Vatican co signs Living Fully 2016 Statement and Charter for the Church where Everybody has a place
The Pontifical Council for Culture has continued its collaboration with The Kairos Forum and other delegates who attended the ground breaking international symposium and conference, “Living Fully 2016” in Rome in June this year.
Among the international thinkers and activists gathered for the conference were representatives from Livability – whose work on inclusion and belonging in the church laid the groundwork for this Charter.
The outcome is a robust Statement and Charter for the Church, affirming that everybody of all abilities has a place in our faith communities. Conversations and presentations from the four days spent together are integrated into a key statement document.
Reinforcing the importance of this event and the ongoing mission to include everyone of all abilities, the Statement and Charter are now on the way to becoming official documents. Key signatories of the document include Cardinal Ravasi, President and Monsignor Melchor Sánchez de Toca, Under Secretary of The Pontifical Council for Culture. Enabling disabled people is now more than ever part of the Council’s culture. Given this ongoing commitment, future opportunities to expand on the “Living Fully 2016” events are not only possible, but likely.
The Pontifical Council for Culture has produced a special edition journal, merging their own ongoing work with the “Living Fully 2016” outcome. This includes abridged versions of selected papers presented at the events, as well as the Statement and Charter and for the first time ever, a Widgit symbols statement within a Pontifical publication.
Monsignor Gergely Kovács, Head of Office at the Pontifical Council for Culture compiled Vol. XXIV 2016 N.3 of the Dicastery’s journal, which has a focus on the “Living Fully 2016” conference. Fullness of life and loneliness, both issues in the lives of disabled people , were just two of the many topics the “Living Fully 2016” conference covered in Rome. The first part of this edition of the journal contains details of the conference, along with articles written by participants of the event. Great care was taken in selecting a statement from each “Living Fully 2016” paper in order to highlight the importance of each and every one.
Cristina Gangemi, Director of The Kairos Forum – and Livability Community Network Coordinator at Livability – sums up the Living Fully mission:
‘The conference looked at new ways that parishes could become a place of welcome and belonging in the life of the Church, for those who have been excluded in different ways. It also brought attention to the important dialogue about people with different abilities within the Church, while celebrating their lives and how they uniquely live their faith.’
Mat Ray, Head of Church Partnerships at Livability said:
‘For us at Livability it was a brilliant opportunity: We got to link up with thinkers and activists from around the world to share ideas and encouragement. And we were proud to be able to share our work on inclusion and belonging in the church, which laid the groundwork for this Charter.’
The journal will be published in January 2017 and will be widely available. In addition, building on the successful events of this year, more exciting Living Fully events are planned for 2017 with details to be announced in the new year.