Academic initiatives

Forum on discernment in the family sphere In the Year of “Amoris Laetitia Family”

On 23 and 24 April an event at the Pontifical Gregorian University

The experience of the pandemic has exposed false certainties and revealed the pitfalls present in relationship dynamics. Fragility and vulnerability have also emerged in the lives of individuals as well as families. In the Year of the “Amoris Laetitia Family” – coordinated by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life – the group of teachers of the Diploma in Family Ministry of the Pontifical Gregorian University will offer two days of reflection on the experience of local churches regarding the practice of discernment. “We have chosen to tackle the theme of discernment because it is perhaps the least immediate to focus on”, explains the director of the Diploma, Fr. Miguel Yañez. “Everyone thinks they know what it is, but what does Amoris Laetitia mean by ‘discernment’? What does ‘discernment’ mean in the family and for family life, in the different stages of planning, between growth and crisis? What does ‘make discernment’ mean in this pandemic context?”.

The two days of the “Forum on discernment in the family sphere” will take place on the 23rd of and the 24th of April. The proceedings will be opened on the afternoon of Friday 23 April (4.30 pm) with greetings from Card. Kevin Farrel, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, and Fr. Nuno da Silva Gonçalves SJ, Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University. The teachers of the Diploma in Family Pastoral will then offer some reflections on the reception of the practice of discernment in family pastoral care (Emilia Palladino); on the relationship between generations, adolescence, discernment and Covid (Paolo Benanti T.O.R. - Antonietta Valente); on the pastoral challenges posed by the fragility of relationship (Giorgio Bartolomei - Giulio Parnofiello SJ).

On the morning of Saturday 24 April, 9.30 am – after the greetings of Mons. Dario Gervasi, Bishop Delegate for Family Pastoral Care of the Diocese of Rome, and of Fr. Philipp Renczes SJ, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Gregorian – new topics will be addressed, like discernment between ethics, emotional attachments and the body (Maria Cruciani - Giovanni Salonia, OFM Cap.), the ecclesial place of discernment (Giuseppe Bonfrate - Stella Morra) and the challenge of discerning when facing new situations (Miguel Yañez SJ). The days of reflection can be followed both through the Gregorian’s Youtube channel (playlist and on the website dedicated to the Amoris Laetitia Family Year of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life ( Abstracts of the papers in video format are already available on the event playlist. A simultaneous translation service in Italian, English and Spanish will be available. It will be possible to participate in the discussion by sending questions to the email address:

Now in its fifth year of activity, the Diploma in Family Ministry promoted by the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Gregorian University, offers a training course for pastoral animators and professionals in the area of marriage and the family. This path –, considered primarily as contact with the pastoral reality, not only as a theoretical approach – focuses on interdisciplinary dialogue by proposing scholars with different scientific skills in the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology, family therapy, theology and spirituality. A multidisciplinary team of teachers, accustomed to listening to the real concerns of couples and families, aim to respond to the expectations, challenges, uncertainties of marriage and the family today. For more information:

19 April 2021