November 24, 2023

Spiritual adviser to synod to give presentation on Dec. 6 at cathedral

Criterion staff report

Dominican Father Timothy RadcliffeDominican Father Timothy Radcliffe, spiritual advisor to the recent assembly of the Synod of Bishops on synodality at the Vatican, will speak on his experience of the synod meeting at 4 p.m. on Dec. 6 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. The public is invited to attend.

A scripture scholar and former master of the Order of Preachers, the British priest led synod delegates in a three-day retreat prior to the Oct. 4-29 meeting and gave reflections during the gathering.

During the retreat, Father Timothy cited several religious order leaders as examples that synod participants could look to “about the art of conversation.”

“St. Benedict teaches us to seek consensus; St. Dominic to love debate; St. Catherine of Siena to delight in conversation; and St. Ignatius of Loyola, the art of discernment,” he told his listeners.

Reflecting on the synod during a press briefing on Oct. 27 at the Vatican, Father Timothy said he appreciated bishops allowing greater participation of non-bishops as voting members, particularly lay women and men. That, he noted, clearly expresses what it really means to be a bishop.

By having leaders of the Roman Curia, young women from Latin America or Asia and bishops all sitting together, this also “shows the bishop not as a solitary individual but immersed in the conversation of his people, listening, talking, learning together,” Father Timothy noted in a story on OSV News.

“I think this way of holding a synod reveals much more clearly than any previous synod I’ve been to what it means to be a bishop,” he said.

“It is a synod that gathers to see how we can be Church in a new way, rather than what decisions need to be taken,” to see “how we can be a Church that listens to each other across cultures and listens to the tradition across time,” Father Timothy added. †

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