By Lydia O'Kane
A global conference will open in Rome on Friday looking at best practices to help people with disabilities fully engage in the life of the Church.
The event entitled "Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities: A Necessary Engagement in the Daily Pastoral Life of the Church", is being sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization and partnered by The Kairos Forum, a UK based organisation that focuses on the spiritual and religious needs of people with disabilities.
Over the course of the three day gathering 450 experts from around the world will share their insights.
Lydia O’Kane spoke to Monsignor Geno Sylva, English language official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, about the goals of the conference.
Speaking about how the conference came about, Mons Sylva said, “this international conference is the fruit that was sewn during the Jubilee (of Mercy) with all the other discussions that took place afterwards.”
He underlined that, “the aim and the goal is for us as a Church and for this Pontifical Council to really learn what are the best practices that are already taking place throughout the world in catechizing people with special needs …”
The Church and Disability
But Mon Sylva also added that, what this conference is also meant to do is to “highlight the responsibility that we have as a Church to take into account the special needs for each of the baptized, so that we can present to him or her the catechism, the catechesis of our Church in a way that they can receive it; they can grasp the elements of it .”
The global conference, "Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities: A Necessary Engagement in the Daily Pastoral Life of the Church", will run from the 20th to the 22nd of October at the Urbaniana University in Rome.