Over 300 delegates began a three-day international symposium on natural law at the Catholic university of Eastern Africa, in Nairobi yesterday. The interdisciplinary, inter-religious and intercultural symposium is a response to an invitation by Pope Benedict XVI, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who showed great concern for the search for truth during his tenure as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained the chair of the symposium committee, Reverend Doctor Paul Chummar, during the official opening of the meeting by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin. In a letter to the rector of the University, Father John Maviiri, dated November 5, 2004, Cardinal Ratzinger had observed that the Catholic Church was becoming increasingly concerned by the contemporary difficulty in finding a common denominator among moral principles held by all people. In his address, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, Archbishop Lebeaupin observed that one Catholic tradition was the respect for other people's faith, validity of natural marriage of non Christian couples. It is also on the these natural bases of law the Christian family is based and in particular, that the marriage can be only between a man and women, he stressed. Symposium chair committee, Reverend Doctor Chummar, said more than 21 papers would be presented during the symposium, adding that three presenters were expected from Kenya, Germany and India.
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