Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mgr Marini

I mentioned before WYD that I had been attending an in-service training course for priests in Spain. Spain is always a good source of authoritative information about the Church. While there I heard that the next WYD would be in Madrid and even made a provisional booking of a hundred places for 2011!
Another interesting piece of news was about a get-together between priests and seminarians and Mgr Marini, the Papal MC. Answering questions the monsignor said a number of things of note. Among them that the Holy Father isn't planning to impose anything. For Papal Masses the MCs have been given a free hand to draw upon the Church's rich inheritance of treasures in order to counteract the widespread impression that things of liturgical merit or worth have been abolished in the 'modern' liturgy. This is part of the Holy Father's concern to promote the 'hermeneutic of continuity': to show that there is no rupture between the pre-conciliar and post-conciliar Church. Another interesting comment was that in the 'medium term', although he may not live to see it, there will be a new missal for the one Roman Rite - drawing, one presumes, on the best of both current forms of the Rite.
Obviously I wasn't present at the get-together so I can't vouch for what precisely was said. It does seem to suggest, however, that what the Holy Father desires is that we have priests who have a correct and complete understanding of the theology of the Mass as well as the necessary formation to celebrate it - in whatever form - with dignity and reverence. Given the response of the people when I celebrated a Sunday Mass in the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle here in Australia recently, I would say that a Mass celebrated with devotion can have a great impact on ordinary parish congregations where a hermeneutic of discontinuity has previously had a confusing and disheartening effect.

1 comment:

Joshua said...


You are quite right in saying how much people in some Australian dioceses - such as N-M - long for Mass to be decently and reverently celebrated. I know a priest who some years ago was in Queensland to do a wedding; once word got around of his Mass celebrated 'by the book', hundreds turned up!

From personal experience, I would say that some diocesan presbyterates in Australia have had a very negative, dumbing-down effect on the local clergy; I remember overhearing priests grumbling against of all things the visit of the relics of St Therese, and one asking if the bones would make good soup! Unsurprisingly, he left the ministry; but how many of the otherwise good priests subjected to such jeering comments over the years have 'gone with the flow' and ended up themselves timid and negative, who otherwise might have been forthright and faithful? This is a big problem in Australia, and perhaps elsewhere...