Head of Vatican liturgy office moved back to Spain


The Vatican confirmed the rumours today and announced that Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has been named bishop of the archdiocese of Valencia in Spain. Cañizares was appointed head of the CDW by then-Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, and he is seen as a “little Ratzinger” in his views on liturgy.

Because Pope Francis never confirmed Cañizares in his curial position but merely allowed him to remain in it, there has been much speculation since Francis’ election in March 2013 that Cañizares would be replaced.
Traditionalists were alarmed when Pope Francis met with Archbishop Piero Marini shortly after his election to the papacy, for Piero Marini is a disciple of Annibale Bugnini who carried out the liturgical reforms under Pope Paul VI. People on all sides of the liturgical disputes wondered, with shock or glee, whether Marini would be named Cañizares’ replacement. But since Marini is 73 years old by now, some doubt that he would be named to the important curial post.
John Thavis calls it a “new chapter in Pope Francis’ revolution” that Cañizares was sent back to a diocese after being a prefect in Rome. Thavis sees this unusual move as serving to “remind the prelates that their time in Rome is a sacrifice, not a career move.”
It will be very interesting to see whom Francis names as new prefect of the CDW, and whether the new guy is more in the camp of Cañizares or of Piero Marini.


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  1. How, very, very interesting! I beg you…Can we please have our former liturgical text back? I mean, if there is anything, we should be able to ask for….is our Vatican II liturgical text. Surely, that cannot be too much to beg….”let them have cake”, yes, and it was a good one!

  2. To be fair Darlene, our “Vatican II liturgical text” was the original latin one. The english version we used for nearly 40 years was only a paraphrase of the Vatican II text. The one we use now is closer to the original. Unless you are advocating a return to the latin that is? Which I think would be a bit much quite frankly.

  3. Rarely do I see you Diffal….Allow me to clarify…I’m speaking of the text that I encountered every Sunday from about 1970 to the recent change…or, another way, the text, I had enjoyed for 30 years, at least.

  4. Joe O'Leary says:

    Diffal, the current translation offers no representation of the beauty of the Latin, and does not even attempt to. In contrast, the 1973 translation of the Roman Canon (justified line by line in a Burns and Oates booklet at the time) remains a beautiful and prayerful text. The Roman Canon has virtually disappeared from our churches thanks to the new translation. The previous translation also caught perfectly the theological content of the Canon, which disappears from view in the atomistic and doggedly over-literal new translation. I agree that the collects are more accurate, but don’t forget that the 1973 collects were never meant as more than a temporary stopgap. They were replaced in 1998 by an admirable set of preces which the Vatican stupidly turned down. For the theological inaccuracies of the new translation see the mess they made of Trinity Sunday, and for its linguistic bizarreness study the use of “acclaim” the end of many Prefacess.

  5. Brendan Cafferty says:

    Of more significance perhaps is the fact that he is returning to Spain,this may well be a harbinger of things to come ? Just as an aside I was speaking to a few fourth year University Students in a house in Galway yesterday,the type of ones that turn up at mass at Christmas/Easter when they are at home. But they all spoke positively of Pope Francis,the better aspects of the church and the opportunities out there for him to change things. With thinking like that among so many young people there is so much to be gained, and their rich heritage to be preserved. If it is lost in their generation,it is gone for good.

  6. Thank you, Father Joe, for your clarifying contribution. I appreciate your explanation.

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