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No. 37 • July - December 2003 • Page 80
 •  Initiatives

Bogota (Columbia) -- Second International Congress on the Family

The Second International Congress on the Family, held on August 28 and 29, 2003, was organized by the University of La Sabana’s Institute for the Family.

More than 100 people took part in the event. In addition to participants from all over Colombia, people came from Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain, the United States and Venezuela. All came for the same purpose: to reflect on the family. The title chosen for this Second International Congress was “From emotions to the heart: a path to the person.”

Enrique Rojas, a psychiatrist and university professor; Tomas Melendo, professor of philosophy; and Jutta Burggraf, a German philosopher and theologian, were among the speakers. Professor Burggraf spoke on the subject of forgiveness. For the Colombian listeners her words, situated in the context of human love, also represented a proposal for how to escape from the violent situation their country is going through.

The two days of reflection included debates and proposals in regard to the education of the human heart in the opening years of the twenty-first century. The talks centered on the family within the context of a society in which human and technological development do not always grow and interact harmoniously.

The Mayor of Bogotá, Antanas Mockus, and the Attorney General of Colombia, Edgardo Maya, among others, were present representing the government. Mr. Maya, at the official opening of the congress, expressed the desire “that what is said here might reach the forty million people of Colombia. That is the challenge.”

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