This online symposium series is being organized by the American Cusanus SocietyNova Forum and the Lumen Christi Institute. Additional Cosponsors include Commonweal, Harvard Catholic ForumAmerica Media, the St. Anselm Institute for Catholic Thought and the Collegium Institute.

Participation and Registration | All are invited to participate. To attend, please register online. Registration links are provided by each session and date below. Each session will be a dialogue with a moderator hosting a conversation between two scholars.  

About the Series | In light of Pope Francis’ call for global Catholic communities to enter into a two-year process on synodality, this six-part series will examine both the history of synods and the current dialogue around the future of synodality in the Church. This series is an opportunity to learn more about the topic in advance of the October 2023 Rome summit, “For a Synodal Church.” Pope Francis is inviting the entire Church to reflect on “this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium,” an important part of the Church’s own process to achieving participation and living out mission.

Some of the questions in this online series include:

  • What was the history of synods in the early church? 

  • What should Catholics expect from the Synod itself next year? 

  • What synodality models emerged from the Second Vatican Council? 

  • What are the roots of Pope Francis’ appeal to synodality? 

  • What can Roman Catholics learn from Eastern Catholic traditions? 



Session 1. Synodality in the Ancient Church 

Tuesday, September 6, 7:00 PM CST / Registration link here

  Moderator: Nathan Tilley, Dumbarton Oaks 

  1. Robin Darling Young, Catholic University of America

  2. Christopher Bellitto, Kean University


Session 2. Synodality and Medieval Reform

Thursday, September 15, 5:00 PM CST / Registration link here

   Moderator: Christopher Bellitto, Kean University 

  1. Margaret Meserve, Notre Dame

  2. Rick Serina, Concordia Seminary


Session 3. Synodality and the Roots of Vatican II

Monday, September 19, 5:00 PM CST / Registration link here

   Moderator: Kathy Sprows Cummings, Notre Dame

  1. Shaun Blanchard, National Institute for Newman Studies 

  2. Kristin Colberg, St. John’s School of Theology 


Session 4. Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Christians: Contexts and Dialogue

Tuesday, October 4, 7:00 PM CST / Registration link here

   Moderator: Aristotle Papanikolaou, Fordham University 

  1. Jaisy Joseph, Villanova University 

  2. Cyril Hovorun, Sankt Ignatius Theological Academy


Session 5. Pope Francis’ Vision of a Synodal Church: CELAM and Ignatian tradition

Tuesday, October 18, 4:00 PM CST / Registration link here

   Moderator: Peter Casarella, Duke Divinity School 

  1. Maria Clara Bingemer, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro 

  2. Austen Ivereigh, Campion Hall, Oxford University 


Session 6. The Synod of 2023: Process and Prospects

Tuesday, October 25, 12:00 PM CST / Registration link here

   Moderator: Peter Casarella, Duke Divinity School  

  1. Bishop Oscar Cantú (San Jose, CA) 

  2. Sr. Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ, Under-Secretary, General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops