28 October 2016, The Tablet

Pope overhauls Cardinal Sarah’s department

The move will be considered an attempt to rein in the Cardinal

Pope Francis today appointed a raft of new members to Cardinal Robert Sarah’s liturgy department, choosing a series of pastoral moderates to replace more conservative-minded figures.

The move will be read as the Pope’s attempt to rein in the cardinal who has consistently called for priests to celebrate Mass facing East, something the Pope reprimanded him for earlier this year.

Among the new members of the department – formally known as the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments – are Piero Marini, a long-serving master of papal ceremonies and a key proponent of the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

Others named as members, who will effectively oversee Cardinal Sarah’s work and vote on decisions, include Cardinal Pietro Parolin (Vatican Secretary of State) and New Zealand Cardinal John Dew.

Cardinal Sarah, from Guinea, has consistently called for priests to turn their backs on the congregation while celebrating Mass and has struck a very different tone to the Pope’s merciful approach to families in difficult circumstances. Francis this week spoke at the St John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in place of the cardinal, where he stressed the importance of priests accompanying families struggling to live up to the Church’s teaching on family life.

The complete list of department members is as follows:


Rainer Maria Woelki

John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan

Pietro Parolin

Gérald Cyprien Lacroix

Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo

John Atcherley Dew

Ricardo Blázquez Pérez

Arlindo Gomes Furtado

Gianfranco Ravasi

Beniamino Stella

Dominic Jala

Domenico Sorrentino

Denis James Hart

Piero Marini

Bernard-Nicolas Aubertin

Romulo G. Valles

Lorenzo Voltolini Esti

Arthur Joseph Serratelli

Claudio Maniago

Bernt Ivar Eidsvig

Miguel Ángel D'Annibale

José Manuel Garcia Cordeiro

Charles Morerod

Jean-Pierre Kwambamba Masi

Benny Mario Travas

John Bosco Chang Shin-Ho

  Loading ...
Get Instant Access
Subscribe to The Tablet for just £7.99

Subscribe today to take advantage of our introductory offers and enjoy 30 days' access for just £7.99