The Bishop of Leeds, who has been promoted by Pope Benedict XVI to a senior position in the Vatican, said he is "sorry to be leaving" the Diocese.
The Rt Rev Arthur Roche was appointed a Secretary in 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, said it had been "an enormous privilege" to have served the people in the Diocese of Leeds.
"I was very shocked. It was an enormous surprise. I wasn't expecting anything of that kind, I'm very happy being the Bishop of Leeds and I had nothing other than that beyond my sights," he said.
Bishop Roche, who was born in Batley, West Yorkshire, was made Bishop of Leeds eight years ago.
He said: "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."
Bishop Roche said he was "deeply humbled" to become Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, a key department within the Roman Curia.
Archbishop of Westminster and leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales, The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, 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.