Allen digital organ removed from St. Peter’s reports:

The Allen digital organ was removed from St. Peter’s Basilica inside the Vatican. We thank Maestro Juan Paradell Solé for spreading this important news. On 5 January 2018, the Italian Association of Organbuilder (A.I.O) launched the petition “Appeal for the pipe organ in the Basilica of San Pietro in Vaticano” which reached within a single month the considerable number of 10,146 signatures. The petition was shared and signed by organists, art lovers and enthusiasts from all over the world, demonstrating the great cohesion of the international organ world. All those who had this appeal close to heart were finally heard.

Pray Tell reported on the installation of the digital organ here.


  1. The Italian press release from the titular organist:

    During papal celebrations at the altar of the chair, the grand pipe organ of the basilica will once again be used.

    As everyone knows, the electronic instrument was installed according to the wishes of the former director of the choir, Fr Massimo Palombella, despite my repeated attempts to have it removed.
    I draw attention to my “obedience” to a decision that I never approved.

    Recently, after the “resignation” of Palombella, I reiterated my opinion, shared by the whole organ world, that the electronic Allen should be removed so that the pipe organ in the Basilica should be restored to the place that it rightly deserves, and that it is the function of the pipe organ in the liturgy to “add splendor to the ceremonies of the Church and powerfully lift up souls to God”.

    My thanks to the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, and in particular to Monsignor Maestro Guido Marin,i who has shown himself to be particularly sensitive to the issue and promptly attentive in this regard.

    Juan Paradell Solé
    Titular Organist of the Sistine Chapel Choir

    (quick trans. PI)

    May I add that I know Paradell, and he is no fool.

    1. The fact that ANYONE thought an electronic organ would be acceptable in the Sistine Chapel is ALARMING to say the least!! This is an indication of the presence of some addlepated individuals who are not to be taken serious. NOTHING matches the sound of a PIPE ORGAN!!!!

  2. I’m overjoyed at this news! There is nothing to compare with a pipe organ and the beautiful music it makes. Catholics are traditional by nature, I feel, and there are certain things you don’t mess with, in the Church. Stained Glass, Micheal Angelo’s paintings and the Pipe Organ! Modernize elsewhere! 🙂

  3. St Peters should have the largest pipe organ in the world to do justice to the massive edifice. I recomend Fratelli Ruffafi to build a 350 rank 6 Manuel pipe Organ with multiple consoles.

  4. Good news! As an organist, I was shocked to hear the electronic organ at a service broadcast by the Vatican. It just felt out of place, and made such a difference in worship.

  5. It’s the sounds that organs make that count whether they are produced by pipes or computer chips. The energy of truly pastoral musicians should be directed to fostering the employment of all instruments in giving glory and praise to our God. Most of the clergy and church musicians I personally know who insist that only pipe organs are capable of accompanying a truly Divine Liturgy come across to me as rather elitist snobs. But then I may be mistaken.

    1. To me the Allen did seem out of place but…only because it was such a small instrument. Allen builds some very fine and very large instruments. Note First Baptist Church in Dallas Texas their Allen includes 5 manuals and more stops then I can count (that info is on the Allen website.) It (the Allen at the Vatican) was also very plain and the wood finish did not match the surroundings. A proper digital that is designed to fit the surroundings would be a great addition. One last note, take a look at the Marshal and Ogletree Organ Opus 1 that was in very historic Trinity Episcopal Church on Wal Street in NY, it looked liked it belonged there. Now the church has recovered from 911 and a new pipe organ is being installed…but for a very majestic instrument…M&O exceeded the mark.

  6. As a player of stringed instruments, I favor natural sound of wood, reed, and metal over computers and amps. Digital technology has progressed to the point where only experts can tell the difference … sometimes. If this change makes the Vatican musical braintrust feel better, that’s cool.

  7. A new pipe organ should be built in the style of Cavaillee Coll from France. One was originally proposed to be built by the firm, but they lost the contract. Just imagine an organ like St. Ouen in Rouen sounding in there with its unbelievable 32′ pedal reed.

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