Updated: November 03, 2014 05:14 PM GMT
Married couples gather for a dinner-dance at St. Timothy's Church in Mesa, Arizona (Credit: Nancy Wiechec/CNS)
A month after closing a Synod of Bishops on the family stirred by controversy over divorce, same-sex unions and other non-marital relationships, Pope Francis will open an interreligious conference dedicated to traditional marriage.
The Vatican-sponsored gathering, on the "Complementarity of Man and Woman," will take place November 17-19 and feature more than 30 speakers representing 23 countries and various Christian churches, as well as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism and Sikhism.
The conference will aim to "examine and propose anew the beauty of the relationship between the man and the woman, in order to support and reinvigorate marriage and family life for the flourishing of human society," according to organizers.
Pope Francis will address the conference and preside over its first morning session November 17, following remarks by Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The conference was an initiative of Cardinal Muller, who proposed it to Pope Francis in November 2013, according to Helen Alvare, a professor at George Mason University School of Law in Virginia, who is handling press relations for the event.
Source:Catholic News Service
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