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Vatican and Gregorian University to hold forum on Discernment in the Family

One of Pope Francis' priorities as Pope is to teach others the art of discernment, which he defined this way during a general audience in 2019. 

Discernment is an art that does not provide standardized solutions. It is an exercise of spiritual intelligence through which we learn to look at the world contemplatively and not make hasty judgments, discovering the signs of God's presence in our lives.

The Pope also addresses the subject of discernment in his apostolic exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" which was published five years ago. In it, he says that the Church is called to form people's consciences, not to replace them.

Pontifical Gregorian University
"I think that when the Pope discusses the issue of discernment in "Amoris Laetitita," on the one hand it is prophetic, because it is something counter-cultural. On the other hand, it is the only option, because he says when our plans fall apart, there is no option but discernment.

Theologian Miguel Yáñez is the director of the degree in family pastoral care at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. 

To mark the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, he is organizing a forum on discernment in the family together with the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

It's an opportunity to teach families how to apply the ideas of discernment to the challenges daily life. 

For two days, experts in theology, psychology and sociology will explain what discernment consists of, and how it can help the family in these times of crisis caused by the pandemic. 

Pontifical Gregorian University
"We are in a culture in which it is difficult to make decisions."

"We want to try to enlighten, and to provide tools to encourage not only parents but everyone to realize and become aware of the things they have to decide. Because if you do not make a decision, someone else will decide for you."

Among the issues they will address are children's relationship with social networks and the increasing rate of divorce during the pandemic. 

The forum aims to teach families not to look for ready-made solutions to problems, but to understand what God expects from individuals in the decisive moments of their lives. 

The meeting is open to the general public and will be broadcast on YouTube. It will be available in English, Spanish and Italian. 




Javier Martinez-Brocal 

TR: Justin McLellan