A friend who works in Rome tells me that Archbishop Arthur Roche, the newly appointed Secretary at the Congregation of Divine Worship, is to start work this coming Monday. Oddly, he still remains the Administrator of Leeds Diocese as well - odd in that it would seem a hard ask of anyone to live in Rome and start a new job while simultaneously keeping responsibility for what goes on in an English diocese. I hear that he is in Tuscany on a language course at the moment brushing up on his Italian.
Archbishop Roche was often perceived while Bishop of Leeds to be resistant to the Mass being celebrated in its 1962 Form and even to Pope Paul VI's Mass being celebrated in Latin. How this history will go down at the Congregation where the previous Secretary, Archbishop DiNoia, has moved to the Ecclesia Dei Commission is anyone's guess. To give a clue to the prevailing thinking on such matters, a previous Secretary of Divine Worship, Archbishop (now Cardinal Ranjith) has spoken very strongly on those who give a restrictive interpretation to Summorum Pontificum as "in rebellion against the Pope". However, as often happens, a new job can be the opportunity for a new start.
Anyway, I'm sure that this can't be an easy job so let us keep Archbishop Roche in our prayers that he might be, in the words of the new Bishop of Portsmouth, Philip Egan, "humble and holy, orthodox, creative and courageous... one fashioned after the Lord's own [heart]."
.A Tuscan scene