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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 for 18 years and Benedict XVI for two years.

His Excellency, the Most Reverend

Piero Marini
President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses
Piero Marini head.jpg
Piero Marini in 2007
DioceseRoman Catholic Diocese of Martirano (titular)
Appointed1 October 2007
PredecessorJozef Tomko
Ordination27 June 1965
Consecration19 March 1998
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Born (1942-01-13) 13 January 1942 (age 77)
Valverde, Kingdom of Italy
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous postMaster of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations (1987-2007)
Mottofons vitae
Coat of armsPiero Marini's coat of arms
Styles of
Piero Marini
Coat of arms of Piero Marini.svg
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop
Posthumous stylenone


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 to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, the chief architect of the liturgical reforms that followed Vatican II.[2][3] From 1987 to 2007, Marini was the Master of the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, the group responsible for organizing the details of papal liturgies and other celebrations. He was seen at the pope's side in every such celebration. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Martirano on 14 February 1998 and was consecrated on 19 March by Pope John Paul II. On 29 September 2003 he was raised to the rank of archbishop.[4]

On 1 October 2007, after Marini had served twenty years as Master, Pope Benedict appointed him president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.[1][5] He was confirmed to another five-year term in that post by Pope Francis on 10 March 2015.[6]

Three days after the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2005, Marini published a guide to the rites and decision-making authority during the weeks until the election of a new pope.[7]

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 by civil 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."[8][9][10] He also expressed enthusiasm for the newly elected Pope Francis: "It's a breath of fresh air; it’s opening a window onto springtime and onto hope. We had been breathing the waters of a swamp and it had a bad smell. We’d been in a church afraid of everything, with problems such as Vatileaks and the paedophilia scandals. With Francis we’re talking about positive things.... there’s a different air of freedom, a church that’s closer to the poor and less problematic".[10]

He was confirmed for another five-year term as a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in February 2014[11] and has headed its committee for liturgy.[12] He was named a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in October 2016.[13]

During the night of 30/31 October 2016, he suffered a stroke.[14]

Activity as liturgistEdit

Marini promoted Vatican II reforms including the "simplification of rites that he believes facilitates active participation."[15] He supports the integration of local customs into church rituals. At a celebration he oversaw in 1998, a group of scantily clad Pacific Islanders danced during the opening liturgy of the Synod for Oceania in St. Peter's Basilica; Pope John Paul II's visit to Mexico City in 2002, an indigenous Mexican shaman performed a purification ritual on the pope during Mass.[15]

In July 2007, when Pope Benedict gave broader permission for the celebration of the 1962 Tridentine Mass, 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 described it as "a gesture at the service of unity".[16][17] Marini has said he 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."[18]

When leaving his post at the Office of Liturgical Celebrations, he described his relationship with Pope Benedict XVI:[19]

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.

Marini's study of the Council's liturgical work appeared in English in 2007.[20]

On 7 April 2017, he celebrated Mass in the Roman church where Paul VI first celebrated Mass in the vernacular at the conclusion of the Council fifty years earlier.[citation needed]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b Allen Jr., John L. (1 October 2007). "Vatican's top liturgical liberal steps down". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  2. ^ Oddie, William (2 October 2013). "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?". Catholic Herald. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  3. ^ Thavis, John (10 December 2007). "Archbishop's book tells of battles over control of liturgical reform". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 7 April 2019 – via Free Republic.
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 29.09.2003" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 29 September 2003. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 01.10.2007" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 10.03.2015" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Presentation by Archbishop Piero Marini, Master of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Holy Father, on 'Rites and Legislation of the Vacant See'". Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. 5 April 2005. Retrieved 7 April 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ Aguirre, Estefania (24 April 2013). "Theologian: Same-sex civil unions discriminate against married couples". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  9. ^ Allen Jr., John L. (21 April 2013). ""Another Vatican voice backs civil unions for same-sex couples". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b Tornielli, Andrea (21 April 2013). "The former Pope's master of ceremonies opens to the recognition of gay couples". La Stampa. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Pope Francis reconfirms leadership of Congregation for Oriental Churches, Council for Christian Unity". Vatican Radio. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 01.09.2015" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 1 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 28.10.2016" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 28 October 2016.
  14. ^ "L'arcivescovo Marini ricoverato all'Utic del Rizzoli". Il Dispari (in Italian). 1 November 2016.
  15. ^ a b Horowitz, Jason (25 December 2010). "The guiding hand behind pope's pomp and ceremony". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Interview with Archbishop Piero Marini". L'Osservatore Romano (Interview). 14 May 2008 – via EWTN.
  17. ^ "Interview with Archbishop Piero Marini" (PDF). National Catholic Reporter (Interview). 15 December 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  18. ^ "The Liturgy according to Piero Marini and according to Guido Marini 2014". Documentation Information Catholiques International. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  19. ^ Marini, Piero (1 October 2007), [letter], Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, retrieved 7 April 2019
  20. ^ Marini, Piero. A Challenging Reform - Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal. Liturgical Press. ISBN 978-0-8146-3035-8.
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