Working together to build organic pastoral care of human life: a webinar

Launched by the Dicastery, the task of accompanying and supporting the Family and Life Commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences around the world


On 18 April, the Dicastery hosted an online meeting attended by almost 200 people including heads of the Family and Life Commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences, representatives of family movements and associations, and members of research institutes belonging to the International Network of University Institutes for the Family (REDIUF) which have joined the Family Global Compact coordinated by this Dicastery.

In the wake of ‘Dignitas infinita’ - a Declaration which renews the universal Church’s commitment to defending the dignity, life and integrity of every human being from conception to natural death - and in light of current challenges concerning bioethics and biolaw, the three-hour webinar gathered experts who delved into and discussed specific issues that are of particular concern to pastors and families around the world today.

The common goal was to consider how to build organic pastoral care of human life which expresses the evangelical and pedagogical commitments addressed to families, communities, dioceses, and parishes.

The introductory address by Under-Secretary Gabriella Gambino set the foundations for building ecclesial action together; integrating the formation of the laity on societal issues; forming consciences; and accompanying the faithful in discernment consistent with Christian anthropology, the Magisterium, and the truths of our faith. Ideas and pedagogical inspiration related to the planning of pastoral care in dioceses and in the Family and Life Commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences were offered by Father Michal Vojtáš, Vice-Rector of the Salesian Pontifical University.

Leonardo Nepi – an official of our Dicastery – presented the problems emerging from family pastoral work in every area of the world. His presentation was based on an analysis carried out from the reports provided by the bishops on ad limina visits, and from a questionnaire that the Dicastery sent to some of its members and consultants, pastoral workers, and experts.

Maria Luis Di Pietro – a member of the Dicastery and Director of the Centre for Research and Studies on Procreative Health at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome – offered insights into medically assisted procreation, contraception and abortion, with a particular focus on the risks to women’s health.

Joseph Teyu Chou and Clare Jiayann Yeh – spouses and members of the Dicastery, respectively Lecturer at the Department of Public Finance of the National Chengchi University in Taipei (Taiwan) and Director of the Marriage and Family Pastoral Centre of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference – addressed the issues of cyberbullying, addiction, and suicide among young people. These are all issued which now plague every region in the world.

Spouses, trainers, and those responsible for Family Pastoral Care in the Bishops’ Conference of Cameroon – Thérèse and Emmanuel Ngamo – spoke about pastoral and training experiences aimed at preventing violence against women, children and vulnerable people.

Finally, the importance of adopting a transversal work methodology in the pastoral care of human life was explained by Father Nelson Ortiz, Director of the Department for Marriage and Family and of the Department for the Promotion and Defence of Life of the Colombian Bishops’ Conference.

All speeches, slides and videos of the Webinar are available on the dedicated page.

21 May 2024