(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 12.08.2023).- In recent days, the Cardinal Secretary of State appointed eight new members to the Pontifical Academy of Theology for a five-year term. They are:
– Giuseppe Lorizio, Emeritus Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, Italy;
– Massimo Naro, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Sicily San Giovanni Evangelista in Palermo, Italy;
– Amador Pedro Barrajón Muñoz, LC, Rector Magnificus of the European University of Rome and professor of theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome;
– Christof Betschart, OCD, Dean of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology and the Pontifical Institute of Spirituality Teresianum in Rome;
– Emmanuel François Durand, OP, Director of the Department of Religious Studies and Faith and Philosophy at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland;
– Francesca Cocchini, Professor of History of Christianity in the Department of History, Anthropology, Religions, Art, and Performances at La Sapienza University in Rome;
– Paulus Jacobus Jozef van Geest, Full Professor of Church History and History of Theology at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at Tilburg University, Netherlands;
– Ilaria Morali, Full Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Faculty of Missiology of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
“With the appointment of eight new Academicians,” explained Archbishop Antonio Staglianò, President of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, “we advance in the process of renewing the Pontifical Academy of Theology to better serve the mission of proclaiming the Gospel.”
The new statutes, approved by the Pope on November 1, provide for up to fifty-five Academicians, allowing for the participation of new personalities in the near future. The intention is to “internationalize” the academic body and also provide space for theologians from other Christian denominations to strengthen the ecumenical (but also interreligious) commitment of future theology.
With the creation of the operational secretariat and through Theological Interlocutors and Theological Cenacles, the Pontifical Academy of Theology will organize and develop the fundamental lines of Pope Francis’s Apostolic Letter “Ad Theologiam promovendam,” aiming for a sapiential theology that speaks to the hearts and minds of believers and non-believers. “It is a popular theology, done ‘on our knees’ and carried out ‘at the exit,’ which, from a slogan, must become a concrete program of initiatives aimed at ‘giving reasons for Christian hope’ in an already changed world and complex cultures,” added Archbishop Staglianò. It is an exciting mission that the new Academicians will know how to assume and serve with responsibility, for the joy of the Gospel and the joy of Truth.