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Liturgical reform behind changes to canon law

VATICAN (SE): Pope Benedict XVI removed some canonical cases from the jurisdiction of the Congregation for Divine Worship on September 27, in an administrative move designed to give the congregation’s work a sharper focus on liturgical reform.

In a motu proprio, the pope modified canon law to allow cases involving an unconsummated marriage, as well as some other things, including the annulment of priestly ordination, to be handled by the Roman Rota. A new office of the rota will be established to deal with them.

In a press release, the Vatican said this will allow the Congregation for Divine Worship to concentrate on liturgical issues. In a brief statement explaining his intent, the pope said that the congregation should now be “free to more fully dedicate itself to the renewal of the sacred liturgy.”

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