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These are the members of the Synod on Synodality study groups
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Pope Francis among the delegates of the Synod on Synodality, held in October of 2023. | Credit: Vatican Media

The Vatican published Tuesday the names of the members of 15 study groups doing deeper analyses on questions such as women deacons, the ministry of bishops, and synodal formation for future priests from last year’s session of the Synod on Synodality.

Some of the groups were formed at the request of Pope Francis, who asked the dicasteries of the Roman Curia to collaborate with the General Secretariat of the Synod to deepen the theological, pastoral, and canonical reflections on certain themes that emerged during the synodal assembly in October 2023.

Additional study groups were also created to provide deeper theological analysis of “five perspectives” ahead of the second session of the synod, to be held at the Vatican Oct. 2–27. 

The Instrumentum Laboris, the guiding document for the October 2024 assembly, makes reference to these study groups throughout.

The groups “are entrusted with the task of delving into 10 themes emerging from the [summary report of the first session] and identified by the pope at the end of an international consultation. These study groups, made up of pastors and experts from all continents, use a synodal working method,” the document said.

Here is the full list of study group members as presented by the Vatican:

Group 1

Some aspects of relations between Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Church (summary report 6)

1. Professor Péter SZABÓ, professor of canon law in the Post-Gradual Institute of Canon Law in Budapest (HUNGARY), consultor of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches, coordinator

2. Cardinal Claudio GUGEROTTI, prefect of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches

3. Archbishop Laurent ULRICH, archbishop of Paris and ordinary for the Eastern Faithful residing in France and lacking the hierarchy of their own Church “sui iuris” (FRANCE)

4. Archbishop Cyril VASIL’, SI, archbishop of Kosice for Catholics of the Byzantine Rite (SLOVENIA)

5. Archbishop Boghos Levon ZEKIYAN, archbishop of Istanbul, Constantinople, of the Armenians (TURKEY)

6. Archbishop Borys GUDZIAK, archbishop of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians (U.S.A.)

7. Archbishop Michel JALAKH, OAM, secretary of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches

8. Bishop Joseph SRAMPICKAL, bishop of the Eparchy of Great Britain of the Syro-Malabars (GREAT BRITAIN)

9. Bishop Flaviano Rami AL-KABALAN, apostolic visitor for the Syrian Catholic Faithful residing in Europe and procurator of the Syrian Catholic Church in Rome (ITALY)

10. Father Filippo CIAMPANELLI, undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches

11. Father John D. FARIS, corepiscop of the Maronite Church (LEBANON)

12. Father Daniel GALADZA, official of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches

13. Dr. Daoud Boutros TAYEH, secretary-general of the Pastoral Council of the Maronite Eparchy of Jounieh (LEBANON).

Group 2

Listening to the cry of the poor (summary report 4 and 16)

1. Dr. Sandie CORNISH, professor of Social Doctrine of the Church in the Australian Catholic University in North Sydney (AUSTRALIA), member of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, coordinator

2. Cardinal Michael CZERNY, SI, prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development

3. Father Francis MAZZITELLI, FDP, head of the Office of the Dicastery for the Service of Charity

4. Sister Maria CIMPERMAN, RSCJ, professor of Theological Ethics and Consecrated Life in the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, U.S.A.

5. Dr. Joseph GUNN, executive director of the Oblate Centre, A Voice for Justice in Saint Paul University in Ottawa (CANADA)

6. Dr. Mauricio LÓPEZ OROPEZA, vice president of the Amazon Ecclesial Conference

7. Dr. Leocadie LUSHOMBO, professor of theological ethics in the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, U.S.A.

8. Professor Agnes BRAZAL, professor of theology in De La Salle University in Manila (PHILIPPINES)

Group 3

Mission in the digital environment (summary report 17)

1. Dr. Kim DANIELS, director of Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life in Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (U.S.A.), coordinator

2. Archbishop Rino FISICHELLA, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization (Section for Fundamental Issues of Evangelization in the World)

3. Dr. Paolo RUFFINI, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication

4. Bishop Paul Desmond TIGHE, secretary of the Dicastery for Culture and Education

5. Father Lucio Adrián RUIZ, secretary of the Dicastery for Communication

6. Father Antonino SPADARO, SI, undersecretary of the Dicastery f o r Culture and Education

7. Sister Nathalie BECQUART, Xavière, undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod

8. Father Joseph BORG, professor of media and communications in the University of Malta (MALTA)

Group 4

The revision of the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis.

