Fr Robert Byrne CO was recently appointed as the National Ecumenical Officer and Secretary to the Department for Dialogue and Unity at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
Fr Robert was educated at St Bede’s College, Manchester; King’s College, London; and the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome. Fr Robert entered the Birmingham Oratory in 1980 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1985. In 1990 he was part of a group from Birmingham which moved to St Aloysius Parish, Oxford to found what was to become the Oxford Oratory in 1993. He was Provost from 1993 until 2011. In 2000 he became President of the Permanent Deputation of the International Oratorian Confederation.
Fr Robert has been a prison chaplain since 1988. He was appointed a Governor of the Oratory School, Woodcote in 1996 and appointed to his new role at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in January 2012.
Dom Paul Gunter OSB has now been appointed as Secretary to the Department for Christian Life and Worship of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
Fr Paul was born in Wolverhampton in 1966 and grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon. He has been a monk of Douai Abbey since 1985 and was ordained priest in 1991 after graduating in theology from Heythrop College, University of London. Over ten years of parish ministry followed, first at Cheltenham in the Diocese of Clifton, then as parish priest of Studley in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
In 2002, he was sent to Rome to pursue further studies in Liturgy, gaining a Licence in 2004 and a Doctorate in 2006 from the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy attached to Sant’Anselmo, where he has also been organist since 2005. After defending his doctoral thesis, “Edmund Bishop and the Genius of the Roman Rite”, in June 2006, he joined the faculty of the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy and teaches courses and seminars on liturgical history, liturgical theology, and liturgical catechesis. In 2008, he was named a consulter to the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff and in 2010 to the Commission entrusted with the aggiornamento of the 1962 Missal as requested by Summorum Pontificum and under the jurisdiction of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.