Pope Francis appoints Vatican Master of Ceremonies Msgr. Guido Marini to Italian diocese

Bishop-elect Guido Marini on Ash Wednesday in St. Peter's Basilica Feb. 17, 2021. Bishop-elect Guido Marini walks beside Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday 2021 in St. Peter's Basilica/ Vatican Media

Pope Francis on Sunday appointed the Vatican’s papal master of ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, bishop of a northern Italian diocese.

Marini, who has been in charge of papal liturgies since his appointment by Benedict XVI in 2007, was Aug. 29 named Bishop of Tortona, a diocese of around 280,000 people.

Marini, 56, grew up near Tortona in the city of Genoa, where he served as chief liturgist for four years. The bishop-elect has degrees in canon and civil law. Prior to his appointment to the Vatican he was chancellor of the Archdiocese of Genoa and a spiritual director in the seminary.

Since 2019, Marini has also been responsible for the Sistine Chapel Choir. According to a biography by the Vatican, “from his priestly ordination to today, he has also carried out his ministry in the field of preaching spiritual exercises, spiritual direction, accompaniment of some youth groups, and as a spiritual assistant of some religious communities.”

There are eight papal masters of ceremonies, of which Marini was the head. They are responsible for organizing and overseeing all liturgical celebrations of the pope. Since 2007, with few exceptions, Msgr. Marini could be seen at the side of Pope Benedict XVI and then Pope Francis during papal Masses and other liturgies both at the Vatican and abroad.

Marini’s replacement was not announced Aug. 29, though there are three candidates for the position, according to sources who spoke to CNA earlier this summer.

One is Msgr. Diego Ravelli, a 56-year-old priest from northern Italy who has been head of the office of papal almoner since 2013 and also serves as one of the masters of ceremonies.

Another candidate for the role is Fr. Giuseppe Midili, director of the liturgical office of the Vicariate of Rome, and the third is Msgr. Pietro Moroni, dean of the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Urban University and consultor of the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

The change in papal master of ceremonies is one of a number of recent personnel changes to Vatican offices and dicasteries, part of Pope Francis’ continued reform of the Roman Curia.

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