Rorate Caeli

Ferula: Pope in continuity with his various predecessors

From the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff (in Italian):

"The Holy Father Francis, for the celebration of the Holy Mass on the occasion of his enthronement on the Roman Cathedra (4.7.2013), made use of the pastoral cross of Paul VI, with the intention of alternating its use in the upcoming celebrations with that of Benedict XVI."

[Augustinus - Update 4/14/13 at 5:55 P.M. Rome time. In case our readers are curious: the Holy Father is using the ferula of Paul VI in his Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls]


  1. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Msgr. Marini smiling before...

  2. Chant Cafe has an interesting post on this issue in the context of Benedict and Francis and their respective styles of liturgy, etc.

    This is encouraging, as is the photo.

  3. Anonymous11:41 PM

    Good! Good! Excellent.

  4. @Michael is there a link to that post specifically on Chant Cafe?

  5. A hermeneutic of continuity? Very good. Let us not underestimate our Holy Father. May he confound all of us and the modernists!

    Viva, il Papa!

  6. Ah! That brings a lightness to my heart. I might not like the ferula of Paul VI, but I liked it a whole let less when Francis' use of it was seen as symbolic of rupture with the reign of Benedict. Now, hopefully, we can set aside any fears the Pope Francis intended it to convey discontinuity; insofar, at least as any of ever ever had that fear.

  7. Anonymous1:46 AM

    Seeing that picture, I think I'm going to, really!!

    I've said all along I pray I'm wrong. And I do, in the deepest sincerity.


  8. That's not Mons. Guido Marini is it?

  9. Nice photo, wonder about the context?

  10. The context of the photo:

    Pope Francis: "You do know that you're standing on my foot?"

    Mons. Guido Marini: "Really? Oh dear. I do have some red shoes with much stronger uppers Holy Father ... ".

  11. Anonymous4:02 AM

    ka, I believe the photo was taken in St. Peter's Basilica shortly after Francis' installation Mass on March 19.

  12. Anonymous5:29 AM

    The one on the right hand side would make a good Pope.


  13. Agree with Mundabor 100% - God willing.

  14. That's no smile - he's just speaking through clenched teeth: 'Whadd' ya mean, throw the fanon away.... ' ;-)

    Mundabor : Marini for Pope - yeah!!

  15. CAPTION:

    "Guido, I have good news and bad.

    The bad news for you is you are fired.

    The good news is that I am sending you to Pope Emeritus B16 to live and you will receive a life long pension courtesy of the SSPX".

  16. Here we go:

    It's first up...a little complicated, but it makes some excellent points.

    Yes: Marini would make a great the ascetic, intellectual tradition of Pius XII...not likely to happen, though!

  17. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It made my day!
    I wish that Francis will also alternate and use some of Benedict's beautifully made vestments as well.
    As a gratitude to your blog, I would like to bring to your attention now an article from Carriere della sera titled "Emeritus Pope’s Health Problems Age-related".

    Fr Lombardi on difficult days after resignation: “Not ill”. Ratzinger’s brother Georg in Italy for emeritus Pope’s eighty-sixth birthday. Despite the Twitter-borne news of his death and reports in the Spanish media that he was suffering from a serious illness, the news filtering out of the Lake Albano-side papal residence is that, although he suffers the aches and pains of old age, Benedict XVI is getting over his retirement shock. Spokesman Fr Lombardi ruled out any “specific illness”, explaining that the emeritus Pope’s “health problems are those related to age”. Admittedly, Benedict XVI looked tired and thinner at his historic meeting with Pope Francis on 23 March. Pictures from Castel Gandolfo showed a haggard face with a drained expression, giving rise to rumours and speculation. Benedict XVI had explained the reasons for his renunciation of the Petrine ministry, reiterating at his last audience on 27 February that “in the past few months, I have felt my strength fading”. When the renunciation came into effect and he began to live “hidden from the world” at 8 pm on 28 February, something that happens to lots of people happened to him.

    Professor Attilio Maseri, the cardiologist of Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth II, notes that retirement shock is a matter of routine: “It particularly affects individuals who had great responsibilities, let alone a pope. And it is all the more natural and understandable that it should occur in the face of a decision of such importance”. It’s hard at first − stopping all of a sudden and after an eight-year-long pontificate − but then comes a bounce-back effect and recovery. Benedict XVI’s cardiac problems are common knowledge but, as Professor Maseri explains, “in cases like this it’s a matter of the brain, not the heart”. It’s also a good sign when the individual stays intellectually active, as Joseph Ratzinger has.