In a missionary synodal perspective (summary report 11)

1. Cardinal José COBO CANO, archbishop of Madrid ( SPAIN), coordinator

2.  Cardinal Jean-Claude HOLLERICH, SI, archbishop of Luxembourg (LUXEMBOURG), general rapporteur of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

3. Cardinal Lazarus HEUNG-SIK, prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy

4. Father Eamonn MCLAUGHLIN, assistant undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Clergy for the Office of Formation.

5. Father Mario ANTONELLI, rector of the Pontifical Lombard Seminary in Rome (ITALY)

6. Father Hubertus BLAUMEISER, director of the magazine Ekklesía and member of the Study Center of the Focolare Movement (ITALY), consultor of the Dicastery for the Clergy

7. Father Andrew RECEPCIÓN, spiritual director of the Pontifical Philippine College in Rome (ITALY)

8. Father Guy BOGNON, PSS, secretary-general of the Pontifical Missionary Work of St. Peter the Apostle

9. Dr. María Lia ZERVINO of the Servidora Association, council member of the Laudato Si' Movement, consultant to the Dicastery for Bishops and the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue

Group 5

Some theological and canonical issues around specific ministerial forms (summary report 8 and 9)

The in-depth study of the issues at hand — particularly the question of the necessary participation of women in the life and leadership of the Church — has been entrusted to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the coordination of the secretary for the Doctrinal Section, Monsignor Armando MATTEO, and in dialogue with the Secretariat General of the Synod. The dicastery has initiated its study according to the procedures established in its own Rules of Procedure, with a view to the publication of an appropriate document.

Group 6

The revision, from a synodal and missionary perspective, of documents governing relations between bishops, consecrated life, Church aggregations (summary report 10)

1. Cardinal Joseph William TOBIN, CSR, archbishop of Newark (U.S.A.), coordinator

2. Cardinal Luis Antonio G. TAGLE, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization (Section for First Evangelization and New Particular Churches)

3. Cardinal João BRAZ DE AVIZ, prefect of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life

4. Cardinal Kevin Joseph FARRELL, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life

5. Cardinal Robert Francis PREVOST, OSA, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops

6. Sister Simona BRAMBILLA, MC, secretary of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life

7. Archbishop Luis MARÍN DE SAN MARTÍN, OSA, undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod

8. Dr. Linda GHISONI, undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life

Group 7

Some aspects of the figure and ministry of the bishop (particularly: criteria for the selection of candidates for the episcopate, judicial function of the bishop, nature and conduct of ad limina Apostolorum visits) in a missionary synodal perspective (summary report 12 and 13)

1. Archbishop Felix GENN, bishop of Münster (GERMANY), member of the Dicastery for Bishops, coordinator

2. Cardinal Luis G. TAGLE, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization (Section for First Evangelization and New Particular Churches)

3. Cardinal Jean-Claude HOLLERICH, SI, archbishop of Luxembourg (LUXEMBOURG), general rapporteur of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

4.  Cardinal Leonardo Ulrich STEINER, OFM, archbishop of Manaus (BRAZIL), vice president of the Amazon Ecclesial Conference

5. Cardinal Mario GRECH, secretary-general of the General Secretariat of the Synod.

6. Cardinal Robert Francis PREVOST, OSA, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops

7. Cardinal Claudio GUGEROTTI, prefect of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches

8. Father Samuele SANGALLI, undersecretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization (Section for First Evangelization and New Particular Churches)

9. Father Giacomo COSTA, SI, president of the “San Fedele Cultural Foundation” in Milan (ITALY), Special Secretary of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

10. Sister Hermenegild MAKORO, CPS, former secretary-general of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa (SOUTH AFRICA)

11. Dr. Karlijn DEMASURE, head of the Centre for Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons in Saint Paul University in Ottawa (CANADA)

12. Dr. María Lia ZERVINO of the Servidora Association, council member of the Laudato Si' Movement, consultant to the Dicastery for Bishops and the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue

Subgroup in charge of deepening the topic of the bishop’s judicial function

1. Bishop Filippo IANNONE, O Carm, president of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts, coordinator

2. Father Ivan KOVAČ, undersecretary of the Dicastery for Bishops

3. Father Samuele SANGALLI, undersecretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization (Section for First Evangelization and New Particular Churches)

4. Father Markus GRAULICH, SDB, undersecretary of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts

5. Father Erwin José Aserios BALAGAPO, head of the Office of the Dicastery for Evangelization (Section for First Evangelization and New Particular Churches).

