Who's going to the Synod on the Word of God?

That’s a question I put to our local ordinary just before he left for the English Language Liturgical meeting in Vancouver last week. But the full list of delegates to the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God was released only the next day, and here it is for those who are interested.

Three Australian bishops will be attending, Cardinal Pell, Bishop Peter Ingham (as President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania), and Bishop Michael Putney (who was our guest speaker at a Catholic/Muslim Iftar dinner here on Tuesday night).

But a surprise announcement from the Holy See came just a day or two ago::

VATICAN CITY, 9 SEP 2008 (VIS) – The Holy Father appointed Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia, as president delegate of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. He substitutes Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India, who is unable to attend the gathering.

How about that?

And another thing to note is that among the six women who will be participating in the Synod is Sr Sara Butler, previously mentioned on this blog for her superaltive work “The Catholic Priesthood and Women”.

And in the light of this story, a Synod on the Word could not come at a better time!

On another tangent is this column in the Sydney Morning Herald about the importance of the bible in a balanced education within the Australian cultural context. At least here in Victoria the Yr 12 “Texts and Traditions” curriculum provides the opportunity for study of the Sacred Scriptures in our schools. My friend, Pastor David Spike, was telling me recently of his experience in teaching the Gospel of John as a part of this curriculum to his students at Luther College. He remarked on the very positive value it had for the students in helping them to see that there is very serious scholarship behind this Christianity thing.

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