Vatican City, Nov 3, 2014 / 13:57 pm
Later this month Pope Francis will meet with intellectuals and inter-religious faith leaders from around the world to examine the relationship between man and woman in marriage as the basis of society.
From Nov. 17 to Nov. 19 the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith will host a colloquium in Rome on the topic of "Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage."
The event is hosted along with the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
It aims to serve as a "catalyst" in reinforcing marriages, "both for the good of the spouses themselves and for the good of all who depend upon them" according to the event website.
Broken up into several sessions, presenters will cover topics such as the family as the basic unit of society, Pope St. John Paul II's theology of the body, and the strength of marriage in the face of difficulty.
A series of short films that focus on traditional marriage all over the world will be shown before the start of each session. The sessions will be led by a different leader from the participating Vatican office, with testimonials from scholars or leaders hailing from 23 countries and 14 different religious backgrounds.
The announcement comes in wake of last month's Synod on the Family held at the Vatican. Bishops and cardinals from around the world met with the Holy Father to plan what would be discussed at next year's ordinary synod on the family.
The release of the working document halfway through the synod stirred controversy when many news outlets reported that the Church was somehow changing doctrine on homosexuality and divorce.
However, the release of the official final report, which the bishops voted on paragraph by paragraph, provided clearer language, more references to scripture and a more positive tone regarding family and marriage issues.
On the topic of homosexuality, the final report noted how some families have some members who are same-sex attracted, and said that there had been significant discussion surrounding the appropriate pastoral response in accord with Catholic teaching.
It also reiterated that "men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."
The Holy Father will present the opening remarks to begin the colloquium on the first day of the conference. Presiding over each presentation will be Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Most Rev. Jean Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family; and Archbishop Luis Ladaria, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Presenters and those providing testimonials include Rev. Dr. Richard Warren of Saddleback Church; Michael Nazir'Ali, Former Anglican Bishop of Rochester; President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia; and Dr. Janne Haaland Matláry, Former Secretary of State of Norway.
More information on the colloquium can be found on the event's website, Humanum.