Pope Francis and the Liturgy: Episcopal Indiscretions - Why Guido Marini Was Not Fired
(Rome) Italy's bishops met from the 20th to the 24th of May in their Spring General Assembly. Pope Francis previously received bishops in their ad limina visit. On the 13th of May this was the case for the bishops of Apulia, who then became talkative about what the Pope had said them.
Talkative bishops of Apulia - Two Encyclicals in Preparation
Then there was the "revelation" of the Bishop of Molfetta, Monsignor Luigi Martella, that two encyclicals were in preparation at the Vatican. An encyclical on faith, signed by Pope Francis, but written by Pope Benedict XVI., retired and living in a monastery in the Vatican, the retired German Pope was about to write this encyclical at the time was about to write this encyclical to an end.
The message of an encyclical written by four hands caused so much attention in the media that Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi was forced to make a disclaimer on May 24th: "I deny that the retired Pope is writing an encyclical on faith, which is then to be signed by Pope Francis." Father Lombardi reaffirmed that Benedict XVI. has left the far matured project of such an encyclical in his resignation. "And his successor has picked it up and it seems like he's going to finish it, if I also don't know this still not to announce until the time of publication," said the Vatican spokesman, who also laid emphasis on the statement: "The Pope Emeritus has no role in the completion of the project taken up by Pope Francis."
Besides Encyclical on Faith also about Poverty
A second encyclical on poverty, on the other hand, is entirely the work of the reigning Pope, as Pope Francis had confided to the Bishop of Molfetta and the other bishops of Apulia. This was addressed by Vatican spokesman Lombardi only curtly: "We make one encyclical after another" in order to say: One step at a time.
But there was also the Liturgy by Apulian bishops concerned indiscretions, such as the Vatican expert Sandro Magister reported.
No bureaucratization of the Church
Thus, the Archbishop of Bari, Monsignor Francesco Cacucci, after the audience with the Pope at Vatican Radio, told the Italian editor that Pope Francis had asked the bishops, "to have at relationship with the liturgy with simplicity and to live without superstructure". Literally Archbishop Cacucci said on the question of what the Pope had told the bishops of content: "It affected mainly the need to be a simple and poor preacher of the Gospel. And then he told us with great simplicity that it is important that we have a relationship with the liturgy and to live the faith with simplicity and without superstructure because we will probably experience a bureaucratization, to an exaggerated extent, also in the Church."
Bishops Complain to Pope That Traditionalists Split the Church
Then was the turn of Monsignor Domenico Padovano, the Bishop of Conversano-Monopoli, who told his clergy that the Apulian bishops have complained to the Pope. But what led the bishops of the southern Italian region to complain? About induced abortion, the collapose of the faith, divorce, corruption, organized crime causing suffering, indiscipline and the "completely normal" spread of heresies among theologians and the people? No, nothing like that. The bishops had, so the Archbishop of Padovano, complained to the Pope that the participants in the traditional Mass are causing a split in the Church.
And What is the Pope to Have Answered? The Pope Exhorted the Bishops to Put the Treasure of Tradition to Use
Following the presentation by Bishop Padovano, Pope Francis encouraged them to watch over extreme positions of certain traditionalist groups, but also - and probably the most surprising for the plaintiffs - to make use themselves of the treasure of tradition and they should let it live together in the Church with the renewal.
To explain this last point more precisely, the Pope used an example.
The Pope rejects "many" Demands for Marini's Immediate Dismissal
Behold: You say that my papal master of ceremonies [Msgr Guido Marini] is of a traditionalist character. And many have asked me about my choice to remove him from office and be replaced. I said no, just that I prefer him to even benefit me by his traditional formation and at the same time, so he is formed in the same way by my emancipated formation.Provided always that the words of Pope Francis were translated properly, they offer a revealing insight into the liturgical thinking and celebration style of the reigning Pope. Above all, they explain how the hasty rumor surfaced immediately after his election, one of his first acts of Pope Francis will be that Pope Benedict XVI.'s appointed master of ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, is fired.
