By JASON HOROWITZSEPT. 9, 2017

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, who has used his absolute authority in the Vatican to decentralize power from Rome, made a widespread change Saturday to the ways, and words, in which Roman Catholics worship by amending Vatican law to give national bishop conferences greater authority in translating liturgical language.

“It’s hugely important,” said Rita Ferrone, a specialist in Catholic liturgy who writes for Commonweal, a liberal Catholic magazine. She said that by loosening Rome’s grip on the language of prayers, Francis had restored the intention of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and erased some of the rollbacks of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. “It was especially astute that he put it into canon law because it makes it official.”

Francis has not been shy in efforts to reform the church and has tread on some of its most delicate subjects, from challenging the Roman bureaucracy that runs the church to emphasizing acceptance of gays and the divorced.