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The Catholic Church today still struggles to fully realize its role as an authentic global Church, suggests theology professor Richard Gaillardetz, Ph.D.

Gaillardetz, in the 25th annual Aquinas Lecture, will explore the role of the bishop in a Church that attends to the relationship between each diocese and the universal Church. He describes that role as “the servant of the local church’s apostolic memory and the privileged agent for maintaining communion among churches (worldwide).”

The lecture, “For You I am a Bishop, with You I am a Christian: A New Episcopate for a Global Church,” is 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28 in the ballroom of St. Francis Xavier “College” Church, at Grand and Lindell boulevards. Admission is free. Vespers, or evening prayer, will follow at 5 p.m. at Aquinas Institute, which is within walking distance of the church.

Gaillardetz teaches ecclesiology—translated loosely as the nature, constitutions and functions of Church—and systematic theology—or doctrine—at the University of Toledo. He has written several books, including The Church in the Making: Lumen Gentium, Christus Dominus, Orientalium Ecclesiarum (Rediscovering Vatican II), and By What Authority?: A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful.

The Aquinas Lecture traditionally focuses on a contemporary theological question and often applies the thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican and great theologian in the history of the Church, to a 21st-century issue. St. Thomas Aquinas’ feast day is Jan. 28. Find out more at www.ai.edu.

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