Friday, January 25, 2008

Former Vatican liturgist persuaded to cancel tour?

[From the Catholic Herald]

The Vatican’s most senior cardinal has persuaded Archbishop Piero Marini to cancel his book tour of America, it has been claimed.

Archbishop Marini, who served for two decades as the papal Master of Ceremonies, was due to tour major US cities next month to promote his study of the post-Vatican II Mass – seen by some commentators as a coded criticism of Benedict XVI’s liturgical reforms. But the trip has been postponed, ostensibly because of concerns that it would clash with the run-up to the Pope’s own American tour two months later.

However, one source said that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, had asked Archbishop Marini to cancel the visit.

Another source in the Vatican told The Catholic Herald that he “wouldn’t be surprised if there was an intervention from the top”.

The book, entitled A Challenging Reform: Realising the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal, was launched in Britain at a grandiose event hosted by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and attended by a number of prominent liturgical figures.

Among the 100 people gathered for the event were Archbishop Fausto Sainz Muñoz, the papal nuncio, Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, chairman of the International Committee for English in the Liturgy (ICEL), and Mgr Bruce Harbert, ICEL’s executive secretary.

The book charts the struggles of the Consilium, a body set up to introduce liturgical changes in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. It argues that the Roman Curia has “for years” been characterised by a “preconciliar mindset”, and warns that the reforms of the Second Vatican Council “seem to be increasingly questioned”.

The Archbishop also caused offence when, in an interview with America’s National Catholic Reporter in December, he compared “nostalgia” for the pre-Vatican II Mass with the longing that some Israelites felt for the “onions and melons” of Egypt after they had been freed from slavery.

Last year Benedict XVI replaced Archbishop Marini as papal Master of Ceremonies and moved him to the lesser position of president of the Pontifical Committee for Eucharistic Congresses.

The archbishop’s removal was welcomed by traditionalists who had long been dismayed by his enthusiasm for liturgical innovation.

A canonisation Mass in Mexico City several years ago notoriously included a troupe of indigenous dancers and a shaman who performed an exorcism on John Paul II.

Source: The Catholic Herald

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: