Spanish Prelate to Replace Cardinal Arinze

Toledo Archbishop Takes on Sacraments Congregation

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera is the new prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The prelate is replacing Cardinal Francis Arinze, who is retiring for reasons of age.



Nigerian-born Cardinal Arinze, 76, has led the congregation since 2002. The Vatican press office announced today his retirement and the appointment of Cardinal Cañizares, 63.

Antonio Cañizares was born in Spain on Oct. 15, 1945. He did his seminary studies for the Diocese of Valencia and at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, where he obtained a doctorate in theology. He was ordained in 1970.

Father Cañizares spent much time as a professor, imparting courses in the theology of the Word and fundamental theology. He was named bishop of Avila in 1992 and five years later, was moved to the Diocese of Granada. In 2002, he was named archbishop of Toledo and he was made a cardinal by Benedict XVI in 2006.

He has served in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

Francis Arinze was born in 1932 and ordained a priest in 1958. He served as the archbishop of Onitsha, Nigeria. He was called to Rome to work first on the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, serving as president of that council from 1985-2002, before he was named to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.