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Pope puts broom through liturgy congregation

VATICAN (CWN): Pope Francis has taken the broom to the entire Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, the Vatican body in charge of all liturgical questions in the Church.

While it is routine for the pope to rotate a few members each year, on October 28, Pope Francis made the surprise announcement that he was replacing the complete complement of 27 people in the congregation, a total transformation of its makeup.

The new appointments give it a distinctly different character—in addition to a more international complexion.

Commentators say that it will probably be the end of the controversial push that its former prefect, Robert Cardinal Sarah, has been making for what he says is a greater reverence in the liturgy—what he has been calling his “reform of the reform” in terms of what was begun by Vatican II.

Some of the prominent faces in the new makeup are Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state; Beniamino Cardinal Stella, the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy; and Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

What may be considered a controversial appointment is Archbishop Piero Marini, who clashed repeatedly with various Church authorities while he was master of ceremonies for under Pope John Paul II.

There are four new members from Asia; Archbishop Romulo Valles, from Davao in The Philippines; Bishop John Bosco Chang Shin-ho, the auxiliary from Daegu in South Korea; Archbishop Dominic Jala, from Shillong in India; and Bishop Benny Mario Travas, from Multan in Pakistan.

Two others are from Oceania; Archbishop Denis Hart, from Melbourne in Australia; and John Cardinal Dew, from Wellington in New Zealand.

Significant omissions are Raymond Cardinal Burke, Angelo Cardinal Scola, George Cardinal Pell, Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco and Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.

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