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No. 41 • July - December 2005 • Page 327
 •  Initiatives

Rio de Janeiro -- Student gathering in Mira-Serra

From September 3 to 7, 2005, a gathering of students took place in the Mira-Serra Conference Center in Petropolis, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The purpose was to study two important topics: “Citizenship and Public Opinion,” and “The Meaning of Human Love.”

The first address was by Ana Cecilia de Campos Sampaio, an economist. Her topic was the “spiral of silence”: the process whereby the majority becomes mute when a minority of persons presents an unacceptable view on a vital subject such as love, marriage, the family, etc. As a result of the passive role of the majority, this opinion can then come to prevail in society.

There was a practical class on ways to defend the faith and moral values in society. In a heavily populated country like Brazil, any letter or commentary that reaches a means of communication represents the opinion of thousands of persons who fail to take the initiative to express their opinion or don’t know how to do so.

Professor Flor Martha Ferreira spoke on human love. Using literary examples, she explained the Christian and natural moral law principles that govern human affection. She thus showed that human love is on a plane far superior to mere instinct, since it possesses a spiritual dimension.

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