Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Il Tempo Interviews Msgr. Guido Marini

This past Sunday, the Italian journal Il Tempo ran an interview with Msgr. Guido Marini which pertained both to himself, but most especially to the liturgical vision and pursuits of Pope Benedict XVI.

Now many of the comments made by Msgr. Marini touch upon many of the same subjects he has spoken of before, but they bear repeating.

Accordingly, here are some of the most relevant excerpts in an NLM translation as they pertain to Pope Benedict's liturgical vision and programme:


Il Tempo: Are we witnessing simply a process of liturgical restyling or something deeper?

Marini: It is something deeper in the line of continuity, not of a break with the past. There is a development with respect for tradition.

Il Tempo: Since he has arrived, changes or corrections have been made. Some subtle, others more blatant.

Marini: The changes are diverse. One was the placement of the crucifix on the altar at the centre to indicate that the celebrant and the assembly of the faithful do not look at each other, but together they look to the Lord who is the focus of their prayers. The other aspect is the communion given kneeling by the Holy Father and distributed on the tongue. This to demonstrate the greatness of the mystery, the living presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. This attitude and posture is important because it helps the worship and devotion of the faithful.


Il Tempo: When we will see Pope Benedict to celebrate the Mass in Latin according to Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite, that of St. Pius V? The Motu proprio. I, personally, interpret it as an act of generosity, openness, not closure.

Marini: I do not know. Many of the faithful have themselves taken advantage of this possibility [of the motu proprio]. The Pope will decide if he believes it to be opportune.

Il Tempo: In the post-synodal "Apostolic Exhortation" on the liturgy, Joseph Ratzinger has touched on many aspects. He even suggested that churches should face East, towards the Holy City of Jerusalem. A year ago, he celebrated Mass in the Sistine Chapel with his back facing the people. Why?

Marini: I proposed it. The Sistine Chapel is a treasure trove. It seemed to arbitrarily alter its beauty by building an artificial stage. In the ordinary rite, Mass celebrated "with one's back facing to the people" is an envisaged possibility [una modalità prevista]. But I would stress: [The celebrant] does not turn his back to the faithful, but rather the celebrant and the faithful are facing that thing which matters: the crucifix.

Il Tempo: "The Pope puts on Christ not Prada" was read in L'Osservatore Romano. The look of Benedict XVI is striking and intriguing. Vestments, mitre, pectoral crosses, the cathedra upon which he sits, and the mozzetta and stole. This is an elegant Pope. Is it a media invention?

Marini: Even to say "elegant" in the language of today, seems to suggest a Pope who simply loves outer aspects. A watchful eye sees that there is research which marries tradition and modernity. It is not the logic of a simple return to the past but it is a balance between past and present. It is the exploration, if you like, of beauty and harmony, which is the revelation of the mystery of God.

Source: Il Tempo by way of Papa Ratzinger

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