Pope Francis Appoints Vatican Master of Ceremonies Msgr. Guido Marini to Italian Diocese

Since 2007, with few exceptions, Bishop-elect 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.

Bishop-elect Guido Marini walks beside Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday 2021 in St. Peter's Basilica.
Bishop-elect Guido Marini walks beside Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday 2021 in St. Peter's Basilica. (photo: Vatican Media / National Catholic Register)

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

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

The bishop-elect, 56, grew up near Tortona in the city of Genoa, where he served as chief liturgist for four years. He 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, Bishop-elect 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 Bishop-elect Marini was the head. They are responsible for organizing and overseeing all liturgical celebrations of the Pope. Since 2007, with few exceptions, Bishop-elect 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.

His 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 officer of the Office of Papal Charities since 2013 and also serves as one of the masters of ceremonies.

Another candidate for the role is Father 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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