This is Season 2, Episode 1 of The Church's Radical Reform, a podcast on the synodal movement presented by Christopher Lamb.
Christopher is Vatican Correspondent for The Tablet and a PhD student at the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University. The podcast is sponsored by the Centre for Catholic Studies and The Tablet.
In this episode, we hear from Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference President and Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB who is part of the team preparing the global synod summit.
As a senior figure in the Australian Catholic Church, he has been deeply involved in synodality, and what it means for the Church.
An expert listener, he is an example of a bishop who adopts and lives the synod style of the Church.
Pope Francis meets with members of the preparatory commission – including Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB - for the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in the library of the Apostolic Palace 16 March 2023, the day after the synod office announced their appointments. Photo: CNS/Vatican Media.
Archbishop Costelloe explains how the synod process can revitalise the Church globally and in Australia, but that it is not something that is going to happen overnight.
In the face of a decline in religious practice in the West, Archbishop Costelloe wants a Church that can re-connect with a younger generation and consider adopting a “preferential option of the young.”
But he also addresses the claim from the late Australian Cardinal George Pell that the synod is a “nightmare” and reflects on ten years of the Francis papacy.
Archbishop Costelloe says that this Pope is reminding the Church that Jesus wasn’t someone who just taught the truth; he also showed the way in his interactions with the people.
He pointed out that the only people Jesus strongly criticised were the religious authorities of the day — and it's the same group of people trying to undermine Francis.
Executive Producer: Silvia Saccco
Producer: Jamie Weston
Pope Francis greets Christopher Lamb, Rome correspondent for The Tablet, during his general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican 16 February 2022. Photo: CNS/Vatican Media.