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Hope for a wounded world- International Symposium

Bangalore: International Symposium - 19 January 2019. Hope for a wounded world: The Church's teachings on True Love in the Contemporary Cultural Landscape.

Paalanaa Bhavana welcomed groups of different communities of the Catholic church in Bangalore for the International Symposium 2019. Registration was in full swing and the process was well followed by all with participants of the ongoing Marriage preparation course in attendance. The hall was packed to capacity while more chairs were added to accommodate everyone that walked in. The program started with a hymn and followed by the powerful key note address which was delivered by our very own Arch bishop, Rev. Peter Machado with a focus on "Love, Life and Family".

Lloyd and Sunitha made a great Emcee couple keeping the audience engaged and comfortable at all times. Fr Milton moderated the program effortlessly making sure that everything went as per the schedule.

Talk 1 - Educating to Love: A Journey for LIFE by Rev. Prof. Gregory Gresko, Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Amselm, Rome.

Summary - Educating to love involves what Saint John Paul 2 called the personalistic norm which states that the human person - as an integrated body and soul – is always to be loved and respected in his or her dignity, having been created in the image and likeness of god. This talk focused on how the disorders of sensuality are re-ordered through a proper education to love into what proper desire, by means of building virtuous affectivity within the person, developing and integrated the affections across the life-stages of personal formation.

Talk 2 John Paul II on “Adultery in the Heart” and its Answer: The Gift of Piety by author and journalist Dawn Eden Goldstein, S.T.D., Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, U.S.A.

The talk focused on Pope John Paul II’s writings after being elected as Pope.

Panel discussion to respond to questions and clarifications by the audience was led by Professor Gresko and Professor Goldstein along with Fr Devadas, Legal advisor to the Archdiocese of Bangalore and Fr Arokya Sebastian, the director of Paalanaa Bhavana.

Talks 3 and 4 on Forbidden Love: "Changing perspectives on Homosexuality" were by two eminent representatives of the Catholic Medical community:

* Dr Olinda Timms, Medical doctor and Anaesthesiologist. Author of "Biomedical Ethics" and the Head of the UNESCO chair in bioethics unit at St John's research institute.

*Fr Christopher Vimalraj who wears multiple caps in the Bangalore Archdiocese, one being the Spiritual Director to the Catholic doctor Association. Fr Vimalraj also holds a doctorate in Moral Theology with specialization in Bioethics and much more to his credentials.

We were grateful to have such well-informed speakers who were happy to share their knowledge with us.

The talks were followed by a Panel discussion comprising of Dr Timms and Fr Vimalraj as well as Fr Devadas and Fr Sebastian. Queries and clarifications were responded to by the panellists.

The symposium ended with a Vote of Thanks by Mrs Elena Smith, Faculty member of the Marriage preparation course followed by the distribution of Mementos to the speakers and members of the Panel.

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