Tracey Rowland and the ITC

Professor Tracey Rowland is the Dean and Permanent Fellow of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Melbourne, Australia.

In 2003, she published Culture and the Thomist Tradition: After Vatican II, establishing herself as a bold, fresh voice in international Catholic theological circles.

A member of the editorial board of the North American edition of Communio: International Catholic Review, she is also the author of Ratzinger’s Faith and Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Last September, Pope Francis appointed her to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s International Theological Commission.

Recently, she spoke with CWR about her recent appointment and her work with Australia’s Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.

She also shared her thoughts about the forthcoming 2015 Synod of Bishops, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, Cardinal Pell, the Church in Australia, and other topics.

CWR: In September, Pope Francis made new appointments to the International Theological Commission (ITC). Could you tell us about the ITC and its current projects?

Professor Tracey Rowland: The International Theological Commission was created after the Second Vatican Council in the late 1960s. It comprises 30 members all of whom are professional theologians.

The appointments are for 5 years and during those 5 years the theologians work on producing 3 documents covering topics of current theological significance. The three topics for the next 5 years are: (1), synodality, (2) faith and sacraments and (3) religious freedom.

CWR: Synodality seems to be very important to Pope Francis. Already, he has called two Synods of Bishops. And, he has asked the Orthodox to help us understand better the role of syodality in the life of the Church. Was the topic of synodality proposed by Pope Francis himself? As a theologian, what do you make of his sense of synodality? Why do you think it is an important issue for the ITC to discuss? Continue reading

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