Dear friends from the National Organizations,
Greetings from JECI-MIEC!
We are very happy to invite you to our JECI-MIEC Colloquium “Young Christians and Sexuality in the 21st Century’s Europe” – “The Choice of our lifestyle”, which will be taking place in Warsaw, Poland from 5th – 12th October 2014 (including arrival and departure day). Thanks to the hosting organization KIK Drum Bun Poland, it was possible to re-schedule and re-organize this Colloquium originally planned to take place in Ukraine hosted by AUCS Obnova.
The Colloquium is targeted to both: Secondary and University Students.
This Colloquium is co-financed by the European Youth Foundation (EYF) regularly alternating with other typical activities of the European Coordination JECI-MIEC.
What is our Colloquium about?
Understanding of sexuality in 21st century’s Europe is diverse – as the debates and controversies are. Although Europe’s history and culture has been profoundly shaped by Christian values, European secular societies are nowadays facing the “challenge”, that to the tradition of living in a two-sexes-lifestyle there are many more options, which might even will have their role to play as it regards the demographic development of future Europe. Especially as secular positions towards sexuality meet faith-based (and particularly Christian) convictions and beliefs, debates and discussions tend to become inevitable: Some topics such as sexual orientation, marriage and divorce concern particular lifestyles, while others such as contraception and abortion even have controversial ethical implications. Most recently topics such as pedophilia and sexual abuse within Church have been subjected to strong criticism globally. What does this have to do with young people in Europe?
The European Coordination JECI-MIEC is a platform of secondary and university students in Europe who share their common identity as Catholic believers. Taking into account contemporary developments, it is clear that apart from morals and values concerning sexuality also Christianity in itself has further developed. Different world-views and debates on what is, can or should be allowed in one’s sexual life do not only come up between Church and secular society, but exist also within the community of Christian and especially Catholic believers in Europe and beyond. To give an example: “What is in the eyes of a Catholic student better? A committed homosexual partnership or a ‘proper’ marriage where there is disrespect and violence?” As recognizable from this question, decisions on (especially one’s own) sexuality need to be taken individually, consciously, respectful and responsibly – even if there for sure exist collective catalogues of values from several secular and religious instances.
Our colloquium therefore aims at raising awareness about the diversity existing among secular societies and Christians in Europe as it regards the topic sexuality and the reality of young people (SEE), to enable the participants of this colloquium to take their decisions on theirsexuality more consciously and without prejudices or discrimination (JUDGE) and to make society aware of the results of these reflections (ACT).
Out of the variety of topics and issues existing, JECI-MIEC decided upon the following fields of interests to be addressed during thecolloquium:
1) sexual orientation: particularly topics such as heterosexuality, homosexuality, transgender and queer-theory;
2) sexuality and responsibilities: particularly pregnancy, abortion, contraception;
3) decisions and life-styles such as traditional family models and alternative concepts existing;
4) sexual disorders such as pedophilia;
5) sexual abuse within Church as a current global debate relevant to both believers and non-believers.
Please find attached the Call and the application form.
Deadline for completing the participants’ application form: 5th September 2014.
With best regards on behalf of the preparatory team,
(co-financed by the European Youth Foundation)