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Bishop Roche named as secretary of liturgy department in Rome

By on Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Bishop Roche (Photo: Mazur/

Bishop Roche (Photo: Mazur/

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds as secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, raising him to the dignity of archbishop at the same time.

Bishop Roche, 62, stepped down as chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy earlier this year after a decade in the role. During that time he had overseen the drafting of the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

As secretary he will be the Vatican’s number two on liturgy, serving under Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, who has been nicknamed “Little Ratzinger”.

Bishop Roche said: “I have to confess that I was very surprised and shocked by the news of this appointment. I am sorry to be leaving the Diocese of Leeds with its priests and people whom I have loved very much. I shall miss them enormously.

“I am, however, aware and deeply humbled by the confidence Pope Benedict XVI shows in me in entrusting me with this responsibility. I shall do my best to fulfil the task that lies ahead.”

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the bishops’ conference of England and Wales, said: “It is a great honour for England and Wales that one of our bishops has been given this responsibility in service of the Apostolic See. Bishop Arthur has our full support and prayers as he undertakes this role. We will miss him very much.”

  • The Great Stalin

    Paul Priest calls Bishop Fellay “pig-ignorant”, and thereby loses in a moment the real respect I had for the contributions he has made to Catholic blogdom over the last few years. 

    As Charles MArtel says, the SSPX has been royally stitched up by a coterie of nay-sayers in the Curia, led no doubt by Levada. “Bad faith” doesn’t cover it. The treatment of the SSPX is a disgrace and the persecution continues. 

    And who is ultimately to blame? The Pope, that’s who. He hasn’t got Alzheimer’s, he can use the phone, email, a pen. If he wanted the regularization of the Society, we would have it, as Bishop Fellay signed the second version of the DP. 

    I refuse to be a part of the modern tendency to refuse to blame the King but instead his Ministers and advisors. The man is either mendacious or weak as water.

  • daclamat

    Well said. Learned and to the point. Incomprehensible. 

  • daclamat

    Was it a mote or a beam ?Jesus thinks you’re doing a great job. When your eye get better, have a look at the new testamemt.

  • daclamat

    Thank God we still have Hans Kung

  • watching and praying

    paul priest

  • Nat_ons

    Keep your friends close but your enemies closer still is not just a witty and worldly piece of advice, in the maelstrom of church politics it is all too often a de rigueur necessity. I know little of Bishop Roche – other than the mayhem he seems to have wrought upon Leeds’ already impoverished liturgical and associated catechetical practice – yet I suspect he (among so many) do need a hefty dose of closeness to the truly awesome Benedict XVI .. for the Bishop’s own good and ours. I trust he will be fully converted heart and soul, root and branch, mind and body to a faithful ‘hermeneutic of continuity’  and freed from the prevailing magisterium of nuns/ liturgical experts/ priestly-self-expression – no holding one’s breath out there now, or not just yet, nonetheless the best game keepers were often once themselves among some of the worst of poachers .. sadly to offer a slightly different metaphor, letting a fox get among the chickens is also a woeful possibility ..

  • teigitur

    Indeed, we must always have people to test our charity. He fullfills that role perfectly.

  • teigitur

    If only…..

  • paulpriest

    We’re talking about the Pope – and defiant rebellion!
    Irrespective of how heretical, apostate, scandalous or perverse our clerics, politicians, commentators, quangocrats, professional laity or academics…it does not remove the plain and simple fact that the SSPX are demanding THEIR terms – against the Successor to Peter who has undergone all manner of personal abuse, calumny and insult at their hands over the decades [or are we to forget the thousands of sermons?]

    The Holy Father has extended the hand to HIS flock – begging the prodigals to return home…
    From those who have been given more – more shall be expected from them.
    I accuse Fellay of ingratitude and arrogance…

    …and as for you Stalin?
    …to dare to say that about His Holiness?
    I’d knock your block off if you hadn’t already lost it!

  • Benedict Carter

    Here’s a question for Paul Priest, the Benedict XVI worshipper:

    How can someone who denies the perpetual virginity of Virgin Mary and the Transubstantiation be head of the CDF? And the worst irony? He appoints Muller the heretic head of the CDF, a man who questions the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, on the FEAST OF THE VISITATION.

    Nice one, Holy Father!

    The Church is in crisis and this Pope is doing NOTHING to make it better and EVERYTHING to make it worse. 

  • daclamat

    “It is a great honour for England and Wales that one of our bishops has been given this responsibility in service of the Apostolic See. Bishop Arthur has our full support and prayers as he undertakes this role. We will miss him very much.” Why? Roche was imposed on the people without any form of consultation. Like the rest of the Bishops, consuls of the outposts of the Roman empire. A large number of people in the Leeds diocese will be glad to see the back of him. Especially in Allerton Bywater! The diocese is teetering on the edge, closing down parishes and selling them off; an episcopal estate agent disposing off other people’s property, to fund his defence, and that of his predecessors, of his wilful ignorance of the child abuse scandal.

  • paulpriest

     I’m not a Benedict XVI worshipper.
    But I hit my knees and thank God for him…and so should everyone else given the alternatives in Conclave.

    ..and to answer your questions – in plain & simple truth: I don’t know!

    I don’t like Muller – never have – I’m incredulous at his comments on the Eucharist, Our Lady, Protestants, Liberation theology etc etc

    Benedict: The Holy Spirit will not be thwarted…if His Holiness has his reasons for the appointment [possibly an all-out assault on Austria?] I’m not going to attack him for using the best available stick to beat a dog…

    I couldn’t in full conscience have appointed him – but I’m not the Pope – and I refuse to let this diminish in any way my Love for him and my enduring gratitude for all he’s done since his ascension to the Chair of Peter.

  • Cassandra

    Until Innocent III, the Popes were actually known as vicars of St Peter !

  • venerablejohn

    God help us all!

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