Sunday, 17 March 2013

Hopeful signs concerning the inaugural Mass and Mgr Marini

After the concern expressed in my last post, I think there is reason to be more hopeful. Chant Café has posted a link to the booklet for the Holy Father’s inauguration Mass. The music has been decided upon, and no doubt rehearsed, well in advance of the occasion, and is of great dignity. Anything else which the Franciscan cerimonieri wish to introduce will, I assume, be additional to this.

It is also cheering to read the comment from Justin, which is worth pasting here in full:
Did anyone watch the Holy Mass this morning at St Ann's though? Mgr Marini and the Holy Father were sharing a joke after the Mass as he was greeting the crowds. 

The monsignor doesn't seem overly perturbed by what news reporters are saying about his and the Holy Father's fractious encounters. He's a professional and very excellent MC and has a doctorate in the psychology of communication - he's worked with prelates as diverse as Tettamanzi and Bertone and Papa Ratzinger; he's taken over a very well run office from Archbishop Marini and gained the loyalty of staff there. It's his *job* to gently guide the Holy Father in the appropriate liturgical actions - even Pope Benedict did not wear the fanon immediately, or carry the ferula immediately. Given time, I'm sure Mgr Marini can discreetly and gently persuade the Holy Father to do things he had probably never thought about before as well.

The only time Mgr Marini looked mildly ruffled during the Mass was when the Holy Father offered him the sign of peace to him as well. In time the Holy Father won't even notice Mgr Marini's presence, and that too will be due to the professionalism on Mgr Marini's part.
Give the Holy Father time and the benefit of the doubt that he is not some vicious hostile dictator - not only is he the Vicar of Christ will all the graces that the Holy Spirit pours out upon him and his office, Jorge Bergoglio is human too, he will have been doing things a certain way for a number of years, and the last thing he wants in a new environment is to suddenly change the way he celebrates Mass - his source of consolation and joy.

If you don't have hope in the Holy Father (!!!), then at least trust Mgr Marini's expertise as an MC. He's a slick operator - he's not going to barge in there and tell the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church that the way he's been celebrating Mass for 40 years has been all wrong! He's going to gently nudge the Holy Father in the right directions, and perhaps during the summer offer him some chant lessons, etc. That's how it's done in parishes all across the world, and that's how it'll be done in the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations as well.


David O'Neill said...

My big problem is that Pope Francis seems determined not to follow the accepted norms of the papacy regarding dress. Whilst he says he is humble, true humility would be shown by remembering that the OFFICE is the important part not the holder of the office. The office of Pope needs dignity & the holder must recognise that part of the dignity of the office is the wearing of the correct clothing such as the red cape, the red shoes, the pallium etc

Dorothy B said...

Thanks, David. Yes, it’s unusual, to say the least. I hope it’s no more than a version of the comfort-zone thing, and that he will very soon feel more relaxed about dressing in the customary way. This is perhaps an area in which he will quickly grow to appreciate Mgr Marini’s expertise and tact.