AMERICA/COLOMBIA - In the light of the Gospel identify threats posed by cultures, particularly threats to the faith and the values of the Kingdom of Heaven: goals of ‘Ongoing Symposium on Evangelising Cultures’ stage 2

Monday, 7 November 2005

Bogota (Fides Service) - Ecclesial and university experts from Colombia and other countries will attend stage 2 of an ‘Ongoing Symposium on Evangelising Cultures’ organised by the Colombian Bishops’ Commission for Education, Culture and Universities 23 - 25 November and the Commission’s offices in Bogota. The aim of the 18 month long Symposium is to identify in the light of the Gospel threats posed by cultures, particularly threats to the faith and the values of the Kingdom of Heaven. Participants will include university pastoral-care delegates, chaplains and lay people active in the university sphere, most of whom took part in stage one held 25 -27 May this year. During this second stage participants will present pastoral initiatives undertaken as fruits of the first lap of the Symposium.
Stage 2, like stage 1, will have an intense programme offering a variety of questions for reflection. The work will be opened on Wednesday 23 November with a talk “How to continue evangelising traditional cultures while starting to evangelise the new cultures which appear in large cities” by Fr Jorge Martínez, a teacher at Xaverian University Bogota. This will be followed by a paper on “ The Gospel and new cultures” by Rev. Leonidas Ortiz, Rector of the Latin American Institute of Theology and Pastoral Care. The next day 5 conferences will alternate with discussion on the themes: “Puebla and Santo Domingo and faith and cultures” (Fr. Gerardo Remolina); “Church Teaching, evangelisation and cultures” (Bishop Ponzalo Restrepo, auxilary of Cali); “The loss of cultural identity opens the way for dehumanising practices” (Rev. Fernando Garzón, Rector of San Bonaventura University Bogota); “The Gospel, work, leisure time, arts, culture and tourism”( Maria Clara Obando); “New forums and new cultural situations” (Fr. Francisco Niño, editor of the newspaper “Catholicism”).
Friday 25 November Bishop Juan Vicente Córdoba Villota, auxiliary of Bucaramanga, will start the work of the day with a conference “Pastoral care of culture for married couples, families and women”. The last conference of stage 2 Ongoing Symposium will focus on “Study of cultures from the point of view of theology and the latter’s impact on the evangelisation of the former”, by Fr. Alvaro Betancurt . (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 7/11/2005, righe 29, parole 398)