Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera of Toledo, Spain, as the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Cardinal Canizares succeeds Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Nigerian cardinal who has headed the congregation since 2002. Cardinal Arinze, who is 76, is expected to retire to his native Nigeria.

In Spain, Cardinal Canizares is nicknamed “the little Ratzinger” in recognition of the closeness of his views on Church issues to those of the Pope. In his new post as the Vatican’s senior liturgical official, he is expected to be a strong proponent of the Holy Father’s views regarding liturgical reform.

— Tom McFeely