Pope Shifts Worship Congregation Duties

Calls for Fresh Impetus in Promoting Sacred Liturgy

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 30, 2011 (Zenit.org).- With a document released Wednesday, Benedict XVI has shifted responsibilities in the Roman Curia to enable the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments to focus more on liturgy.

With an apostolic letter promulgated "motu proprio" (on his own initiative), the Holy Father established a new office within the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

The document, "Quaerit Semper," assigns to this new office the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination.

In taking these tasks from the worship congregation, the Holy Father explained that he sought to free up the dicastery for sacred liturgy.

"In the current circumstances it seemed fitting that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments should dedicate itself chiefly to giving fresh impetus to promoting sacred liturgy in the Church, in keeping with the renewal promoted by Vatican Council II through the Constitution 'Sacrosanctum Concilium,'" the document noted.

Benedict XVI also recalled that it is normal for the responsibilities of the Roman Curia to be changed, increased and adapted.

"The Holy See," he noted, "has always sought to adapt its structures of government to the pastoral requirements of the various historical periods that have succeeded one another in the life of the Church, modifying the organization and functions of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia."

The new norms come into effect Saturday.