John L. Allen Jr.: New parlor game: Debating the Pope’s greatest ‘resurrections’

(Crux) Vatican-watchers are a bit like baseball fans in their near-maniacal obsession with the details of the game: Cataloguing the nine ways to reach first base without a hit, for instance, or dissecting the various gradations of papal authority (an “apostolic exhortation” versus a motu proprio, and so on.)

In that spirit, I’d like to suggest a new parlor game to amuse all those who enjoy reading Vatican tea leaves: Debating the greatest ecclesiastical “resurrections” under Pope Francis, i.e., figures in the Church whose careers appeared to be effectively over before March 13, 2013, and who are now back in the limelight.

The thought occurs in light of the Vatican’s announcement on Friday of new members appointed by Francis for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the top office for liturgical policy, including Italian Archbishop Piero Marini.

For anyone around during the John Paul II years, Marini is a very familiar figure, having served as the Polish pope’s Master of Liturgical Ceremonies for twenty years from 1987 to 2007.

That time overlapped with the run of Chilean Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship from 1996 to 2002, and the tensions between the two men were the stuff of Vatican legend.

While Medina was a stickler for tradition, Marini is an innovator fired by a progressive reading of the Second Vatican Council. Legendarily, he would approve flourishes during the pope’s own Masses that would never have passed muster on Medina’s watch in a local parish. [More]