On the morning of 20 April -- the day after the election -- a source who would know reports that the superlative Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies visited with the newly-elected Benedict XVI to confirm the plans for the liturgy for the inauguration of his Petrine Ministry, and to receive the new Pope's consent to and feedback on the blueprint Marini had spent years drawing up. (Marini's design, of course, most prominently consisted of the inception of the distinctive Petrine pallium and the resurrection of the Fisherman's Ring as a worn object, both of which found a welcome audience in Benedict XVI -- you'll remember he based his homily on the two newly-prominent signs of office.)
It seemed the Pope was extremely appreciative of (and just as pleased with) all the effort Marini had invested in the preparations. But knowing that his 18 years as chief liturgist had made him a target of the gripes of the Trent-centric set, and knowing that the new Pope might want a different MC at the helm, Marini made it a point to immediately offer his resignation to the Pope, if it would be in keeping with Ratzinger's ideas for the form and style of papal liturgy to have someone else directing the Cappella Papale.
"Are you happy?" Benedict asked. Marini replied in the affirmative.
"Then you'll stay," the Pope said. And so it was. Another source who corroborates this story reports that Benedict assured his reconfirmed liturgist that his door was always open for anything Marini would need.
Further debunking the "Blame Marini for the Jugglers" conniptions of the Daughters of Trent, we have this gem from Father James Chukwuma Okoye, a Rome-educated Spiritan who teaches at the Chicago Theological Union.
In an interview with US Catholic, the priest recounted an experience from the preparations for the 1994 Synod of Bishops for Africa.
The Zaire rite, which was used at the African Synod in 1994 in St. Peter’s in Rome, begins with a sacred dance in which everyone participates, moving this way and that way very gently, with their hands raised in prayer.See, people -- it was John Paul wot made those redhats dance! Marini was the one who tried to block it! And so, for the millionth time, if you've got a beef with papal liturgy, then go scream at the tomb and accuse John Paul the Great of liturgical abuse.
The dancers move up the aisle and behind the altar and stay there while the bishop or priest comes up and dances around the altar. After that, instead of kissing the altar, which is not an African gesture, he would put his hands in a V-shape and prostrate himself before the altar.
This whole entrance rite takes about 30 minutes, but remember that Africans like expressing themselves in song, with their bodies, with their minds and hearts. The song allows everybody to really participate and gets people to realize, “This is ours...."
When I was assisting on the commission preparing the liturgy for the African Synod, the African bishops informed the master of ceremonies at St. Peter’s [that the Africans wanted to use the Zaire Rite], but he said, “You cannot have drums and dancing at St. Peter’s!” He told them to use a Latin musical setting because every African could sing in Latin, while the rest of the Mass would use the colonial languages of English, French, and Portuguese.Shortly after this the commission had lunch with Pope John Paul II, and the pope asked, “How is the commission going?” One of the members said, “Your Holiness, there’s a minor issue,” and proceeded to explain the divided opinions about showcasing something African in the liturgy. Before he even finished, the pope said, “The more African, the better.” Well, that ended the whole discussion. It was fantastic. The cardinals were dancing in the Mass.