(ZENIT News / Rome, 09.21.2023).- In the list of participants for the Synod on Synodality published by the Vatican Press Office on Thursday, September 21, two particular names can be found under the title of “spiritual assistants”: Father Timothy Peter Joseph Radcliffe and Sister Maria Ignazia Angelini.
These are the individuals who will be preaching for the first time in the history of synods (from Paul VI to Francis) during a retreat prior to the start of the one in October 2023. Although attendance is not mandatory for participants, they have been strongly encouraged to participate.
Radcliffe is English and a monk of the Order of Saint Dominic. Angelini is Italian and a nun of the Order of Saint Benedict. The former is a member of the Oxford Monastery in Great Britain, and the latter is a member of the Viboldone Monastery in northern Italy. Both are well-known figures in the Catholic preaching community, and their presence will be a constant throughout the synod.
The 78-year-old Dominican has been a professor of Sacred Scripture at Oxford and served as the provincial of his Order in England. He was also the Master General of the Order from 1992 to 2001. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford and has authored more than 10 books. His stance on homosexuality in relation to the teachings of the Church has been ambiguous, even suggesting the ordination of homosexuals as priests. He is highly regarded for his preaching within the English-speaking Dominicans.
On the other hand, Mother Maria Ignazia Angelini is 79 years old and a prolific writer (with 14 books available on Amazon).