Experts Examine Forgiveness From Diverse Vantage Points

President of Pontifical Council for Culture Contributes to Conference

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The meaning of forgiveness was examined at a conference held at the Vatican on Monday evening.

Titled “The Forgiveness of God and the Forgiveness of Men,” the conference was organized by the Libera Università Maria SS Assunta (LUMSA) in Rome and by l’Assocazione Buonacultura.

It sought to explore forgiveness from cultural, religious, philosophical, and legal points of view.

Giuseppe Dalla Torre, rector of LUMSA in Rome, spoke on the need to forgive. «In an age like ours,» he said, «in which we have lost the sense of generosity, to talk about forgiveness means to arouse nostalgia for those bonds of solidarity, which make a strong and cohesive society.»

Valerio Toniolo, president of L’Associazione Buonacultura, told ZENIT that the participation at the conference of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Dr. Joseph Pignatone, Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Rome, made for a “great success.”

“The [event] had great success,” Toniolo told ZENIT, adding, “The theme of forgiveness from an ethical point of view and religious [point of view] compared with forgiveness seen from the point of view of legal arguments combines seemingly distant [elements] but in reality are very close.»

The event, sponsored by the Italian State Railways and streamed live on the channel, was divided into two parts. The first was a dialogue on «God’s forgiveness» and its implications for religious, philosophical and cultural factors. This section featured Cardinal Ravasi and journalist Marcello Sorgi, a columnist at La Stampa.

Second, was a panel of senior political officials in Rome, university legal faculty, and journalists who also examined how institutions and legal structures play a role in «the forgiveness of men.»

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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