6. Father Francesco PANIZZOLO, OFM Conv, head of the Office of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (Disciplinary Section)

Group 8

The Role of Pontifical Representatives in Missionary Synodal Perspective (summary report 13)

1. Cardinal Oswald GRACIAS, archbishop of Bombay (INDIA), coordinator

2. Cardinal Mario GRECH, secretary-general of the General Secretariat of the Synod

3. Archbishop Antonio FILIPAZZI, apostolic nuncio to Poland

4. Archbishop Salvatore PENNACCHIO, president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy

5. Archbishop Luciano RUSSO, secretary for Papal Representations (Secretariat of State)

6. Father Joseph MURPHY, undersecretary for the Diplomatic Role Personnel of the Holy See (Secretariat of State)

7. Father Angelo TOGNONI of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, official of the Section for the Diplomatic Role Personnel of the Holy See (Secretariat of State)

8. Professor Myriam WIJLENS, professor of canon law in the Universität Erfurt (GERMANY), Consultant of the General Secretariat of the Synod

Group 9

Theological criteria and synodal methodologies for shared discernment of controversial doctrinal, pastoral, and ethical issues (summary report 15)

1. Archbishop Carlos Gustavo CASTILLO MATTASOGLIO, archbishop of Lima (PERU) and ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, coordinator

2. Archbishop Filippo IANNONE, O Carm, president of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts

3. Father Piero CODA, professor of dogmatic theology in the University Institute “Sophia” in Loppiano (ITALY), secretary-general of the International Theological Commission

4. Father Maurizio CHIODI, professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Theological Institute “John Paul II” in Rome (ITALY)

5. Father Carlo CASALONE, SI, professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (ITALY) and coordinator of the Scientific Section of the Pontifical Academy for Life

6. Sister Josée NGALULA, RSA, professor of dogmatic theology in the Université Catholique du Congo in Kinshasa (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO), member of the International Theological Commission

7. Professor Stella MORRA, professor of fundamental theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (ITALY) and consultor of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith

Group 10

The reception of the fruits of the ecumenical journey in Church practices (summary report 7)

1. Bishop Paul ROUHANA OLM, auxiliary bishop for Sarba of the Eparchy of Joubbé, Sarba ,and Jounieh (LEBANON), coordinator

2. Sister Nathalie BECQUART, Xavière, undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod

3. Father Juan USMA GÓMEZ, head of the Office of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

4. Father Anthony T. CURRER, official of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity

5. Father Hacynthe DESTIVELLE, OP, official of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity

6. Father Lawrence IWUAMADI, dean of the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey (SWITZERLAND)

7. Father Jorge Alejandro SCAMPINI, OP, professor of ecumenical theology in the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires (ARGENTINA)

8. Professor Astrid KAPTIJN, professor of canon law in the Université de Fribourg (SWITZERLAND), consultant of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches

9. Professor Teresa Francesca ROSSI, professor of ecumenical theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome (ITALY)

Five additional study groups

Five Perspectives to Deepen Theologically in View of the Second Session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

Group 1

The synodal missionary face of the local church

1. Father Riccardo BATTOCCHIO, president of the Italian Theological Association (ITALY), special secretary of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, coordinator

2. Father Dario VITALI, professor of dogmatic theology in the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (ITALY), coordinator of the theological experts of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, coordinator

3. Archbishop Roberto REPOLE, archbishop of Turin and bishop of Susa (ITALY)

4. Father Alphonse BORRAS, professor emeritus of canon law in the Université Catholique de Louvain (BELGIUM), consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod

5. Father Carlos María GALLI, dean of the faculty of theology in the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires (ARGENTINA), member of the International Theological Commission

6. Father Gilles ROUTHIER, professor of theology in the Université Laval (CANADA), consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod

7. Sister Maria CIMPERMAN, RSCJ, professor of theological ethics and consecrated life in the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, U.S.A.

