form for western christendom.

    The modernists ignored true Catholic unity in the 1960s in imposing this liturgy on unsuspecting Catholics thus provoking the consequent divisions and subversion. Why should they trumpet their hypocrisy aloud now and cry "unity", no Latin Mass?

    This carries with it all the hallmarks of liberalist tyranny - freedom of religion provided it is not traditional.

  11. "Nailing jelly to the wall is no easy matter."

    Comment of the month!

  12. The Archbishop forget ot mention the deformities of current experimentation. Does this ecumenical thing gives authority to dillute the essence of the mass in order to please the protestants? I am sad but I have to say that the current practices is not the will expressed by the council. It actually contradict the will of the Vatican II fathers. Monsignor please read the Sacrosanctum Concilum and compare its provisions with what is going on in many parishes.

  13. Marini knows the era of Paul VI-Bugnini is at an end. He is desperate to salvage the last remaining edifice of his hero, before history finally consigns him as one of the most rotten fruits of the post-conciliar church.

    Let him have his cake and eat it.

  14. The so called 'new mass' was not new at all--the anglican book of common prayer from the 16th century is wat it is with a few modifications. if it seems like a protestant service, that is because it is!
    Yes, yes, it is valid.

    Soon, very soon, I hope to have access to the TLM. That is where I am headed after years of enduring multicultural diverse kumbaya masses.

  15. "As I was going down the stairs
    I met a man who wasn't there.
    He isn't there again today.
    I wish ! I wish he'd go away!"

    This sort of thing has to be attacked head on, or it will gain its own currency. Marini and his supporters are building a narrative which says how they, and nobody else, are the liturgical heirs to the Liturgical Movement. If nobody attacks the foundation of the narrative, they will win.

    Happy to explain further how this works: look at the UK since 1995!

  16. Anonymous2:35 AM

    Give the devil his due. Instead of walking away from the battle, as Mons. Fellay is prepared to do, Marini will dig in his heels inside the Church and fight to the end. I admire that just as much as I dislike the SSPX abandonment of battle at such a decisive moment. I would almost venture to say Marini has more faith!

  17. Anonymous8:01 AM

    So hwat we have with all its abuses is the norm and the will of the "Spirit"? This man should say "zeitgheist".
    Wasn't it Bugnini who said "modern man is the norm and their is no other"?
    Well I am modern man and much younger than you Archbishop and I am telling you I am not happy with the rupture and lack of continuity. You are in error!

  18. anon. said:

    "Instead of walking away from the battle, as Mons. Fellay is prepared to do, Marini will dig in his heels inside the Church and fight to the end. I admire that just as much as I dislike the SSPX abandonment of battle at such a decisive moment.."

    "ABANDONMENT"??!!! When Marini dies there will be no schools, seminaries, convents, monasteries and retreat houses because of him. Bishop Fellay and the SSPX Order and faithful have been standing at the foot of the Cross preserving, defending, and building up the True Faith along with St. John and the Blessed Mother while the "Bishops" run away and lead many souls into Hell.


    And where are the schools?
    The daily Mass,
    Lines to confess,
    A uniformed lass?

    And where are the schools?
    The Latin class,
    Cassocked priest,
    Candles in brass?

    And where are the schools?
    To strengthen souls,
    Shape their wills,
    Set the goals?

    And where are the schools?
    The altar boy,
    Assisting priest,
    Like Christ, their joy?

    And where are the schools?
    Oh, time you lied,
    Two generations
    Have gone and died.

    And where are the schools?
    Which don’t derive,
    That two plus two
    Are sometimes five?

    S – S – P – X,
    They’re found in large,
    Where struggling families
    Let priest take charge.

    For the good of the whole,
    Priests’ lives are laid,
    So many may come,
    Not be afraid.

    And win the Faith,
    From Christ-like hand…
    St. Pie the Tenth
    Two and two are grand!!

  19. It is sad that many traditional Catholics blame this man for the destruction of the true Mass. No question the destruction of the Mass did take place. He might have been a sincere person who really thought he was doing the best for the Church. Certainly, though, Pope Paul VI, the College of Cardinals, the Bishops and every priest who willingly perpetuated the sham that is the new Mass has shares responsibility.

