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I occasionally look at “Vatican-watch” sites to get an idea of what is going on.
We now read that there is an “unlikely” rumour that Archbishop Piero Marini might be nominated as Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship.
The French article likens the present period of the Franciscan Papacy as a drôle de guerre, le period of 1940 when France tried to believe that Germany wouldn’t attack, and everything would continue more or less as before. All the same, everyone would jump in their skin each time there is a noise suggesting the sound of battle tanks on the brow of the hill.
Archbishop Marini was once secretary of Archbishop Annibale Bugnini and Papal master of ceremonies under John Paul II and the beginning of Benedict XVI’s pontificate. What makes some wonder is that Archbishop Marini had a long audience with the Pope last 4th April. It appears that the Archbishop would have asked to be nominated as Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship to reaffirm the conciliar reforms threatened by the traditionalists infiltrated into the Roman Curia. Would Pope Francis risk such a divisive nomination?
Our French article contrasts the Benedictine Papacy as one with a clear programme of restoration, especially liturgical, but without a political agenda. Francis’ Papacy is more political but has no clear programme. It is now clear that he does not have a progressive programme, but is doctrinally and morally conservative. He is no liberal. On the other hand, are there any signs of him keeping some measure of control over those who do have a progressive agenda?
Most are agreed that it is unlikely that Pope Francis would undo the achievements of Benedict XVI’s papacy. What seems possible in this “middle-of-the-road” approach is that the “Newchurch” style in the dioceses of most countries will go largely unchecked, especially in matters of the liturgy.
Archbishop Marini, with his quite outspoken positions recently expressed, needs to be watched. If he gets what some say he wants, there could be trouble ahead.