Pope Francis has appointed the Pontifical Master of Ceremonies Msgr. Guido Marini as Bishop of Tortona. A signal.
(Rome) Pope Francis has appointed the Papal Master of Ceremonies Msgr. Guido Marini, Bishop of Tortona. It’s a step that is in line with the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. He will succeed the Bugnini ring bearer, Msgr. Vittorio Viola, who was appointed to the Roman Curia by Francis last May.
Speculations about the removal of Msgr. Marini from his office had already existed immediately after the election of Pope Francis. Since then they have flared up repeatedly. Msgr. Marini is, however, sociable, reserved and adaptable, after all, after being ordained diaconate, he served three archbishops of Genoa as secretary for 15 years. In 2007 he was called by Pope Benedict XVI. to Rome as his master of ceremonies to have a man in this position who suited his liturgical sensibility. Yesterday his appointment as Bishop of Tortona was announced.
The castling that takes place at the head of the diocese makes it clear that Francis wants to pick up the pace in the area of liturgical changes. The previous bishop of Tortona was the Franciscan Msgr. Vittorio Viola. Both Viola and Marini are proven experts in liturgical questions, but belong to different schools. While Msgr. Guido Marini, not to be confused with the eponymous master of ceremonies of John Paul II, Piero Marini, comes from the school of Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, Msgr. Viola belongs to the school of Annibale Bugnini, the grand architect of the Novus Ordo, which was born in 1969 and introduced by Paul VI.
On May 27, Francis called Monsignor Viola to the Roman Curia and appointed him secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Order of the Sacraments.
A paradigm shift can be seen in the two personnel decisions for the diocese of Tortona: The Siri student Msgr. Marini is removed from the Vatican, while the Bugnini student Msgr. Viola is brought to the Vatican. In short: Bugnini is in, Siri and tradition out.
The year 2021 is thus marked by a series of papal decisions on the liturgy:
— the dismissal of Cardinal Robert Sarah as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship;
— the appointment of Bugnini ring bearer Msgr. Viola to the Congregation for Divine Worship;
— the promulgation of the Motu proprio Traditionis custodes against the traditional rite;
— the dismissal of Monsignor Guido Marini as papal master of ceremonies.
And the year is not over yet. The appointment of the new Pontifical Master of Ceremonies is eagerly awaited. The master of ceremonies heads the office for the liturgical celebrations of the Pope and also plays a role in the conclave, the most important of which is the proclamation of the extra omnes and its implementation. This means that all persons who are not allowed to vote for the Pope must leave the Sistine Chapel before it can begin. After the extra omnes, access to the conclave is cordoned off.
Anyone who is appointed by Francis as the new master of ceremonies ensures that nothing of what happens in the conclave gets out. In the age of digital technology and certain loosening, this is a central function, because Francis works to ensure the election of a successor that suits him.
The diocese of Tortona, which looks after almost 270,000 Catholics, in Liguria, is the home of the previous papal master of ceremonies. He is thus a suffragan of the Archbishop of Genoa.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: MiL / Wikicommons
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