Archbishop Piero Marini
Here's the story: Archbishop's book tells of battles over control of liturgical reform
Here's a quote:
In a new book, a Vatican archbishop has chronicled the birth pangs of the liturgical reform generated by the Second Vatican Council and warned of a Roman Curia tendency to return to a "preconciliar mindset."
The book, "A Challenging Reform," was written by Archbishop Piero Marini, who recently ended a 20-year tenure as papal liturgist. His Vatican career began in 1965 in the office charged with implementing liturgical renewal.
Archbishop Marini recounted the rise of a decentralized and dynamic reform movement in the 1960s and its "curialization" in the 1970s by Vatican officials afraid of losing control.
Many of the hard-won liturgical changes were accompanied by tensions and disagreements inside the Vatican's central bureaucracy, he said.
The archbishop's book, published by Liturgical Press, was scheduled for presentation Dec. 14 in London, where the author was being honored at a reception hosted by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.
The book offered an unusual look behind the scenes at the Vatican, beginning with the Second Vatican Council's approval in 1963 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which launched an extensive revision of Catholic worship.
In 1964, Pope Paul VI established the Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy, an international body that operated with considerable independence from existing Roman Curia offices.
From the beginning, Archbishop Marini wrote, the consilium's efforts met with resistance from traditionalist Curia members, who tried to curb the reform by "opposing real liturgical change and maintaining the status quo."
In 1969, the consilium was transformed into the Congregation for Divine Worship. Just six years later, the worship congregation was disbanded under growing criticism from other Vatican offices.
"This was probably one of the first signs of a tendency to return to a preconciliar mindset that has for years now characterized the Curia's approach," Archbishop Marini said in the book's conclusion.
"As more and more time passes since the Second Vatican Council, an event charged with such hope and desire for renewal, its distinctive contributions seem to be increasingly questioned," he said.
The archbishop's perspective may assist Catholics in discerning the reason why Archbishop Piero Marini recently ended his 20-year tenure as papal liturgist.