Theologian Piero Coda is the new Secretary of the International Theological Committee

Professor of Systematic Theology at the Sofia University Institute in Lupiano, succeeding Father Serge Thomas Bonino who held this position for three terms. Twelve new members were appointed, including three women and one layperson. Plenary meeting scheduled for 2022

Salvatore Sernozio – Vatican City

Monsignor Piero Coda, theologian and philosopher, and currently Professor of Systematic Theology at the Sofia University Institute in Lupiano, is the new Secretary General of the International Theological Commission. The papal appointment was announced today by the Vatican Press Office. Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Turin and in Theology in the Lateran, where he also taught from 1985 to 2008, succeeding Coda as General Secretary to the Dominican Father Serge Thomas Bonino, who held this position for three terms. In addition to Bonino, the term of Monsignor Riccardo Bolati, Deputy Secretary of the Commission to date, ends. The latter was succeeded by Monsignor Maurizio Barba, official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

A commitment to interfaith dialogue

Monsignor Coda currently coordinates the Department of Theology, Philosophy and Human Sciences at the Institut Sophia in Val d’Arno, founded by Chiara Lubic. He was Dean of the same institute from 2008 to 2020. A former member of the Theological Committee, as well as of the Italian Theological Association (also President from 2003 to 2011) and the Pontifical Academy of Theology, he is involved in many research groups in different countries, such as one in Trinity Anthropology Selam in Latin America. With rich experience in dialogue with Shiite Islam, he is an advisor to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity and a member of the Joint International Committee for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. He is the author of numerous theological publications, most of which have been translated into various languages, and is well known for his international commitment to interdisciplinary and interreligious dialogue. He also collaborates with many scientific and cultural journals.


Pope Francis greets Monsignor Piero Coda in attendance with the Sofia community, November 14, 2019

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Twelve new members

In addition to the General Secretary, Pope Francis has always appointed twelve new members to the same theological commission, all theologians and experts from different schools and countries (mostly from Europe), “life cases and religious gifts”. Women’s attendance was also boosted, “as a sign of a growing commitment on the part of women in the field of theological sciences”, with the appointment of three theologians. Among the new members is a secular theologian.

The appointments are the result of the consultation that took place in the first months of 2020 between the episcopal conferences of the world and the councils of the eastern dioceses. On the responses received, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, head of the Doctrine of the Faith, offered the Pope a preference for the candidates; Then the Supreme Pontiff proceeded to the appointments.

The new members are: Reverend Edward Addy, Dean of the Catholic University of West Africa in Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso); Yuri B. Avakomov, Professor of Theology and History of Christianity in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend (USA); Alberto Cosi, Dean of the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences in Milan (Italy); Marek Jagodzinski, Professor of Orthodox Theology at the Faculty of Theology at John Paul II Catholic University in Lublin (Poland); Victor Ronald La Barrera Villarreal, Vice Dean of Centro Bíblico Teológico Pastoral para América Latina y el Caribe in Bogota (Colombia). The parents were also named: Jorge José Ferrer, SI, Director of the School of Theology at the Pontifical University Católica de Puerto Rico; Simon Francis Gaine, OP, responsible for the Pinckaers Chair in Theological Anthropology and Ethics at the Tomistic Institute of the Pontifical University in St. Thomas – Angelicum in Rome; Etienne Emmanuel Vetö, ICN, Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; Father José Ngalula, RSA, Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Faculty of Theology at the Catholic University of the Congo in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The Theological Committee also includes Professors Robin Darling Young, Professor of Church History in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington (USA); Reinhard Hetter, Professor of Theology in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington (USA); Isabelle Neumann, of the Marian Sisters Secular Institute in Schönstatt, Dean of the Catholic Institute of Sydney (Australia).

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The five-year term has been renewed 2021-26

At the same time, Pope Francis renewed the mandates of the other members for a period of five years from 2021-2026, who expressed their gratitude for the “competent and enthusiastic theological service”. The authority explained in a statement that the ninth five-year period of activity (2014-2019) – which began with the papal appointment of its members on July 26, 2014 – ended with the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the authority. to will. It was Paul VI, on April 11, 1969, who wanted to create this commission with the aim of assisting the Holy See, and in particular the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in examining the most important doctrinal and substantive questions. In recent decades, the commission has published 30 documents; Three of them have been printed in the past five years: “The Council in the Life and Mission of the Church” (2018); “Religious freedom for the good of all” (2019); Reciprocity between faith and secrets in the management of the secrets (2020).

year 2022

The statement states that the usual consultations of episcopal conferences around the world, along with the synods of the eastern parishes, for the renewal of committee members had begun in the early months of 2020, but the spread of the epidemic led to the cancellation of the plenary session scheduled for November 2020, delaying the start of the period New five-year construction for more than a year. The new International Theological Commission is made up of 28 members, compared to 30 in the five-year period that just ended, and the note also shows the distribution of theologians to the new group based on geographic origin. In general, the new composition consists of: 14 representatives from Europe (as in the previous 5 years), 5 from South America (as in the previous 5 years), 3 from Asia (as in the previous 5 years), 3 from Africa (as in the previous 5 years) , 2 from North America (3 formerly) and 1 from Australia (as in the previous 5 years). Moreover, the fact is emphasized that, like the past five years, how the ecclesiastical origin of the members was more diverse, according to the different life situations and religious talents represented. Now, the memo concludes, a formal invitation to the plenary, in the first week of Advent, can only be expected for 2022.

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