  20. Bishop Fellay recognises the obvious - Pope Benedict XVI has clarified the just position of the traditional Roman Catholic liturgy. This is an act of justice. However, this move has modernist strings attached: accept The Latin Mass, accept the NO service. This is a characteristic piece of phenomenological relativisation which typically empties comparisons and contrasts of all meaning. Such a manouevre, which is exactly what it is, attempts to inveigle a passive acknowledgement of post-conciliar un-Catholic liberal doctrinal and liturgical meanderings. The ecumenised liturgical carriage draws the other parts of the modernist locomotive behind it. This part of the train has to be uncoupled before there could ever be normal relations restored. Once any traditional Catholic accepts the multiple illusions of the Councils now translated into significant paradigm shifts in the NO church, one is obliged to accept the plethora of disparate cult-like movements within, such as the Neo-Cats, the "charismatics" and Opus Dei, as well as postmodernist religious liberty, ecumenism and collegiality. Of course, this is totally unacceptable from a Roman Catholic perspective. Moreover, this is exactly where the division and the disobedience really lie.

    Bugnini's role at present is to remind everyone in the church that the situation will always remain as such until his liturgical presence is exorcised from the liturgy. While it remains so will the smoke of Satan remain to haunt the sanctuary.

  21. Dear Rev. Marini,

    Granted that the "liturgical movement" as you define it was inspired by some spirit but I think not the Holy Spirit as you aver unless you can convince me that unprecendented chaos, mass defection, disunity, contradiction, contempt for Our Lord as present in the Sacrament of the Altar, etc. are fruits of the Spirit. Such fruits are usually attributed to the work of a distinctly unholy spirit, a fallen angel I believe. Indeed, one would think that anyone with such a frightening theology of the Holy Spirit would want to flee from a Church guided by it without so much as a glance backwards and seek sanctuary in a place safe from its horrible influence.

  22. Anonymous3:42 PM

    As a young man growing up near the University of Maine, I served at the altar of the parish in town on Sundays and on weekdays, at the university's Newman Center. During Lent I was always impressed because the two priests each said Mass everyday to a full chapel (250-300 seating). And Saturdays throughout the school year, Confessions were heard 3-5 PM and 7-9 PM and you had to be there before 7 to get in and out within an hour. The priests heard literally hundreds of confessions each weekend! Now there is a new 'Newman Center' at the university. Modern unadorned "meeting room" (WAY ugly!) for the Mass and utility rooms/all-purpose rooms for smaller gatherings and counseling and so forth. Daily Masses now are held (Lent and all) in one of these small rooms for 6-12 people. Confessions are "by appointment" only and rare. So my question is: If the Council was so great, then happened to the crowds? Also: young people aren't sinning anymore? Why no regular Confessions? You no doubt get my point here. There's something WAY wrong...and I smell the same spirit with Archbp. Marini. People like him always 'sound good'---but there's something deeply wrong with their foundation, if you know what I mean. Trust me, he WILL go away one of these we all shall...and may God be merciful to him and forgive him for being (as my mom always said) so 'plain' (read: ugly)!

    In His great mercy,
    Fr. Pius

  23. Anonymous11:09 PM

    These guys aren't trying to make the "Novus Ordo" masses protestant. They're each trying to make it into their own image. Hence, no two are the same, and that's the way they want it. Their prideful intellects are their gods.
    Joe B

  24. Anonymous5:28 PM

    On 12 September, our Holy Father Benedict XVI said, on the way to Paris: "The Motu Proprio is merely an act of tolerance, with a pastoral aim, for those people who were brought up with this liturgy, who love it, are familiar with it and want to live with this liturgy. They form a small group, because this presupposes a schooling in Latin, a training in a certain culture. Yet for these people, to have the love and tolerance to let them live with this liturgy seems to me a normal requirement of the faith and pastoral concern of any Bishop of our Church. There is no opposition between the liturgy renewed by the Second Vatican Council and this liturgy....... and it is clear that the renewed liturgy is the ordinary liturgy of our time."

    Please, I don't understand, is your website Christian?


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