The aim of these three talks will be to illustrate, within the theological/ecclesiological background of Vatican II, the significance and potential of the topic chosen for the next synod – for a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission. The talks will take account of Pope Francis’ recent decision that a synodal process of three phases – diocesan, continental, and universal – should begin in October 2021 and culminate in the synod of bishops in October 2023.
Course Leader: Dr Peter Coughlan
Dates: 6th, 13th and 20th October 2021 , 4.00– 6.00pm
This mini-series is online.
Session One will focus on:
- Synods in Christianity today: synod in first and second millenniums: a rapid contrast.
- The challenges faced by the nineteenth century Catholic Church: impact on Vatican 1.
- ‘Roman’ centralisation, in tension with currents of change up, and into Vatican II.
- Vatican II: major theological/ecclesiological developments: conciliarity.
- Paul VI: establishes the synod of bishops – why? how? papacy in transition
Session Two will focus on:
- Experiences of the early synods: positives and negatives.
- The 1985 synod called to celebrate 20 years after Vatican II: strengths/weaknesses.
- Underlying theological tensions; synods partly ‘on hold’, a degree of stagnation.
- Pope Francis: ‘collegiality’ within ‘synodality’ central to reform/evangelising agenda.
- Synod/s on family, 2014/2015: Church understood as the holy, faithful people of God.
Session Three will consider Pope Francis’ synod vision:
- Pope Francis’ address, 17 October 2015, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the synod of bishops
- ‘Path of synodality which God expects of the Church in the third millennium’
- Sensus fidei of the baptized; sacramental ministry in service to communion/mission
- Pope Francis’ three key words for the synodal process: parrhesia (boldness), mutual listening, and discernment
- Three phases plan: diocesan, continental, and universal, 2021 to 2023
- What for the future? Developing synodality: witness/dialogue/proclamation in world.
COST: £50 FOR ALL THREE SESSIONS.
(EARLY BIRD £45 – before 20 September 2021)
Registration opens 1 September 2021
Register at Eventbrite : https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-margaret-beaufort-institute-of-theology-33109216441
Dr Peter Coughlan was formerly Under-Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity, and a visiting lecturer at Heythrop College, University of London, on Environmental Ethics and on Ecclesiology/Ecumenism. He has also lectured in recent years at the Margaret Beaufort Institute for Theology, Cambridge.