Piero Marini

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His Excellency, the Most Reverend
Piero Marini
President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses
Piero Marini head.jpg
Piero Marini in 2007
Archdiocese Martirano
See Vatican
Appointed 1 October 2007
Predecessor Jozef Tomko
Ordination 27 June 1965
Consecration 19 March 1998
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Born (1942-01-13) 13 January 1942 (age 74)
Valverde, Italy
Nationality Italian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations (1987-2007)
Motto fons vitae
Coat of arms
Styles of
Piero Marini
Coat of arms of Piero Marini.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Archbishop
Posthumous style none

Piero Marini (born 13 January 1942) is a Roman Catholic archbishop who is president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. For twenty years he served as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, in charge of the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. In that capacity he worked for Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.


Marini was born in Valverde, Italy and was ordained a priest of the Catholic Church on 27 June 1965. He holds a doctorate in liturgy from the Benedictine-run College of Sant'Anselmo.[1]

In 1975, Marini became personal secretary of Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, the controversial chief architect of the liturgical reforms that followed Vatican II.[2][3] From 1987 to 2007, Marini was the master of papal liturgical ceremonies, the man who appears at the pope's side in every celebration. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Martirano on the 14 February 1998 and was consecrated on 19 March of that year. On the 29 September 2003 he was raised to the rank of Archbishop.

On 1 October 2007 after twenty years as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, Pope Benedict appointed Marini as president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.[4] This body has the task, according to Pastor Bonus, of making "ever better known, loved and served, Our Lord Jesus Christ in his Eucharistic Mystery, as centre of the life of the Church and of its mission for the salvation of the world through the celebration of International Eucharistic Congresses".[citation needed]

In April 2013, in an interview with the Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion, Marini indicated his openness to the idea of same-sex civil unions being recognised within law: "In these discussions, it is necessary, for example, to recognize the union of people of the same sex, because there are many couples who suffer because their civil rights are not recognized", but went on to say, "What cannot be recognized is that that couple be a marriage."[5][6][7]

On 19 February 2014 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.[8]

Activity as liturgist[edit]

Marini's innovative approach to papal ceremonies sometimes made him the focus of criticism.[9] He has promoted Vatican II reforms including the "simplification of rites that he believes facilitates active participation."[10] He is a firm believer in the integration church rites with local customs: in 1998, he allowed a group of scantily clad Pacific Islander dancers into St. Peter's Basilica to dance during the opening liturgy of the Synod for Oceania; and in 2002, during Pope John Paul II's visit to Mexico City, he allowed an indigenous Mexican shaman perform a purification ritual on the pope during a Mass.[10] In 2005, after the election of Pope Benedict XVI, it was rumoured that he would be removed from his post[11] and would take up an Italian diocese [12] Some surmised that the timing of Marini's departure may be linked to the July 2007 decision by Pope Benedict to liberalise permission for the 1962 Tridentine Mass. Of this document Marini said that it "does not intend to introduce modifications into the current Roman Missal nor to express a negative judgement on the liturgical reform desired by the Council" and that it was "a gesture at the service of unity".[13] Marini no longer celebrates the Tridentine mass and is "not nostalgic for what he regards as the repetitive nature of the old Mass, neither the exaltation of the celebrant to the detriment of the people of God; and he deplores the marked split between the priest and the assembly."[14]

Of his relationship with Pope Benedict XVI, Marini wrote:

I also express my heartfelt filial gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI who, immediately following his election, chose to confirm me as Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. To tell the truth, it was not a completely new experience for me, since I had been his master of ceremonies following his elevation to the cardinalate. For this reason too, from the very start I felt welcomed by Pope Benedict as a son. In him I could see, to my great satisfaction, not only a professor but also a Pope who is an expert in the liturgy. I will never forget the emotion I felt in finding myself alone with him in the Sistine Chapel just after his election, or the emotion I experienced during the rites of the inauguration of his Petrine ministry. These rites remain fixed in my mind and heart, since I consider them the fullest and most successful icon which the liturgy has given of the Church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Thank you, Pope Benedict, for having approved those rites and for having celebrated them with God’s Holy People.[15]

Marini is the author of A Challenging Reform - Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal (ISBN 978-0-8146-3035-8).

External links[edit]


  1. ^ National Catholic Reporter.
  2. ^ Catholic Herald: "Is Pope Francis thinking of appointing as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship a disciple of Annibale Bugnini deeply hostile to Benedict XVI’s reforms? - If Archbishop Piero Marini really is appointed, it will be an unmistakeable declaration that we are all to be plunged back into the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture" By William Oddie 2 October 2013
  3. ^ Catholic News Service: "Archbishop's book tells of battles over control of liturgical reform" By John Thavis 10 December 2007
  4. ^ Press Office of the Holy See
  5. ^ http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/swiss-theologian-same-sex-civil-unions-discriminate-against-married-couples/
  6. ^ National Catholic Reporter: "Another Vatican voice backs civil unions for same-sex couples" by John L. Allen Jr. April 21, 2013
  7. ^ Vatican Insider: "The former Pope's master of ceremonies opens to the recognition of gay couples" by Andrea Tornielli April 21, 2013
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Sandro Magister: Bishop Marini doesn't like TV
  10. ^ a b Washington Post: "The guiding hand behind pope's pomp and ceremony" By Jason Horowitz December 25, 2010
  11. ^ Top papal liturgist to be replaced soon?
  12. ^ [2].
  13. ^ Interview with Archbishop Piero Marini, L'Osservatore Romano, 14 May 2008, p. 10; cf. Interview with Archbishop Piero Marini, National Catholic Reporter, 15 December 2007.
  14. ^ Documentation Information Catholiques International: "The Liturgy according to Piero Marini and according to Guido Marini" 2014
  15. ^ Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Magee
Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations
17 February 1987 - 1 October 2007
Succeeded by
Guido Marini
Preceded by
Jozef Tomko
President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses
1 October 2007 - present