Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Pope Aims to 'Propose' Practices, Says Liturgist

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Pope Aims to 'Propose' Practices, Says Liturgist

Article excerpt

ROME For the better part of five years, plenty of experts on Catholic liturgy have been waiting for the "real" agenda of Pope Benedict XVI, known as a traditionalist on matters of worship, to emerge from beneath a facade of patience seemingly built on dropping hints rather than imposing sweeping new rules.

Now, however, the pope's own liturgist insists that the patient facade is actually the agenda.

One month ago, that papal liturgist, Msgr. Guido Marini, sparked wide debate with his public call for a "reform of the reform," suggesting to some a desire to roll back the clock on liturgical reforms associated with the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). However, Marini insists that no such rollback is underway, and no dramatic new rules are in the works.

When Benedict employs more traditional touches in his own liturgies, such as giving Communion on the tongue, those amount to "proposals," Marini said, intended to gradually influence the church's liturgical culture, and are not harbingers of forthcoming papal edicts.

"I don't believe that the liturgy of the church needs any radical changes or distortions," Marini said, saying he "fully" agrees with a comment from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, that Catholic liturgy needs a "period of stability" after the wave of dramatic, and at times contentious, reforms that flowed from Vatican II.

Marini, the master of papal liturgical celebrations, spoke in an exclusive interview with NCR Feb. 9 in his Vatican office.

When Marini addressed a Jan. 6 conference in Rome sponsored by the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and the U.S.-based Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, he seemed to call into question at least some of the reforms from Vatican II, such as active participation by laity in the liturgy and greater "inculturation," meaning adjusting the church's rites to reflect local cultures.

In his conversation with NCR, however, Marini said that undoing those reforms is not what he had in mind. Marini conceded that the liturgical winds are blowing in a traditional direction, but said any change should happen slowly and without new upheaval.

"I believe it's a matter of consolidating what we already have, in a more authentic way, according to the true mind of the church," Marini said. He said that's what Benedict has in mind when he talks about "development in continuity."

Marini, 44, has served as Benedict's master of liturgical celebrations since October 2007. In that role, he is the chief organizer of the pope's own celebrations; liturgical policy for the wider church is set by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, presently headed by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.