Information about the presentations the content of this section is regularly updated


The Family, Communion of Life and Love

Prof. Antonio López FSCB | John Paul II Institute, Washington

Our experience of human relationships in contemporary cultures leave us with many questions: Can one say to another person “God has given you to me”? Is it truly possible to receive another person, to let her be part of oneself? Can one really give oneself to another person without losing oneself? Does married love have any meaning other than the feelings spouses experience or the determinations made by contemporary culture and legal systems? Is it the case that to be born, to live a nuptial relation, and to be fathers or mothers are not just temporary actions whose sense remains ultimately secondary to our identity as self-standing individuals? If all these questions are answered in the negative or with only a tentative affirmation, we are left to doubt that human embodied life and love have any intrinsic meaning or truth. What then is the ground that could account for positive answers to these questions?


Loving with your whole body – not only as a couple

Dr. Teresa Suárez del Villar
 | Centro Raíces, Madrid

„I believe that we have to live three dimensions to their full extent for life to be truly lively, interesting, useful, great and happy.

One: the experience to be deeply loved and the certainty to forever be preferred. 

Two: the experience of the awareness of being a main figure in the change of the world; we personally contribute to improving it. And three: the experience of fatherhood/motherhood.

To live these three big gifts is every person’s calling. Married people, those called upon by God to live in chastity and singles.“ 


The renewing power of forgiveness

Carla Bonifati and Pio Barletta | Castrovillari

The married couple Bonifati-Barletta recounts their life experience: how did crisis happen after many years of a marriage longed for by both? What were the factors and the personal steps that eventually made reunion possible? What does the jointly taken path mean in terms of living together again?

And what role do faith and being members of the church play? 


The appealing difference – man and woman, full of suspense

Prof. Dr. Hanna-Barbara 
Gerl-Falkovitz | Technical University Dresden

Love is incomparably more challenging when it meets not only another me, but also the other sex – its unfathomable hiddenness, including body, soul and spirit. Being able to stand this difference of sexes, instead indeed to explore it, lose oneself in it, requires courage. Maybe really only love in the sense of daredevilry is able to embark on the truly different and not merely mirror its own self: woman remains a mystery for man and vice versa. 


The complementarity of man and woman

Prof. Wael Farouq | Catholic University of Milan/Italy

In the Arabic language and in the Quran, „husband”, „wife” and „married couple” are all referred to by the same term „zawj”. It means „two people who are different, but bound to each other; one cannot be without the other.”

Prof. Farouq talks about the complementarity of man and woman with reference to the Arabic language and the quran. He adds observations about the current state of coexistence of Christians and Muslims in Europe, especially regarding people’s wish to live family values. 


Understanding muslim marriage

Dr. Suzy Ismail | Cornerstone Consulting, New Jersey

Muslim marriage may be one of the most misunderstood faith-based contracts among both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Wrapped in cultural misconceptions such as arranged marriages and polygamy, which are invalid without adhering to very specific circumstances, and filled with incorrect concepts of child marriages and female oppression, Muslim marriage has been taken out of context and marred by the media and cultural constraints. The foundation of Muslim marriage is built upon the love of a man and woman for the sake of God. This love is cemented with care and mercy and is analogously described in the Quran as a relationship where two people cover one another like garments. The beauty in the Muslim marriage is that the relationship must be one of equal rights and responsibilities carried out to please God and in so doing inevitably pleasing the self as well. The spiritual connection between husband and wife in Islam transcends the confines of the earthly and ascends into a relationship that is intended to allow two people to grow closer together in this world and in the next.


Creating new trust – Intercultural coexistence in Europe

Prof. Javier Prades | University of
 San Dámaso, Madrid

According to more than a few analysts, the cultural, anthropological and religious roots of the crisis in pluralistic western societies are diverse and profound. They contribute to an increasing loss of trust in public institutions as well as interpersonal relationships. The difficulties do not need to be an obstacle, though. They can grow into an opportunity for a new start for those who more deeply understand the nature of the challenge we are facing in Europe today; we live in times in which interculturality has become a decisive mark of coexistence. Who could give us new trust so that we can work, start a family, build a fairer society for all? And how can that happen? The understanding of human experience grounded in the gospel could again contribute to the future of Europe.