Spain: Church and human rights, parishes, healthcare” “

The Church and the defence of human rights; the parishes and the pastoral care of the sick; diocesan and religious publications: these are the three issues to be discussed at three separate meetings to be held in Spain in the days ahead, on the initiative of various offices and commissions of the Spanish Episcopal Commission. The Symposium on the social doctrine of the Church – marking the 40th anniversary of Pacem in terris – will discuss “Human rights, a permanent defence”; to be held in Madrid from 20 to 22 November, its participants will include Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and various academics, including Juan Velarde Fuertes and Josep Mirò i Ardevol. The archbishop of Pamplona, Msgr. Fernando Sebastiàn Aguilar, will close the symposium with an intervention on the action of Christians in public life and their commitment to peace. The issue of health and the training of persons who, in the parishes, perform their apostolate among the sick, will be discussed at the meeting promoted by the Department of healthcare pastoral, with the title “Closer to those who are distant”; it will be held at El Escorial (Madrid) from 21 to 23 November. Thirdly, a study day promoted by the episcopal Commission for the means of social communication will be held in Madrid on 2 December. Its aim is to learn how to “improve diocesan and religious publications”, in particular in terms of their editorial and typographical quality. Meanwhile the episcopal Commission for the cultural heritage has recently published a Guide to the libraries of the Church. It provides a census of over 250 ecclesiastical libraries belonging to dioceses, religious orders and congregations, seminaries, pontifical universities, faculties of theology and other centres of higher education in Spain. Among the libraries with the highest number of books is that of the University of Navarre, with 708,851 books and 8,044 periodicals.

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