.- Pope Benedict XVI announced on Tuesday that he has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Francis Arinze as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He is being succeeded by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera.
Cardinal Arinze was appointed to head the Congregation on October 1, 2002 by Pope John Paul II and has served in the position for the last six years.
The prefect of the Congregation oversees the regulation and promotion of the sacred liturgy, with an emphasis on the sacraments.
Pope Benedict has appointed Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, who until today was the archbishop of Toledo, Spain, to take the reins from Cardinal Arinze. At 63 years-old Cardinal Cañizares is a young cardinal, having only been given the red hat in 2006.
According to reports in the Spanish press, Cañizares will serve as the apostolic administrator of Toledo until a successor is appointed. The cardinal told the press that he will shuttle between the two positions during the transition period.
The Secretary General of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE), Bishop Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, has responded to the appointment by sending a congratulatory letter to Cardinal Cañizares. The Spanish bishops congratulated him "in particular for the confidence that the Holy Father has shown in him by calling him to work closely with him in the government of the Universal Church."