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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Traditionalist Catholics will have a sympathizer in the new head of the Vatican’s liturgical office.
Pope Benedict XVI has named Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, currently Archbishop of Toledo, Spain, as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Vatican announced Tuesday (Dec. 9).
Canizares, who will handle all aspects of church life that relate to worship and liturgy, succeeds Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, who at 76 is now one year past the standard retirement age.
Canizares, 63, has supported accommodating Catholics who prefer the Tridentine or “Old Latin” Mass, which fell out of use following the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s as local-language Mass became the norm. Benedict lifted restrictions on the Tridentine Mass in July 2007.
Widely known as the “little Ratzinger,” Canizares was the Spanish bishops’ top doctrinal official from 1985 to 1992, playing a similar role on a national level as that performed for the church at large by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict.
In a 2006 interview, Canizares also attributed his nickname to his intellectual and spiritual “attunement and communion” with the pope.
The cardinal has been a prominent critic of Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Jose Rodriguez Zapatero for policies that include the legalization of same-sex marriage and a proposal to reduce religious education in public schools.
By Francis X. Rocca
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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