An ecumenical conference with a difference is taking place in Rome.
Titled “Deepening and Dialogue” the conferences draw together Catholic and Protestant intellectuals, ministers and laity. It is being held at Rome’s Camillianum university from 24th-25th May. Among the guests are Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the new Vatican Dicastery for promoting Integral Human Development. Various Methodist, Baptist and Valdese theologians, ethicists and other intellectuals are also attending. One noted speaker is Beppino Englaro, who will speak about the choices he faced regarding the medical condition of his daughter, who spent nearly a year in a vegetative state following a road accident.
The aim of the conference is the “Deepening of theological and pastoral dialogue, open to listening to both theoretical and concrete choices by different Christian churches.” The conference organizers point out that in illness and suffering, the churches all draw closer together.
The subject of the conference falls well within the competence of the University, which is specializes in examining the themes of health and suffering in many aspects of human life.
The Moderator of the conference, Professor Palma Sgreccia said the conference hopes to “Offer the Camillianum’s specific approach to ecumenism in an existential way, drawing special strength in the living experience of suffering , sickness and poverty.”
Drawing on Pope Francis encyclical letter “Lumen Fidei” Professor Sgreccia said she hopes that, as a result of the conference there would be “An awareness that the truth emerges from encounter. The conference hopes to clarify problematic theories and promote common paths so as not leave behind anyone who must suffer in the silence of solitude.”