Group 2

The synodal missionary face of Church groupings

1. Father Riccardo BATTOCCHIO, president of the Italian Theological Association (ITALY), special secretary of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, coordinator

2. Father Dario VITALI, professor of dogmatic theology in the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (ITALY), coordinator of the theological experts of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, coordinator

3. Bishop Shane A. MACKINLAY, bishop of Sandhurst (AUSTRALIA)

4. Father Pedro BRASSESCO, assistant secretary-general of the Latin American Bishops’ Council (COLOMBIA)

5. Sister Birgit WEILER, MMS, professor of theology in the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima (PERU)

6. Professor Rafael LUCIANI, professor of theology in the Universidad Católica “Andrés Bello” in Caracas (VENEZUELA), member of the Theological- Pastoral Commission of CELAM

7. Professor Péter SZABÓ, professor of canon law in the Post-Gradual Institute of Canon Law in Budapest (HUNGARY), consultor of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches

8. Professor Myriam WIJLENS, professor of canon law in the Universität Erfurt (GERMANY), consultant of the General Secretariat of the Synod

Group 3

The synodal missionary face of the universal Church

1. Father Riccardo BATTOCCHIO, president of the Italian Theological Association (ITALY), special secretary of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, coordinator

2. Father Dario VITALI, professor of dogmatic theology in the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (ITALY), coordinator of the theological experts of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, coordinator

3. Father Clarence S. DAVEDASSAN, professor of moral theology in the Catholic Research Centre in Kuala Lumpur (MALAYSIA)

4. Father Gaby Alfred HACHEM, professor of theology in the Université Saint- Esprit in Kaslik (LEBANON), member of the International Theological Commission

5. Father José SAN JOSÉ PRISCO, dean of the faculty of canon law in the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (SPAIN)

6. Father Hacynthe DESTIVELLE, OP, official of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity

7. Professor Catherine E. CLIFFORD, professor of systematic theology in Saint Paul University in Ottawa, CANADA.

Group 4

The synodal method

1. Father Piero CODA, professor of dogmatic theology in the University Institute “Sophia” in Loppiano (ITALY), secretary-general of the International Theological Commission, coordinator

2. Father Giacomo COSTA, SI, president of the “San Fedele Cultural Foundation” in Milan (ITALY), special secretary of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, coordinator

3. Father Philippe BORDEYNE, dean of the Pontifical Theological Institute “John Paul II” in Rome (ITALY), member of the Governing Council of the Pontifical Academy for Life

4. Father Matteo VISIOLI, professor of canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (ITALY)

5. Father Ormond RUSH, professor of theology in the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane (AUSTRALIA), consultant to the General Secretariat of the Synod

6. Father Paul BÉRÉ, SI, professor of biblical sciences in the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome (ITALY), consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod

7. Father Christoph THEOBALD, SI, professor emeritus of fundamental and dogmatic theology in the Facultés Loyola in Paris (FRANCE)

8. Father María Clara Lucchetti BINGEMER, professor of fundamental theology in the Pontificia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro (BRAZIL), consultant of the General Secretariat of the Synod

Group 5

The “place” of the synodal Church in mission

1. Father Piero CODA, professor of dogmatic theology in the University Institute “Sophia” in Loppiano (ITALY), secretary-general of the International Theological Commission, coordinator

2. Father Giuseppe BONFRATE, professor of dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (ITALY), consultant of the General Secretariat of the Synod, coordinator

3. Bishop Jean-Marc EYCHENNE, bishop of Grenoble, Vienne (FRANCE)

4. Father Felix WILFRED, professor emeritus of theology in the State University of Madras, director of the Asian Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies in Chennai (INDIA)

5. Sister Josée NGALULA, RSA, professor of dogmatic theology in the Université Catholique du Congo in Kinshasa (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO), member of the International Theological Commission

6. Professor Antonio AUTIERO, professor emeritus of moral theology at the Universität Münster (GERMANY)

7. Professor Ana María CELIS BRUNET, director of the Department of Canon Law in the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago de Chile (CHILE)

Dr. Kim DANIELS, director of Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life in Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (U.S.A.)

This article was originally published on Catholic News Agency. 


Author Name

Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.

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