Rome: international conference on depression

 Today in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, presented the program of the eighteenth International Conference on Depression, organized by the same dicastery, which is to take place on November 13-15 in the Vatican. Bishop Jose Luis Redrado, OH, and Fr Felice Ruffini, MI, secretary and undersecretary respectively of the pontifical council, accompanied the cardinal. During the presentation, Cardinal Lozano recalled that his dicastery has the duty to become familiar with present-day illnesses and "one of the most important is depression. It has been classified as one of the main 'killer' diseases of our time." Referring to modern day culture which is "devoid of values, based on well-being and pleasure, and in which economic gains count as the supreme goal," human beings, he said, "have not been able to escape the ghost of death" despite technological advances and scientific discovery. Sadness and fear of destruction take the upper hand. Death, he affirmed, is "a danger that provokes fear which can turn into depression in all its forms. This is the reason why we thought it was important to reflect on a deeper level on this illness." Cardinal Lozano said that during the conference depression in the modern world will be examined in presentations on the following themes: depression between malaise and illness; depression and religious crisis; the suicide crisis; the media and accentuation of stress. In the second session, he continued, the following topics will be studied: the history of depression; depression, subjective moral references and objective moral references; the rejection of suffering; the search for personal well-being; the meaning of depression and the malaise seen from the Jewish, Islamic, Hindi and Buddhist perspective. During the third session, the following themes will be considered: the welcoming of depressed people in the medical and hospital context; the role of the family and depression; the pastoral and spiritual care of the depressed and the need for a pastoral care of Christian faith and trust in life. Among the participants in this conference is Benedetto Saraceno, director of the department of Mental Health at the World Health Organization, as well as professors and psychiatrists from all over the world and various cardinals and bishops. Source: VIS

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