Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Archbishop Arthur Roche
Vatican names new liturgy chief

Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Arthur Roche last Thursday as the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Archbishop Roche, the current secretary for the congregation, succeeds Cardinal Robert Sarah, who served as its prefect for six years until the Pope accepted his resignation in February at the age of 75.

The Vatican announced the English archbishop’s appointment on May 27, along with the nomination of Italian Bishop Vittorio Francesco Viola of Tortona as the congregation’s secretary and Spanish Msgr Aurelio García Marcías as under-secretary.

Archbishop Roche, 71, has worked in the divine worship congregation since his appointment by Benedict XVI in 2012.

He was an auxiliary bishop of the English Diocese of Westminster from 2001 to 2002, when he was named coadjutor bishop of Leeds in West Yorkshire. He served as bishop of Leeds from 2004 to 2012, with his tenure marked by controversy over church closures.

He was also chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) from 2002 to 2012, helping to oversee a new translation of the Roman Missal.


Pope Francis launches Laudato si’ action plan

Pope Francis launched May 25 the Vatican’s seven-year Laudato si’ action plan to implement environmental sustainability in different sectors of the Church from religious orders to Catholic schools and hospitals.

“We need a new ecological approach that can transform our way of dwelling in the world, our styles of life, our relationship with the resources of the Earth and, in general, our way of looking at humanity and of living life,” Pope Francis said in a video message May 24.

The Pope marked the end of the year celebrating the fifth anniversary of his environmental encyclical Laudato si’ with the message announcing the initiative.

He said that the year would be followed immediately by a seven-year plan known as the Laudato si’ Action Platform.

The Laudato si’ Action Platform will focus on seven sectors: families, parishes, schools, hospitals, businesses, organisations, and religious orders.

The Pope explained that the action plan also has seven goals: the response to the cry of the earth, the response to the cry of the poor, ecological economics, adoption of simple lifestyles, ecological education, ecological spirituality, and community involvement.


Pre-seminary ordered out of Vatican City

The Vatican announced May 25 that Pope Francis has decided to move a pre-seminary at the centre of an abuse and cover-up trial out of Vatican City.

The Holy See press office said the Pope had told Fr Angelo Magistrelli, rector of the St Pius X Pre-seminary, that the institution would move to a new location in September.

The pre-seminary is a residence for about a dozen boys aged 12 to 18 who serve at papal Masses and other liturgies in St Peter’s Basilica and are considering the priesthood.

The press office said: “His Holiness did not fail, on this occasion, to express his deep gratitude to Fr Magistrelli for the work done in these 75 years since the foundation of the institution, recognising that it retains its educational validity and asking that it may continue the appreciated liturgical service performed by the young students in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.”

“This is, therefore, a new stage in the life and activity of the St Pius X Pre-seminary, which will undoubtedly offer it new opportunities for growth and development, especially in the area of promoting vocations to the sacred ministry.”