The Bishop of Leeds has been promoted by Pope Benedict XVI to a senior position in the Vatican.
The English Roman Catholic bishop, the Rt Rev Arthur Roche, 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.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales said he has been elevated to the title of Archbishop at the same time.
Bishop Roche, 62, who was born in Batley, West Yorkshire, was made Bishop of Leeds eight years ago.
He said: "I have to confess that I was very surprised and shocked by the news of this appointment.
"I am sorry to be leaving the Diocese of Leeds with its priests and people whom I have loved very much. I shall miss them enormously.
"I am, however, aware and deeply humbled by the confidence Pope Benedict XVI shows in me in entrusting me with this responsibility. I shall do my best to fulfil the task that lies ahead."
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales, said: "It is a great honour for England and Wales that one of our bishops has been given this responsibility in service of the Apostolic See.
"Bishop Arthur has our full support and prayers as he undertakes this role. We will miss him very much."
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is one of nine departments that form the Roman Curia. It handles the regulation and promotion of the Church's liturgy, or worship.