Pope appoints Bishop of Leeds to top Vatican post

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A SENIOR Yorkshire cleric has been promoted by Pope Benedict XVI to a top post in the Vatican.

The Rt Rev Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds, has been made Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, a key department within the Roman Curia, the administrative arm of the Roman Catholic Church. He has been elevated to the title of Archbishop at the same time.

Bishop Roche, 62, who was born in Batley and was made Bishop of Leeds eight years ago, said he was “very surprised and shocked”.

He said: “I am sorry to be leaving the Diocese of Leeds with its priests and people whom I have loved very much. I am, however, aware and deeply humbled by the confidence Pope Benedict XVI shows in me in entrusting me with this responsibility.”

The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales, said it was a great honour to be given the role.