Vatican City — Pope Francis appointed a dozen new members to the International Theological Commission, including two professors from the Catholic University of America, the Vatican announced.
The 12 new members include Robin Darling Young, associate professor at Catholic University's School of Theology and Religious Studies and an expert in early church history, and Reinhard Huetter, professor of fundamental and dogmatic theology.
Announcing the appointments Sept. 29, the Vatican also said Francis named Msgr. Piero Coda, a consultor for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as the commission's secretary general.
Established in 1969, the International Theological Commission is a papally appointed board of religious and lay theologians who advise the doctrinal congregation.
In addition to Darling Young, the 12 new members include two other women: Australian Schoenstatt Sr. Isabell Naumann, president of the Catholic Institute of Sydney and a professor of systemic theology; and St. Andrew Sr. Josée Ngalula, a professor of dogmatic theology at the Catholic University of Congo in Kinshasa. Their appointments bring the number of women on the commission to five.
The 28 members of the International Theological Commission are comprised of 14 theologians from Europe, five from South America, three from Asia, three from Africa, two from North America and one from Australia.
According to the Vatican, the commission's purpose is to examine "doctrinal issues of great importance and relevance." Its members, who were proposed to the pope by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the doctrinal congregation, serve a five-year term.
In a statement released by the Catholic University of America, Fr. Mark Morozowich, dean of the university's theology department said the appointment of two faculty members to the commission was a "great honor and recognition of the depth of their research and theological reflection."
"Professors Robin Darling Young's work in the Syriac and Armenian traditions and Reinhard Huetter's scholarship in fundamental and dogmatic theology will bring a rich dimension to this diverse group of scholars on this commission," Morozowich said.