Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's Official: Dominican Augustine DiNoia to Head the Congregation for Divine Worship

Fr. Augustine DiNoia, OP, a Bronx native, has been named Secretary for the Congregation of Divine Worship and will be elevated to the rank of Archbishop. Well respected for his work as executive director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices for the US National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) from 1993 to 2001, the 'then' Cardinal Ratzinger called him to the Eternal City to work as his undersecretary at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II in April, 2002.

Fr. DiNoia is a a prolific writer, editor, professor and brilliant theologian who is purported to have ghost-written Redemptionis Sacramentum (On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist).
Speculation continues as to why Pope Benedict replaced his favored Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith with Fr. DiNoia. Rather than appointing a known 'liturgist', Pope Benedict would seem to be emphasizing the theological heart of worship by the selection of his trusted collaborator. The Holy Father has written extensively on the theology of the liturgy and the organic continuity of worship, a topic near and dear to his heart. At a time when the English re-translation of the Roman Missal is being finalized and the murmurs of something historic brewing on the Anglo-Catholic front, a theologian of DiNoia's acumen appears inspired.

Theology of the liturgy means that God acts through Christ in the liturgy and that we cannot act but through Him and with Him. Of ourselves, we cannot construct the way to God. This way does not open up unless God Himself becomes the way. And again, the ways of man which do not lead to God are non-ways. Theology of the liturgy means furthermore that in the liturgy, the Logos Himself speaks to us; and not only does He speak, He comes with His Body, and His Soul, His Flesh and His Blood, His Divinity and His Humanity, in order to unite us to Himself, to make of us one single "body." In the Christian liturgy, the whole history of salvation, even more, the whole history of human searching for God is present, assumed and brought to its goal. The Christian liturgy is a cosmic liturgy – it embraces the whole of creation which "awaits with impatience the revelation of the sons of God" (Rom. 8; 9)...The liturgy derives its greatness from what it is, not from what we make of it.
Cardinal Ratzinger on the Liturgy

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