The committee of outside experts includes lay people, religious sisters, Catholic priests, and an archbishop. Members come from 17 countries.
According to the Vatican, the document drafters will work in a climate “of listening, prayer, and discernment.”
At least four members of the drafting committee are reading each synod report sent to the Vatican by bishops’ conferences, religious congregations, Vatican dicasteries, and Eastern Catholic Churches.
On Aug. 26, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the synod’s relator general, said the Vatican had received at least 100 summary reports of the first phase of the synod.
On Sept. 21, the experts will gather at a religious house near Frascati, Italy, to draft the working document.
“The methodology that will be adopted,” the Synod of Bishops said, “could be called ‘an accordion’ in that it involves times of silence and prayer, interspersed with presentations and dialogues in plenary or groups.”
After the working document is written, the text will be shared with other members of the synod’s four commissions and submitted to the ordinary council for suggested changes and final approval.
The 15th ordinary council is made up of 11 cardinals, one Syrian Catholic patriarch, and four bishops. Cardinal Joseph Tobin, archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, is the American representative on the ordinary council.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, SDB, the archbishop of Perth, Australia, and president of the Australian bishops’ conference, is among the drafters.
He is joined by compatriots Father Ormond Rush, associate professor of religion and theology at the Catholic University of Australia, and Susan Pascoe, an adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia.
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Pascoe is also co-director of the task force for the Synod on Synodality’s continental phase and a member of the methodology commission.
Father David McCallum, SJ, executive director of the U.S.-based Discerning Leadership Program, and Mauricio Lopez, head of pastoral action for CELAM, the bishops’ conference of Latin America, are also part of the methodology commission.
Lopez was the executive secretary of REPAM, the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network, during the 2019 Amazon synod. REPAM, a group backed by the bishops’ conferences in Latin America, describes itself as an advocacy organization for the rights and dignity of indigenous people in the Amazon.
Kristin Colberg, an associate professor of theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota, is on the drafting committee. In November 2021, she was the only American named a member of the synod’s theological commission.
Italian Msgr. Piero Coda, secretary of the Roman Curia’s International Theological Commission; Father Vimal Tirimanna, CSsR, a Sri Lankan moral theology professor in Rome; and Father Thomas Kollamparampil, CMI, a theology professor at the Pontifical Atheneum Dharmaran Vidiya Ksheteram of Bangalore, India, also join the Instrumentum laboris drafters coming from the theological commission.
Another expert chosen by the Synod of Bishops for the drafting group is author Austen Ivereigh, a biographer of Pope Francis and coordinator of the U.K.-based project “The Road to a Synodal Church.”