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 CNS Story:

DINOIA-WORSHIP Jun-16-2009 (710 words) xxxi

U.S. Dominican theologian named secretary of worship congregation

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has named U.S. Dominican Father J. Augustine DiNoia an archbishop and secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

"I am happy the pope has entrusted to me an area that he considers so important," the archbishop-designate told Catholic News Service June 16, shortly after the Vatican announced his new assignment.

"I think the liturgy should give us a sense of the heavenly liturgy; it's about God, not us," he said.

Archbishop-designate DiNoia, 65, has served as undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2002. Pope John Paul II had named him to the Vatican position and for his first three years at the doctrinal congregation, his superior was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, elected pope in 2005.

Regarding his appointment to the Vatican office overseeing matters concerning the liturgy and sacraments, he said, "My understanding was that the pope was looking for someone with a broad theological background."

While his studies and his ministry as a priest have been heavily theological, for Dominicans "theology and liturgy go together," he said.

His episcopal ordination will be July 11 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington; U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the doctrinal congregation, will preside at the liturgy, he said.

At the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, Archbishop-designate DiNoia succeeds Sri Lankan Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, who was named archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 16. Archbishop Ranjith, a former nuncio, had served as the congregation secretary since 2005.

One of the major tasks facing the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is overseeing the final approval and use of a new English translation of the Mass. It was widely believed the pope would choose another native English-speaker as secretary of the congregation after he appointed Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera to be congregation prefect last December.

Looking at liturgy today, Archbishop-designate DiNoia said, "The great danger is when the focus is on the celebrating community" rather than on God.

Like auxiliary bishops, Vatican nuncios and the other archbishops serving as secretaries of Vatican congregations, he has been assigned a "titular see" rather than a diocese.

The New York City native will be the first titular archbishop of Oregon City, Ore., which he said was the oldest metropolitan see in the United States after Baltimore, the first U.S. archdiocese. Oregon City became an archdiocese in 1846, but the archdiocese was transferred to Portland in 1928. Oregon City became a titular archdiocese in 1996, but no archbishop had been assigned the title until now.

When Father DiNoia was called to the Vatican he was serving as director of the Intercultural Forum for Studies in Faith and Culture, a Catholic think tank at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington.

Prior to the center's opening, he served for eight years as the executive director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices at the U.S. bishops' conference in Washington. In that position and especially as a member of the papally appointed International Theological Commission from 1997-2002, he already had worked with Cardinal Ratzinger before moving to the Vatican.

Archbishop-designate DiNoia also has taught theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington and has served as an adjunct professor at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Washington and at St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie, N.Y.

He served as editor in chief of The Thomist, a quarterly journal of philosophical and theological studies. In addition to writing numerous articles, essays and lectures, he is the author of a 1992 book, "The Diversity of Religions: A Christian Perspective," and a co-author of the 1996 study, "The Love That Never Ends: A Key to the 'Catechism of the Catholic Church."

Born July 10, 1943, he was ordained a priest June 4, 1970, after studies at Cardinal Hayes High School in New York, Providence College in Rhode Island, and the Dominican House of Studies.

He has a master's degree in philosophy and several theology degrees, including a doctorate from Yale University in 1980, where his dissertation was on "Catholic Theology of Religions and Interreligious Dialogue." In 1998 the Dominican order conferred on him the master of sacred theology degree.


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