Pope Francis Appoints English Priest to take International Bible Role

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Rev Dr Adrian Graffy, priest of the Brentwood Diocese, has been nominated by Pope Francis to become a member of The Vatican Commission that takes a lead in Bible scholarship, interpretation and promotion for the Catholic Church.

Rev Dr Graffy said of his appointment:

“It’s an honour to be nominated by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. I feel privileged and very much look forward to being of service.”

He 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.”

Rev Dr Graffy received his doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome in 1983. He taught for over 20 years at 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.

Fr Graffy is also Director of the Commission for Evangelisation and Formation in the Diocese of Brentwood, and Parish Priest of Christ the Eternal High Priest in Gidea Park, Essex. Among his most recent publications are the Gospel of Mark and the Letter to the Romans in the ‘Take and Read Series’ published by Alive Publishing.

Fr Graffy’s reflections on the Sunday Gospel can be found at: whatgoodnews.org.

Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle Diocese, and member of the 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 is a living Word which, through the power of the Holy Spirit, changes lives. The work which Fr Graffy has been called to do by His Holiness is invaluable.”

Meanwhile, Rt Rev Alan Williams, 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 Pope Francis’ appointment 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.”

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


National Scripture Working Group, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

The Gift of Scripture

The Word of the Lord

Alive Publishing

Brentwood Diocese