New head of the Congregation for Divine Worship
The Cardinal is sometimes called a “little Ratzinger” in stories and commentaries discussing his theological convictions and deep love for the Liturgy. The expression indicates the closeness of his theological and liturgical positions with those of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. In addition, the Cardinal served the Spanish Bishops conference as a protector and defender of orthodoxy. This was similar to what was done by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he was head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, prior to ascending to the Chair of Peter.
The new prefect was the youngest of those chosen in the consistory by Pope Benedict XVI to be elevated to Cardinal. He is known to be a friend of the Holy fathers as well. He comes from Valencia, Spain and has special expertise in catechetical theology.
This position is of great significance because of the centrality of the Sacred Liturgy in the life and worship of the Catholic Church. Just who would be chosen to succeed Cardinal Arinze has been watched very closely by observers. It was of particular concern to those who have an interest in the implementation of the “Motu Propio” wherein Pope Benedict authorized the expansion of the use of the extraordinary form of the Liturgy (often called the Tridentine Rite) for all the faithful who request it. The new Prefect is known to be a friend of this use of the Extraordinary form and is a man deeply committed to liturgical fidelity.
The appointment process was also watched closely by multitudes of the faithful throughout the world who are concerned with the minimalist trends in certain liturgical circles, the declining quality of liturgical music and what seems to be a growing disregard of fidelity to liturgical norms.
The appointment of Cardinal Antonio Cańizares Llovera is seen by most observers as an indication of the continued emphasis on fidelity in the application of the Holy See’s liturgical directives and the implementation of what is being called the “reform of the reform” of the Sacred Liturgy.
This appointment has been the subject of much speculation among the “Vaticanisti’s” on the World Wide Web and was accurately predicted by the chief among them, Rocco Palmo of the increasingly popular and almost always correct “Whispers in the Loggia”.
Spanish news sources report the new Prefect will have the unusual distinction of remaining the apostolic administrator of his Diocese in Toledo, Spain until his successor, the 63 year-old Archbishop Manuel Ureńa Pastor arrives. However, the new Prefect will be in Rome and in his new seat of responsibility within 48 hours.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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