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Outgoing Vatican prefect says he asked for appointment to Spanish archdiocese

August 29, 2014

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, who has been named Archbishop of Valencia, Spain, after almost six years as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has said that he sought the change.

“It was my desire to return to a diocese,” Cardinal Cañizares told La Stampa. He welcomed the new assignment, he said, because “for a shepherd there is nothing better than being among his flock.”

The new assignment for Cardinal Cañizares had raised eyebrows because it is highly unusual for the prefect of a Vatican congregation to return to his native town as an archbishop.

The Spanish cardinal’s statement contradicts an Associated Press story on his new assignment, which had suggested that Pope Francis ousted Cardinal Cañizares because of his conservative approach to liturgical issues.

The Pope has not yet named a successor for Cardinal Cañizares as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. That fact is unusual; ordinarily when the prefect of a Vatican congregation retires or is reassigned, his replacement is named immediately.


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