Anglican Centre in Rome to host a Symposium on Synodality

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The Anglican Centre and the Rome-based Centro Pro Unione have joined forces to host a Symposium on Synodality next month. The event, to be held on October 14, at the Centro’s headquarters on Via Santa Maria dell’Anima, is particularly topical as it comes as both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches turn their attention to synods in coming weeks and will compare and contrast their different approaches. While synods form a regular part of Anglican ecclesiology – the Church of England’s next synod takes place in November – they have been less frequently organized in the Roman Catholic Church. But Pope Francis has sought to change that with the synod he has called on synodality. But rather than call bishops to Rome for a one-off, three week gathering this October, as first planned, he has asked dioceses around the world to begin an unprecedented consultation of Catholics from October 17. Then bishops will gather in Rome in 2023 after regional gatherings next year to discuss what the Spirit is entrusting to them.

The Symposium reflects many of the issues currently surrounding synodality, and aware that this consultative approach to the Church affects so many people, the two day event is being held in two languages – English and French.

In the morning, the French sessions, chaired by Anglican Centre Director Archbishop Ian Ernest, will focus on the synod development. Dr Herve Legrand, professor emeritus of the Institut Catholique de Paris, will speak on renewal and the links between episcopal and synodal renewal, as well as ecclesiology and canon law. This will be followed by a session on an Orthodox perspective on synodality in the Catholic Church from Archimandrite Dr Amphilochios Miltos, member of the International Commission for theological dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

In the afternoon, the sessions will be chaired by Centro Pro Unione Associate Director Teresa Francesca Rossi. The first will be given by the eminent academic and consultant to the Synod of Bishops in the Catholic Church, Professor Dr Myriam Wijlens. Professor Wijlens, who is professor of canon law at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Erfut, Germany, will speak on canonical possibilities, opportunities and challenges regarding synods. The final session will be given by the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, former Bishop of Guildford and an Anglican member of ARCIC III. Bishop Hill will speak on Anglican aspects of synodality. 

Concluding remarks will be given by Fr James Pugliesi, Director of the Centro Pro Unione, one of the longstanding centres dedicated to ecumenism in Rome and a regular partner of the Anglican Centre in organizing talks and other events.

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