AMERICA/COLOMBIA - How to make “Christian hope” credible in the context of conflict in Colombia: theme for discussion at 9th National Theology Congress 7 to 9 October

Monday, 27 September 2004

Bogota (Fides Service) - “Reflect on Christian hope from the theological and pastoral point of view in the present context of conflict in Colombia and to offer guidelines for activity to promote the Christian experience of this theological virtue” is the aim of the 9th National Theology Congress on the theme “Christian Hope”, 7 to 9 October in Bogota, Colombia, at the Bishops Conference offices. The congress, organised by the Department for Doctrine and Ecumenism of the Bishops’ Conference, intends to promote ongoing and updated theological reflection on Catholic teaching to illuminate pastoral work in the local Church, called to be a witness of hope which can build reconciliation and peace. Participants will include bishops, priests, religious, university teachers, seminary teachers, lay theologians and pastoral workers.
“The prolonged situation of conflict in Colombia is a challenge to our hope: is there any sense in taking part in ‘peace dialogues’ in a situation ever more violent? How can Christian hope help overcome this situation? Through biblical, theological and pastoral reflection we will try to give an answer to these and other questions which will nourish our faith, render credible Christian hope, call believers and non to continue to build a Colombia where peace is a reality” Father William Correa Pareja, head of the Department for Doctrine and Ecumenism explained in a note to Fides.
Thursday 7 October after the opening ceremony presided by Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saénz, Archbishop of Bogota and President of the Colombian Bishops’ Conference, the Congress will start with a number of talks: Bishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga on “Reconciliation starting from the victims: an event of hope”; Father Andrés Torres Queiruga, a teacher at the University of Santiago di Compostela, Spain, on “Christian hope, human existential”. In the afternoon Father Alvaro Cadavid Duque, who teaches and the Institute of Pastoral and Theology of Latin America and the Caribbean (ITEPAL), will speak on “the Church builder of hope”. The participants will then form four discussion groups.
Friday 8 talks will include: Father Gustavo Baena Bustamante S.J, teacher of Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Xaverian University in Bogota, “The Biblical dimension of hope: Christian life and hope”; Father Andrés Torres Queiruga “Creation as Salvation: the basic structure of Biblical hope”; Ana María Tepedino, teacher of philosophy at the Pontifical Catholic University Rio di Janeiro Brazil, “Spirituality of Hope”. On Saturday 9 there will be the closing Mass and conference on “the Church witness of hope. Challenges and prospects” by Father Alvaro Cadavid Duque followed by a plenary assembly for the summary and final conclusions. For more information apply to:
(R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 27/9/2004; Righe 35, Parole 451)