ROME — Pope Francis named Msgr. Guido Marini, who has served as papal master of ceremonies since 2007, as bishop of the Diocese of Tortona.
Bishop-designate Marini will succeed Italian Bishop Vittorio Francesco Viola, who had led the Diocese of Tortona — located in the northern Italian region of Piedmont — from 2014 until May 2021, after he was appointed secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
The Vatican announced the appointment Aug. 29.
In a message sent to his new diocese, Marini expressed “his profound gratitude” to Pope Francis not only for his appointment but also “for what he has given me in the years in which I have had the grace of serving him closely in papal liturgical celebrations.”
He also expressed “a grateful and admiring thought” to retired Pope Benedict XVI.
Born in Genoa, Marini was ordained a priest in 1989 and continued his studies at the Pontifical Lateran University, where he obtained a doctorate in both canon and civil law. He also obtained a doctorate in communication psychology in 2007.
Prior to serving as papal master of ceremonies, he served as personal secretary to three cardinals, including the late Cardinals Giovanni Canestri and Dionigi Tettamazi, both of whom led the Archdiocese of Genoa, and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, former Vatican secretary of state.
In an interview with local Italian radio station, Radio PNR Tortona, Marini said that upon hearing news of his appointment, he immediately felt two “alternating feelings.”
“On the one hand, I felt the joy of knowing that, through the church, I have been given a great gift of becoming a successor of the apostles,” he said. “So, receiving this call is a great gift that I can only be grateful and joyful for before the Lord.”
However, he continued, “on the other hand, there is much fear and trepidation for the great responsibility entrusted to me, for which I entrust myself to the help of the Lord and the protection of Our Lady who have accompanied me in these first moments of my path, of our path.”
When asked to give a message to the priests of his new diocese, Marini said he looked forward to working with them and that they are “first and foremost collaborators, companions on this journey, and friends.”
“I believe the reference point should always be that of Jesus with the apostles, how Jesus was with his apostles, and who the apostles were for Jesus. That is how the bishop should be for his priests and priests for their bishop,” he said.
“I wanted to highlight this aspect because this should be and will be with the help of the Lord, an important and fundamental dimension,” he added. “Truly, I carry our priests in my heart, I feel they are already traveling companions, as friends with whom we will go forward together and who together will listen to the spirit to bring the Lord to our people.”