| Faculty of Catholic Theology, Religion, Society, and World Relations, Personalia

Myriam Wijlens advises Synod of Bishops

Pope Francis has appointed Myriam Wijlens, Professor of Canon Law at the University of Erfurt, as "consultor", i.e. advisor to the Vatican Synod of Bishops. The Vatican made the announcement last Friday.

In addition to her, Francis appointed two Italians as advisors to the Synod: Archbishop Erio Castellucci of Modena-Nonantola and Pierangelo Sequeri of the "John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family" in Rome.

At the beginning of October, the Pope will launch a synodal process for the universal Church. Among other things, participation and evangelisation are to be considered, first at diocesan, then at continental level. The results of this process will then lead to a Synod of Bishops in the Vatican in October 2023.

Background Synod of Bishops

The Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church is an advisory body to the Pope. The establishment of this body goes back to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Through the Synod, the College of Bishops is to support the Pope in his leadership task. He convenes it and determines the theme. Usually, the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops meets every three years. In addition, special synods on the situation of the Church in individual regions also take place. Since the first assembly in 1967, there have been a total of 14 Ordinary Assemblies, three Extraordinary Assemblies and ten Special Synods, including the Family Synod in 2015. In contrast to synods of the Protestant Church, for example, the Catholic Synod of Bishops cannot pass binding resolutions.