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Other News, 07.11.2019

International Meeting on Catholic Prison Pastoral Care in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development is holding, from 7 to 8 November, at Palazzo San Calisto, Rome, an international conference on Catholic Prison Pastoral Care, attended by prison chaplains, representatives of organizations engaged in providing assistance to detainees, and members of this section of episcopal conferences from the five continents. The Conference will dedicate a session to each one of the problems and characteristics of this area of pastoral care in America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania, and participants will be received in audience by the Holy Father.

According to a note issued by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, “In many local churches, social ministry does not receive enough attention, and nor does Catholic prison pastoral care. We recognize the diversity of situations and challenges that such prison pastoral care assumes, which includes the spiritual and material attention to those incarcerated, their families, of those who have already served their sentences and regained their freedom, as well as the processes of reconciliation with the victim of the crime. Most of the Conferences of Bishops and Dioceses place prison pastoral care within the section of social ministry, or in some cases it constitutes an independent commission.

“Some of the ecclesial bodies dedicated to this pastoral service have pointed out to the Dicastery for Promoti Integral Human Integral Development the need to receive support and guidance for this important work, especially in the face of the difficulties they experience in their work. One of the main challenges is the lack of support from diocesan communities to these brothers and sisters in need.

“We therefore believe that this meeting will be an opportunity to meet the different people responsible for this pastoral ministry, while fostering acquaintance with the Dicastery and creating a stable and progressive link with prison pastoral care in different countries, as well as to know more about the actual situation and the needs of prison pastoral care in the different countries, to learn about some responses that have been developed to the various challenges of this pastoral ministry, and to know the initiatives in progress and propose other initiatives of prayer and solidarity in favour of the incarcerated and victims of violence.”


Promoting Digital Child Dignity: from Concept to Action

Religious leaders, civil authorities, and representatives of technological companies will meet from 14 to 15 November at the Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, to participate in the meeting “Promoting Digital Child Dignity: from Concept to Action) in order to analyze initiatives intended to provide effective protection to minors in the digital universe.

The event will open with a papal audience on 14 November in the Clementine Hall, and will close with a speech by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on 15 November.

The meeting is jointly organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, the Child Dignity Alliance and the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities, and is in continuity with the World Congress on “Child Dignity in the Digital World”, held at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2017, and with the “Interreligious Conference of the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities: Child Dignity Online” meeting held in Abu Dhabi in 2018.

As the title “From Concept to Action” states, the meeting is not merely intended to set out the problems, also to suggest and support targeted initiatives and action plans.

The eighty participants, all involved in the field, include representatives of international organizations, NGOs, technological companies, economic operators, politicians, jurist and religious leaders. There will be speeches by H.H. Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed al Nahyan, deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the United Arab Emirates; H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden; the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Professor Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb; Rabbi David Rosen; and Ms. Najat Maalla M’jid, representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Violence Against Children. A message from His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople will be read on the day of inauguration.

The meeting is expected to end with a joint statement.