A rumor came about thus, because authoritative Church circles, expected the immediate recall Guido Marini, to pressure the new Pope and project their wish to appear sure of success and their desire manifestly projected onto the new Pope and openly declared themselves in the Vatican. Unsuccessfully, as it turned out.
Who are the "many" who by choice Bergoglios the end of the liturgical renewal Benedict hoped?
But who are the "many" of whom Pope Francis spoke, and who obviously have direct access to the Pope? "Many," who had characterized the choice of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as an end to Benedict XVI., hoped to push forward the effect of liturgical renewal.
Monsignor Guido Marini from the school of Cardinal Siri, had been appointed as papal master of ceremonies in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI., to implement the liturgical renewal which should effect the entire Church through the papal role model. Specifically, it was to push back anthropocentric biases and realign a theocentric orientation and thus to make worship the urgent task of the liturgy.
Magister doubt: have the Apulian bishops understood the admonition of Pope Francis?
However, Magister has doubts whether the Apulian bishops have understood the meaning of the Pope's traditional words themselves. Another of them, the bishop of Cerignola-Ascoli Satriano, Monsignor Felice Di Molfetta, wrote on 15 May, a message to his diocese on the meeting with the Pope. In it, he announces:
"I have not failed to congratulate the Pope to his manner of celebration: one of style marked by "noble simplicity", like him, the Council has decided where he showed a special attention to the subject to the them, to which on his side of considerations shows no lack of high theological and pastoral manner, that were shared by all the brothers present."
Bishop Di Molfetta and liturgical forms of blindness
Bishop Di Molfetta wrote further about a liturgy of an "interest of the Holy Father for this vital aspect of the Petrine ministry." Pope Francis has "in view of certain phenomena in the recent past, in which not a few forms of drift were registered on the liturgical level, in which he asked we bishops by addressing us some concrete examples of the relationship with the liturgical action, there the action of God, as true believers to live beyond any inflated ceremonialism, in complete awareness that, the noble simplicity 'of which the Council speaks is not a botch, but is beauty, beauty writ large."
Bishop Di Molfetta partially addressed the admonition of Pope Francis to the bishops, who complained about the traditional Catholic. He underrates that part entirely. "Aberrations" is all he can recognize in the desire to rediscover the "Old Mass" and the goal of Pope Benedict's liturgical renewal. Make use of the advantage of the "treasure of tradition", which Pope Francis urged the bishops, there is not to be found in the letter of the Bishop of Cerignola-Ascoli Satriano in his diocese a single word.
Dogged resistance to Summorum Pontificum
Bishop Di Molfetta's swipe against Pope Benedict XVI., however, is not unexpected. Di Molfetta, former Secretary of the Liturgical Commission of the Italian Bishops' Conference under John Paul II and a few days after the election of Benedict XVI. and elected Chairman of the Commission, was a dogged opponent of the liturgical renewal of the previous Pope, especially the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of 2007, with the return of the traditional "Tridentine" Mass as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite to general rights of citizenship in the Church.
Di Molfetta tried in advance to avoid the Motu Proprio by a corresponding call to the Italian Bishops' Conference. When this failed, he urged the Bishops' Conference together with several other bishops including Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto and Archbishop Paolo Romeo of Palermo, to make the implementation of Summorum Pontificum impossible through restrictive rules. He justified his position by saying that the ecclesiology of the Old Rite is "incompatible" with that of the Second Vatican Council. So that confirmed the hermeneutics of rupture, against which Benedict XVI., however said was "incompatible" with the understanding of the Catholic Church. The Italian Episcopal Conference rejected Di Molfetta's proposals after especially Cardinals Ruini (then Cardinal Vicar of Rome and former Chairman of the Bishops' Conference) had placed themselves on the side of the Pope, Scola (then Venice, today Milan) and Caffarra (Bologna).
Magister sees in di Molfetta statements, one of the many attempts by the progressive camp to co-opt Pope Francis. A phenomenon that has been observed at various levels since his election, on whose validity the Vatican expert casts doubt.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi Image: CTV screenshot Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org ADMG