By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
An International Congress entitled “Vida, familia y libertad religiosa” (Life, Family and Religious Freedom) is taking place in La Paz, Bolivia on Friday. Organized by the Fundación Vida y Familia (Life and Family Foundation) and the Bolivian Catholic University of St Paul, the congress’ objective is to announce the Gospel of Life, improve coordination among pro-life groups and plan activities favorable to the defense and promotion of life and the family. This event brings together institutions at every level of Bolivian society: teachers, pro-life groups, lay movements, pastoral ministers, and professionals.
United pastoral ministry
In announcing this year’s XI International Congress, the President of the Fundación Vida y Familia, Bishop Cristóbal Bialasik of the Diocese of Oruro, underlined the importance of “working toward a truly united pastoral ministry”. The Congress, he said, does this by providing information “on very important topics in both the international and national spheres” which specifically touch the work undertaken in the Church.
The theme for this year’s congress is “The Family and Religious Freedom”. Professionals representing academia, jurisprudence, medical science, Bolivia’s Ministry of Justice, and groups offering support to children, adolescents, and women have been invited to share their specific expertise. They will be covering a range of topics including the rights of pre-born children, human dignity, adoption as a means for restoring family rights, family rights regarding the education of their children and prevailing ideologies, the reality of abortion in Bolivia and America, and the right to live in a family.