Today in Catholic History – Pope Paul VI establishes the International Theological Commission

On 11 April 1969, Pope Paul VI established the International Theological Commission [ITC]. The Commission is a dicastery/department of the Roman Curia, It consists of thirty Catholic scholars chosen from a wide variety of national backgrounds and theological specializations. Members are chosen by the Pope in consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [CDF] and episcopal conferences. Each member serves a five year term, but can be reappointed. Generally, the ITC meets once a year for a week, usually in the Fall, to discuss a topic suggested by the Holy Father or one of their own choosing. The ex officio president of the ITC is the Prefect of the CDF. Pope John Paul II established the definitive statues for the ITC in the moto proprio Tredecim Anni on 6 August 1982.

The purpose of the ITC is to advise the CDF on issues of dogmatic importance and to bring together scholarly and pastoral opinion. The ITC has issued documents related to liberation theology, the relationship of Catholicism to other religions, Limbo, and evolution. It should be noted that the ITC is an advisory commission and its documents are not considered official or authoritative expressions of Catholic teaching.

Some of the members of the ITC have been Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Cardinal William Levada, and Cardinal Avery Dulles. In 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed the first two women to the ITC – Sara Butler, M.S.B.T. and Barbara Hallensleben.

Website of the ITC


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