    The emeritus Pope took a large stock of books with him to Castel Gandolfo, starting with Aesthetic Theology by Hans Urs von Balthasar, the great Swiss theologian with whom he founded the journal Communio in 1972. With Benedict XVI in his apartment are Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the prefect of the pontifical household, who divides his time between the lakeside and the Vatican, four Memores Domini assistants and, significantly, Birgit Wansing, a consecrated lay affiliate of the Schönstatt institute, his long-serving secretary and reputedly the only person capable of deciphering his tiny pencilled handwriting. In other words, the emeritus Pope continues to study and to write.

    Now, his eighty-nine year-old brother Georg has arrived with his assistant Sister Christine. The little household is complete and ready for Tuesday’s birthday, followed by the feast of St George – the name day of his brother and of Archbishop Gänswein – on 23 April. Benedict XVI is thriving in the milder weather that the Castelli Romani area is at last enjoying. He gets up only a little later than he did in Rome, reciting the breviary and lauds before breakfast. He reads the newspapers and then it’s time for his books, reflection and prayer. Lunch is followed by a rest and a walk in the gardens, reciting the rosary until dinner, the TV news, more reading and prayers before bed. Those in the know say he is gradually recovering and getting ready to return to the Vatican “at the end of the month or in early May”. Work on the former monastery where the emeritus Pope will reside is almost finished. Waiting for him are the boxes containing his private documents – personal papers and study texts – as well as his beloved library.
    by Gian Guido Vecchi

  18. May Msgr. Marini have a long career where he is, and may he have a red hat the moment he has completed it.

  19. "I wish that Francis will also alternate and use some of Benedict's beautifully made vestments as well."

    If the Sacred Liturgy were only about such items we would not have a massive crisis in the modernist church. It is the Rite and observance of rubrics which is essential. The vestments count for almost nothing unless the praxis itself is authentically Roman and Catholic. The NO as it stands now, is neither of these. Traditional vestments would not make a cent's worth of difference to it.

  20. There is no objective liturgical "continuity" when we compare post-conciliar with pre-conciliar liturgical praxis. Even the post-conciliar popes have admitted that the liturgy is a problem and I can study ptrecious little continuity of though there either.

    Pope Paul VI revolutionised & fabricated it; Pope John Paul I rumour has it wanted to restore The Latin Mass; Pope John Paul II inculturated it; Pope Benedict XVI wanted to hybridise it and now Pope Francis I? Over to you.

  21. LeonG interesting comments re the Mass. Where does the line about JP1 and the TM come from? I hope we never see a hybrid Mass or meddling with the 1962 missal as has been rumored a la post VII prefaces etc

  22. A great photo. Thanks. It speaks volumes.

  23. Perhaps there is a liturgical upside of which we are not aware yet. Still, the real improvement will come when Popes no longer feel it necessary to impose their personality on the liturgy, a problem which extends to our parish priests. John Paul II, God love him, once knelt during a moment of a Papal liturgical function when he wasn't supposed to do so. The MC asked that he stand, to which the Pontiff replied "II Papa s’inginocchia!" – "the Pope is kneeling!"

    Ah, do we long for the days of Enrico Dante!

  24. Anonymous9:36 PM

    I think it could help all to put in a clearer perspective the picture above, this biographical sketch of "Don" Guido (his years as papal MC, since October 2007, excluded) :

    Mgr Guido Marini, born in Genoa in 1965, was Ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Genoa in 1989 by Cardinal Canestri, the immediate successor, in 1987, of Cardinal Siri. Marini obtained his Canon Law doctorate (in utroque iure) in Rome at the Pontifical Lateran University and, in 2007, a B.A. in Psychology of Communications at the Pontifical Salesian University. From 1988 to 2003 he was private secretary of the Archbishops of Genoa: Cardinal Giovanni Canestri (until 1995), Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi (until 2002) and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. He was also master of the liturgical celebrations of cardinals Tettamanzi and Bertone, as well as of the present Archbishop Angelo Card. Bagnasco.
    From 1992 he taught Canon Law at the Genoa Section of the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy, and also Theology of Ministry. In 2002 he was appointed canon of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, of which was Prefect since 2003. In 2004 was elected as spiritual director of the archiepiscopal Seminary of Genoa. In 2005, Archbishop Card. Bertone appointed him as archidiocesan Chancellor.

    * * *

    (And my humble personal comment is : "Ecce sacerdos magnus".)

  25. Anonymous9:41 PM

    By the way...

    (And this is really outstanding: )

  26. Anonymous11:44 PM

    " Pietro Boetto, SJ (May 19, 1871 – January 31, 1946) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Genoa from 1938 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1935. "

    ( The predecessor of Siri in Genoa was a Jesuit from Piedmont called ...Peter! ;)


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