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Exercising Authority in Ecclesial Movements and Lay Associations: Criteria, Fruits and Challenges

November 8, 2023

2:00 to 3:15 p.m. (ET)


Ecclesial Movements and Lay Associations are widespread in the Church today. They involve tens of thousands of Catholics, of all states of life, each reality expressing its members’ common baptismal call to seek holiness and to evangelise, through a shared life and apostolate, often coloured by a charism, sometimes in reference to a founder still in activity. And yet the notion of charismatically inspired communities in the service of the Church is not new. How these ‘new’ communities perceive themselves is reflected in how they are governed, yet how they are governed may be called to evolve over time. The Webinar will reflect on the criteria for a just exercise of authority in these realities, and on how models of authority are called to evolve if such communities are to continue to bear fruit.


Philip Gerard Milligan – Speaker

Philip Gerard Milligan was born in Scotland in 1967. He is a lay person committed in celibacy in the Emmanuel Community, and lives in Rome. After graduating in Scots Law at the University of Aberdeen, he studied philosophy at L’Institut d’études théologiques in Belgium, and languages at l’Université Jean Moulin (Lyon III).  He studied Canon Law at the Pontifical University Santa Croce (Rome), completing his doctorate there in 2017, published as Approaches to Authority and Obedience in the International Ecclesial Movements and New Communities (EDUSC, Rome 2017). He coordinated the international office at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family (Rome) from 1997 – 2005. From 2012-2016 he was head of the legal office at the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Since 2016 he holds the same post at the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, the department of the Roman Curia that exercises the Holy See’s competency for the lay apostolate and associations of the faithful.

Philip Gerard Milligan - Speaker

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