Notre Dame Theologians Appointed as Consultors for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches


Pope Francis appointed two Notre Dame theology professors, Nina Glibetić and Gabriel Radle, to five-year terms as consultors for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. The Notre Dame theologians will join a group of about 50 consultors who offer advice on questions of significance pertaining to the liturgy, formation, and discipline of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

The Vatican website details: “The complex reality of the Oriental Churches with respect to their geographical, cultural and social conditions requires that the great Catholic community will share its resources, which can help the Orientals to keep alive and to develop the most genuine traditions of their Churches according to the instructions of the Second Vatican Council, the norms of the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches and the directives of the Supreme Pontiffs.”

Radle and Glibetić are both liturgical studies experts and faculty fellows in Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute. Radle, the Rev. John A. O’Brien Assistant Professor of Theology, specializes in early and medieval Christian liturgy in the Eastern Mediterranean and has published on medieval marriage rituals, the Eucharist, and Byzantine manuscript prayer books. Glibetić, an Orthodox Christian herself, has published on eucharistic practices in Byzantium, liturgy of early Slavs, and religious rituals for women at childbirth and miscarriage. She is currently studying Glagolitic manuscripts discovered at St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai as part of an international research team.

“It is a great honor to be nominated by Pope Francis as a consultor of the Congregation for Eastern Churches,” Glibetić said. “Scholarly work on the Christian East often crosses ecclesiastical boundaries, and with this appointment the Vatican has highlighted that answers to contemporary questions facing the Church can be enriched through broad reflection from multiple voices. This is all the more so the case when many Eastern Christian communities today face significant geopolitical challenges.

“It is a great pleasure to represent Notre Dame’s legacy of service to Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, which our University has a long tradition of sponsoring through initiatives like Tantur, our Byzantine studies program and the scholarly contributions of my colleagues in theology.”

In September, Pope Francis also named Yury Avvakumov, an associate professor of theology and a Byzantine Catholic from the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church, to the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, strengthening Notre Dame’s connections to the Vatican and its commitment to serving the Church.