The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 1, 2013

With no pope, Catholic Church leaderless for now

(Continued)

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THE MASTER OF LITURGICAL CEREMONIES: Monsignor Guido Marini.

The master of liturgical ceremonies runs the religious side of the conclave and the installation Mass for the new pope, all of them carefully choreographed rituals. He is by the side of the dean when the newly elected pope is asked if he accepts the election. And as the main witness and notary, he draws up the formal document certifying that the new pope's name and that he has accepted the job.

Benedict appointed Marini to the job in 2007, replacing Monsignor Piero Marini who for two decades was Pope John Paul II's right-hand man for all things liturgical. The shift was intentional. Under Guido Marini, papal Masses became far more reverent, with more Latin, Gregorian chants and the use of heavy silk-brocaded vestments of the pre-Vatican II church.

In changes introduced just before he resigned, Benedict made clear he wanted this more traditional vision of his papacy carried forward for the installation of a new pope. He called for the rites of installation to be separate from the liturgy itself and for the cardinals to make a public pledge of obedience to the new pope during the Mass. Previously, their pledge of obedience was done in private in the Sistine Chapel immediately after the election.

In keeping with Benedict's classical musical tastes, the new rites also allow for more flexibility in musical choices rather than the modern selections previously in favor. The aim, Marini recently told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, was to make "the most of the rich musical repertoire of church history."

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THE PROTO-DEACON: Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.

The proto-deacon's main task is to announce to the world that a pope has been elected. He shouts "Habemus Papam!" ("We have a pope!") from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square after the white smoke has snaked up from the Sistine Chapel chimney. He then introduces the new pope — in Latin — along with the name the pope has chosen.

The French-born Tauran is a veteran Vatican diplomat who served in the Dominican Republic and Lebanon. He currently heads the Vatican's office for interreligious dialogue — in other words the Vatican's primary point man for Catholic-Muslim relations. Benedict appointed him proto-deacon in 2011.

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