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Archbishop Justin Rigali of Saint Louis was among the five cardinals and sixteen bishops from around the world appointed by Pope John Paul II as members of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW). The announcement was made June 5.
The CDW oversees the discipline of the sacraments, and their valid and licit celebration (including marriage annulments). Bishop members consult with the Vatican officials on these matters by mail or by meetings in the curial offices in Rome.
The CDW is headed by Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estèvez, and includes a panel of consulters in addition to regular Vatican staff (Father James Moroney, of the US Bishops' Committee on the liturgy is a consulter. See AB May 1999, p 1 )
The new list of members reflects a growing need for participation by bishops from all parts of the world in CDW decisions. Of the 21 newly-appointed prelates, seven are from the Americas, four each from Asia and Western Europe, two from Eastern Europe, and one each from Africa and Australia.
Language groups represented also reflect a shift. More than half of the new members are from predominantly English -- and Spanish -- speaking countries (six each), where new translations of liturgical texts are under consideration.
Archbishop Rigali, an official of the Congregation for Bishops before he became archbishop of Saint Louis, was one of the three US bishops who consulted with Vatican officials of the CDW and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the revised text for the US Lectionary for Mass.
Proposed revisions to the Sacramentary, submitted to the Holy See early this year, require Vatican approval and are expected to involve similarly extensive consultations.
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