Pope Francis named Archbishop Arthur Roche to lead the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, the Vatican said.
The 71-year-old archbishop succeeds Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, 75, who led the congregation from 2014 until his resignation on 20th February.
The congregation is charged with promoting the celebration of the Mass and the sacraments and fostering their correct celebration, including by overseeing the approval of the translations of liturgical books and texts.
Born in Yorkshire in 1950, the new prefect led the Diocese of Leeds until his appointment as secretary of the congregation in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. While head of the Leeds Diocese, then-Bishop Roche also served as chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, which was responsible for the current English translation of the Roman Missal, the book of prayers recited at Mass.
After Cardinal Sarah retired, Pope Francis asked Bishop Claudio Maniago of Castellaneta, president of the Italian bishops’ conference’s liturgical commission and a member of the congregation, to consult with the office staff and review its procedures.
Responding to questions from Catholic News Service through an assistant in March, Archbishop Roche said the visitation was “more in the nature of the consultations a diocesan bishop would have with his vicar general and others when he is appointing a new parish priest. In such an instance, the idea is to get to know the needs of the parish, the actual situation, as well as having an eye to its future direction.”
The Vatican also announced that Italian Bishop Vittorio Francesco Viola of Tortona will succeed Archbishop Roche as the congregation’s secretary. The pope also granted the Italian prelate the title of archbishop.
Photo: Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, is pictured with Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the same congregation at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)