Some interesting news out of Rome today:
- Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Piero Marini as president of the Special Commission for the Liturgy in the Congregation for Eastern Churches. It’s an interesting appointment, since Marini is a Latin-rite priest. Marini, long-time MC under Pope John Paul II who was known for inculturation and local adaptation of papal liturgies, is thought to be in the good favor of Pope Francis. He was discussed as a possible candidate to be prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, but then Cardinal Sara was appointed to that post.
- As Vatican Insider reports, priests in the break-away Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) will be able to absolve sins validly during the upcoming jubilee year of mercy, which Francis sees as a move toward full communion between them and the Roman Catholic Church. And all priests will be able to absolve the sin of abortion (which is otherwise reserved to the bishop in some places). And the jubilee indulgences can be gained not only in designated cathedrals, but also within prisons for prisoners unable to leave. John Allen refers to Francis’s “daring double play” on abortion and the SSPX – and it is hard to know what to make of the pope’s delicate balancing act. Maybe he’s challenging the break-away SSPX to acknowledge his authority with respect to easier forgiveness for abortion, which puts the ball in their court.
- Today is still the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. I sure wonder why the above moves were announced today of all days – I hope it wasn’t a move on someone’s part to overshadow the day of prayer!