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Lecture series at the Centre Sèvres (Paris).

From 26 March to 14 May 2019, the Centre Sèvres is offering a series of six conferences on pastoral relations and respect for people.

The Church has been deeply shaken by cases of sexual abuse, including paedophilia. It is also wounded by abuses of authority, and even, in some groups, by sectarian divergences. We must talk about it, recognize what is unacceptable, name it and take steps to prevent it. But we can't stop there. The aim of this set of lectures is also to reflect positively on how the pastoral relationship can be lived in a chaste way, from an interpersonal and institutional point of view. This is the most effective way to limit abuses. Moreover, it gives the Church the possibility to share what it is all about at such a crucial moment.

This cycle echoes the words of Pope Francis in his letter to the people of God of August 20 2018: “It is impossible to imagine a conversion of ecclesial action without the active participation of all the components of the people of God.”

The dynamics are the following: by welcoming current events in terms of power, abuse of power and sexual abuse, everyone agrees to accept the facts, reflect, let themselves be moved and ask how they can act from their standpoint.

The series does not claim to be exhaustive but takes into account several aspects. The questions we ask ourselves will not all be dealt with at once!

Together with Bishop Luc Crépy, president of the Permanent Unit for the Fight against Paedophilia (CPLP), we will start by taking a look at the current situation of the Church in France. It should however be noted that all ranks of the Church worldwide are concerned. The credibility of the its message is at stake. It is thus invited to deeply question itself and convert.

Mrs. Geneviève de Taisne will kick off the second lecture by offering a psychoanalytical perspective , followed by Christopher Asprey from the Arche community of Jean Vanier, who will share his experience of working with vulnerable people. These two inputs will shed light on the path to follow for an adjusted practice.

The contribution of a theologian, Fr. Patrick Goujon sj, on Ignatius' way to freedom, will give us the opportunity to hear about the Church's wealth in terms of respect for the people. Clara Pavanello’s experience as mistress of the novices of Saint-André, will shed light on the roots of chastity and how it can be concretely lived by religious people nowadays. She will also talk about the proper practice of spiritual accompaniment and how to transmit it to the youngest in formation.

Finally, through a philosophical approach to the sacred, Fr. Guilhem Causse sj will invite us to make a broader detour by considering the whole of humanity in its relation to the body.

This journey will end with an evening of work in small groups to allow for more exchanges between participants and give them a greater opportunity to position themselves, including on remaining issues.

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