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Monday, April 22, 2013

Even during Easter, Judas remains

Five weeks ago, we heard the account of the Passion of Our Lord wherein we went back to the precious, most sacred moments of Christ's suffering.  Judas' painful, selfish betrayal set the events in motion.

Now, as we begin the Fourth Week of Easter, one day removed from Good Shepherd Sunday, the specter of Judas returns, as one of Pope Emeritus Benedict's former assistants spews vitriol against the beloved former Supreme Pontiff.  In an interview published by the Vatican Insider, Archbishop Piero Marini lashes out uncharitably at Benedict in much the same manner that Roger Cardinal Mahony did when he tweeted his snide remarks in the wake of the election of Pope Francis.

In part, Marini told La Stampa (known in English as the Vatican Insider):
"Its a breath of fresh air; its opening a window onto springtime and onto hope. We had been breathing the waters of a swamp and it had a bad smell. Wed been in a church afraid of everything, with problems such as Vatileaks and the paedophilia scandals. With Francis were talking about positive things". With the new Pope, added Mgr. Marini, "theres a different air of freedom, a church thats closer to the poor and less problematic".
For those of us who are still wading through the transitionary period, Marini's comments only make things harder.  He certainly did not help things any.  The words were hurtful and spiteful, tantamount to a betrayal of the man whom he had served for roughly three years.

That Piero Marini and Benedict had vastly different liturgical views is well-known.  However, Benedict treated the Master of Ceremonies that he had inherited from Blessed John Paul II with dignity and respect.  Whatever disagreements they may have had, liturgically speaking, were handled quietly.  When Benedict chose Msgr. Guido Marini as his new Papal MC, he assigned Piero Marini to serve as President of Eucharistic Congresses.  While it may not have been a high-profile position, Marini still retained some sort of office.  It was not as though Benedict had sent him completely to liturgical Siberia, as Pope Paul VI had done to Piero Marini's mentor, Archbishop Bugnini, the architect of the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

Archbishop Marini's harsh comments call to mind similar remarks that Judas had made when the woman had anointed Jesus with the costly spikenard.  It seems to me that Archbishop Marini, like Judas, cared more about himself than about his leader.

The Vatican seems strangely silent on Archbishop Marini's words, apparently taking the same stance it took when Cardinal Mahony unleashed his Twitter tirade.  I do not believe this to be the right approach.  Granted, we are in unchartered waters because we have two living Popes, one current and one in retirement; nonetheless, it would only be right for Pope Francis to put a stop to all of this nonsense and request that both Piero Marini and Mahony cease and desist.  True reform comes when you start cleaning up your own house, and this includes errant Cardinals and Archbishops who should know better.


  1. It's hard for me to take what Archbishop Marini and Cardinal Mohony have said as specifically anti-Pope Benedict since they don't come out and directly say anything against the pope emeritus. That being said...

    I'm wondering if the Holy Father (or one of his closer collaborators) has said something privately to Abp Marini or to Card Mahony. These conversations do not always occur in the public eye. I was taught "Praise in public, punish in private." I don't know if anyone subscribes to that, but 'tis always possible.

    1. That they did not outright address it to Benedict means that their commentary was covert. In other words, just because they did not mention Benedict by name, that is not to say that the commentary was not about him. These men are clever.