Italia – “Young people and Sexuality: Challenges, Criteria and Educational Routes”: a conference at UPS for educators and pastoral workers

28 February 2024

(ANS – Rome) – Accompanying young people on their path to integral maturity cannot ignore education in love, affectivity and sexuality, especially in today’s society, where young people are faced with a complexity of anthropological visions, models and behavioural options as never before. Aware of this, the Salesian Congregation has already been moving for years to ensure that those involved in educating the young know how to be a valid point of reference in the challenges of this era. It is in this regard that the upcoming conference "Youth and Sexuality. Challenges, criteria and educational paths" organised by the Pontifical Salesian University (UPS) in Rome for the coming weekend (1-3 March 2024). It will also involve the General Councillor for Youth Ministry, Fr Miguel Angel García Morcuende, during all the proceedings, and on the final day also Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, who will preside at the concluding Eucharist.

The conference, intended for educators, religious men and women, priests and pastoral workers, is the culmination of an interdisciplinary reflection process carried out within the UPS over the last two years and the starting point of a new formation proposal to enable educators to accompany young people in such a delicate and vital area of their affective life.

The opening of proceedings, scheduled for Friday, 1 March 2024 at 4 p.m. to a reflection on the anthropological and ethical criteria for interpreting the affective and sexual experience of young people. It will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a talk on the meaning of sexual difference by Prof. Maria Elena Canzi of the Catholic University of Milan. At 11:30 a.m., on the other hand, the theme of gender identity and sexual orientation will be addressed by the psychologist and UPS lecturer Fr Paolo Gambini, SDB.

In the afternoon (3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) 'parallel study sessions' are scheduled, on specific topics such as: educational itineraries for a pastoral care that educates to love; the influence of the media on young people's sexuality; the questions posed by coexistence, the declinations of affective and sexual education in other cultures; the relationship between aesthetics of the body and identity; pornography; the Church and the accompaniment of LGBT people and the protection of the vulnerable.

Sunday 3 March will be devoted to the presentation of Educational Proposals that can Inspire the Activities of Christian Communities by Dr Alberto Pellai, doctor and psychotherapist. A specialization course that the University intends to launch to train educators qualified to work in this delicate form of accompaniment will also be presented.

The conference will end at the end of the morning with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Rector Major and the Chancellor of UPS, Card. Ángel Fernández Artime.

Due to the relevance of the topics dealt with and the interlocutors involved, some of the highest reference institutions in the ecclesial and educational sphere have given their patronage to the event, such as: the Vatican Dicasteries for Culture and Education and for the Laity, Family and Life, the Vicariate of Rome, the National Service for Youth Ministry of the Italian Episcopal Conference, the Union of Major Superiors of Italy and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and Family, as well as various Catholic media (Avvenire, Tv2000, InBlu2000, AgenSir...).

For more information, please visit the website dedicated to the conference: 


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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