Pope Francis appoints Fr Adrian to Pontifical Biblical Commission

Rev Dr Adrian Graffy, scripture scholar, author, director of CEF and parish priest in the Diocese of Brentwood has been appointed by Pope Francis to become a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

This commission, established in 1902, has the task of promoting the study of the Bible among Catholics and to illuminate and discuss issues arising from interpretations of Sacred Scripture.

On his appointment, Fr Adrian said, “It is an honour to be nominated by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. I feel humbled and very much look forward to being of service to His Holiness and the Church.” Fr Adrian at Scripture ConferenceHe added, “A great deal has been achieved in England and Wales in recent years by many co-workers to advance Biblical scholarship and the provision of easy-to-use resources. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and the Bishops’ Conference Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis for promoting understanding and love of the Bible, particularly through the publication of the teaching documents The Gift of Scripture and the study guide to Verbum Domini, The Word of the Lord.”  (Links to these two CTS publications can be found on WhatGoodNews’ home page.)

Rt Rev Alan Williams, sm, Bishop of Brentwood, said: “Fr Adrian takes an enormously valued lead in supporting parishes in our diocese to know their faith better so as to be able to share it. The news of his appointment by Pope Francis is wonderful and a cause of celebration. It serves as a reminder of the centrality of the Scriptures to the Christian life and is a source of encouragement for us all to seek ways of deepening our prayer with, and understanding of, God’s Word. This is a great honour for Dr Graffy and a great honour for the Church in England and Wales.”

Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle Diocese and member of the National Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said: “This is a tremendous honour for Fr Graffy and I am delighted for him. It is a just affirmation of his tireless work to encourage the Word of God to be read and heard. The Bible, as the Sacred Scripture, is a living Word which, through the power of the Holy Spirit, changes lives. The work to which Fr Graffy has been called to do by His Holiness is invaluable.”

Fr Adrian received his doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome in 1983. He taught for over 20 years in St John’s Seminary in Wonersh, and is Chair of the National Scripture Working Group, which is an instrument of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.  He is parish priest of Christ the Eternal High Priest in Gidea Park, Essex and Director of Brentwood’s Commission for Evangelisation and Formation which publishes this website.  Among his most recent publications are The Gospel of Mark and the Letter to the Romans (part of the Take and Read series, edited by Fr Adrian and published by Alive Publishing).  His weekly gospel reflections can be found on WhatGoodNews.

The appointment to the Pontifical Commission is for five years. The next plenary session of the twenty members of the Commission is 13-17 April, 2015.

The Commission for Evangelisation and Formation offer their good wishes as Fr Adrian continues to promote Scripture in his new role.

The Light of Faith

The first encyclical of Pope Francis has been published today, entitled Lumen Fidei, The Light of Faith.

Pope Francis has described this as the work of ‘four hands’, as the first draft of an encyclical on faith had been prepared by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, completing his triptych of encyclicals on the three theological virtues faith, hope and charity. This encyclical has very fittingly been published during the Year of Faith, which marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council.

The full text of the encyclical can be read here.


Pope Francis gives his backing to the Year of Faith


Fr Adrian Graffy, Director of the diocesan Commission for Evangelisation and Formation, reports that Pope Francis has given enthusiastic backing to the Year of Faith. In his address to ecumenical leaders the new Pope described the initiative of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, as ‘truly inspired’. Fr Adrian said: ‘We are delighted that Pope Francis is giving such generous support to the Year of Faith, in which we are celebrating fifty years since the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis speaks of ‘a pilgrimage which is most essential for every Christian: the personal and transforming relationship with Jesus Christ, Son of God, who died and rose for our salvation.’’

Vatican II: St Peter's BasillicaIn this spirit of renewal the Commission for Evangelisation and Formation is proud to announce a series of talks on ‘The Legacy of Vatican II’, which will begin in the summer and end just before the Year of Faith comes to its conclusion on the Solemnity of Christ the King, which falls on Sunday 24th November.

Fr Adrian comments: ‘We have a splendid list of nine eminent speakers, many of them from the diocese. They will help us explore the lesser known aspects of the teaching of the Council, providing a kind of refresher course which is very timely in the Year of Faith and at the beginning of a new pontificate.’ As Pope Francis said: ‘the heart of Vatican II is the desire to announce the treasure of faith to people of today’.

The talks will be held on Thursday evenings at Brentwood Cathedral House conference centre. Admission is free and light refreshments will be available. Booking is not necessary. Full details are given on the flyer. For enquires please phone 01277 265289 or email cef [at] dioceseofbrentwood [dot] org

Download a flyer for the Thursday Evening lecture series, ‘The Legacy of Vatican II’