There was great fear that Pope Francis would name Archbishop Piero Marini the Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship. And for good reason. He is on the progressive side of liturgical reform with the last great frontier only partially attained, that of inculturation.
Archbishop Piero Marini not to be confused with his antithesis, the good Monsignor Guido Marini, Papal Master of Ceremonies who succeeded him, is firmly rooted in the Bugnini school of liturgy not the Pope Benedict school, which we had hoped and prayed would replace it and I think will eventually win the day, but not without spiritual warfare!
There is a cosmic liturgical battle taking place between these two schools and for the time being, Pope Francis seems to have sided with the Benedictine School in naming Cardinal Robert Sarah the prefect for the CDW. It was unexpected and everyone breathed a sigh of relief when he was named and not Archbishop Piero Marini. But things could always change overnight as we have seen in the last three years.
CBCP Monitor (My comments in red)Adapting the liturgy to local cultural practices, or “inculturation,” is the key to drawing more people to the Mass, said Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. (I would have thought that the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in His Sacrifice and in His Glorious Eternal Banquet would have been a better reason to draw more people to Mass, but of course I'm not an Archbishop so what do I know?)
How to make the Mass more relatable and interesting has been one of the hot topics of discussion in the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), and Marini is very knowledgeable on it having been master of liturgical ceremonies for two popes – St. John Paul II and the now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Marini, 74, also served as secretary to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, one of the Church figures who had worked to reform the liturgy after the Second Vatican Council, the result of which is the New Order of the Mass now heard in local languages instead of the old Latin. At the 51st IEC Theological Symposium last week, he recalled the history of the new Mass.
Marini wants to go further. “The word used in the Second Vatican Council is ‘active participation.’ To participate in the liturgy is to adapt the liturgy in particular circumstances,” he said in Italian during the press conference on Jan. 25, the second day of the 51st IEC. (This is where the liturgical battle lines are drawn and it comes from men my age and older. I'm 62 and Marini is 74. Thus the last gasp of a generation dying trying to make their ideologies into dogma, unchangeable dogma!)
The Mass is a simple celebration of rubrics, he pointed out, referring to set instructions and rules on how to celebrate the liturgy. “The liturgies that are not inculturated are lost, just as what happened in North Africa,” he warned.
The current Roman liturgy itself was the product of inculturation, originating from the fifth century, he claimed. There was also the the Byzantine, Alexandrian and Coptic rites. “There is a need to return to varieties,” he said. (Is he open to the glorious return of the Extraordinary Form as it is now called or to the gloriously new Ordinariate's "Divine Worship, the Missal". I suspect not which shows a great hypocrisy within the ranks of so-called progressives of the Bugnini school of rupture.)
Inculturation was pushed after Vatican II, Marini said, but the process of approving the liturgies for Zaire, India and the Philippines was “slow.” (Who pushed inculturation, the type that is of rupture????)
Moreover, inculturation needs information. “It is necessary but it is difficult. You have to be prepared. It’s not so easy,” he told CBCP News.
What about the abuses pointed out by critics of liturgical innovation, such as the heavy use of acoustic instruments during youth masses? Marini replied: “The problem is what are the abuse[s]? How is the so-called youth mass? This is the problem. To inculturate, it is necessary to know.”
Christmas itself is an inculturated celebration, the Vatican official argued. (I don't even know what Marini is saying here. Does he acknowledge abuse or celebrate it?)
“It was a pagan feast for the light. The light was coming, the victory of the sun. So they celebrated this victor, the pagan people, and then they translated it in our, the Roman Rite. So we celebrate on 24 and 25 of December, not because Christ was born on 25 or 24, but because it was an inculturated feast,” Archbishop Marini said. – (CBCP News)
My Final comment: I am not completely opposed to inculturation. But for the most part, what has been called inculturation since the 1960's and is of the Bugnini school of thought that Archbishop Marini continues to push, is fad and pop culture.
There is room for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church with its purity, meaning style of worship, language, form of chants and art of celebrating. Its vesture and culture inherited over centuries.
Inculturation wants fragmentation. It wants new rites that are rooted in fads and the worst of cultural expression.
Apart from denigrating inculturation altogether. In what ways would inculturation be good? Can we have an intelligent discussion on that?