The Vatican announced today that Bishop Roche of Leeds is to become the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship. This is the Vatican department that deals with liturgy. He will also acquire the title Archbishop. I imagine that he will take up his new appointment at the end of the holiday period.
No doubt, this promotion is, at least partly, in recognition of his work at ICEL, the body that is responsible for the translation of the missal into English. Congratulations are due to Bishop Roche.
The move does, of course, open up another episcopal vacancy in England and Wales. When Bishop Roche takes up his new appointment, the Diocese of Leeds will join the Diocese of East Anglia in having no bishop. In addition the Dioceses of Brentwood, Hallam, Portsmouth and Wrexham have bishops who have already passed the age of 75, the normal retirement age for bishops. Assuming there is no move to amalgamate dioceses, there will be six sees where an appointment can be expected soon. Six imaginative appointments could make a big difference to the complection of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
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