Pope names East Timor/Indonesia nuncio to key Vatican post

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Sri Lankan Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, who is now serving as apostolic nuncio to Indonesia and East Timor, as secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

CLICK HERECatholic World News reports that the appointment continues the Benedict's slow transformation of the Roman Curia. It says the Sri Lankan prelate also gives the Vatican a ranking official familiar with the lively debate on "inculturation" of the liturgy in Asian countries.

Patabendige replaces Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, who was named in November to become Bishop of Assisi.

Born in the Kurunegala diocese of Sri Lanka in 1947, Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don was ordained to the priesthood in 1975, and appointed an auxiliary bishop of Colombo in 1991. In 1995 he became Bishop of Ratnapura, and in 1998 he came to Rome to serve on the staff of the Congregation for Evangelization. He was named apostolic nuncio to Indonesia and East Timor in April 2004.

Archbishop Patabendige, whose work in Rome drew the attention of Pope Benedict XVI some time ago, came to wider prominence in April 2004 with an article in L'Osservatore Romano defending the Vatican Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum and condemning liturgical abuses. His selection for the number two position in the Congregation for Divine Worship ends speculation in which the names of French Bishop Jean-Louis Brugues and the English Benedictine Abbot Cuthbert Johnson were also mentioned.

In the months since his election, Pope Benedict has made very few changes in the Roman Curia. This appointment underlines the importance that the Holy Father gives to the proper performance of the liturgy. The views of Archbishop Patabendige is considerably closer to those of Pope Benedict than the outgoing Archbishop Sorrentino.

Pope names Sri Lankan prelate to key liturgical post (Catholic World News 12/12/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don [Catholic-Hierarchy]
Vatican official says aid agencies show compassion, don't proselytize (Cathoilc News Service 1/2/05)

John L Allen: When will this pope make some changes? (National Cathoilc Reporter 9/12/05)

13 Dec 2005