International Symposium, 15-16 November 2018

Living today the prophetic vision of Humanae Vitae and Veritatis Splendor
Reflecting on Reality 50 Years and 25 Years Onwards

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Fifty years ago, on July 25, 1968, Pope Paul VI published the encyclical Humanae Vitae on married love and reproduction. Twenty-five years ago, on 6 August 1993, Pope Saint John Paul II published the encyclical Veritatis Splendor on the objectivity of moral teaching. What do these documents offer us today? Are they still relevant?

The purpose of this international symposium is to rediscover these two encyclicals, their biblical, philosophical and theological bases and in light of family breakdown, sexual materialism, and the denial of objective moral truth today. Where do we stand, and where are we going?

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Introduction (09.00-10.15hrs):
- Prof. Dr. Christiaan Alting von Geusau, Rector of the International Theological Institute, “Reflecting on reality: a new vision of humanity?”
- His Eminence Cardinal Dr. Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and Grand Chancellor of the International Theological Institute, “The West’s Three No’s to its own Future”

Coffee Break (10.15-10.45hrs)

Session I: 25 and 50 years later: where do we stand? Reports from around the globe
- David Daleiden, “Inside Planned Parenthood — the undeniability of intrinsic evil” (10.45-11.25hrs)
- Obianuju Ekeocha, “We don’t need your contraception: The weapon in the hands of Western Donors” (11.30-12.10hrs)

Holy Mass and lunch break (12.15-14.30hrs)

Session I: 25 and 50 years later: where do we stand? Reports from around the globe
- Steven Mosher, “What I saw in China” (14.30-15.10hrs)
- Dr. Carlos Beltramo, “What happened to the large family in Latin America?” (15.15-15.55hrs)
- Joris and Carolijn van Voorst tot Voorst, “A couple’s testimony” (16.00-16.40hrs)

Tea Break (16.45-17.15hrs)

Session II: The biblical foundations
- Prof. Dr. Bernhard Dolna, “Humanae Vitae and the first commandment in the Bible: be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1, 28f) (17.15 -17.55hrs)
- Prof. Dr. Michael Waldstein, “The New Testament concept of nature in Humanae Vitae” (18.00-18.40hrs)

Adoration, followed by dinner and evening concert (18.45-21.30hrs)

Friday, November 16th, 2018

Breakfast at your hotel or campus guest quarters

Session II: The biblical foundations:
- Dr. Vincent DeMeo, “Nature, freedom and the meaning of the body” (09.00-9.40hrs)
- Rev. Dr. Frederico Colautti, “The Bible and morality” (9.45-10.25hrs)

Coffee Break (10.30-11.00hrs)

Session III: The philosophical and theological background
- Rev. Dr. Jean-Yves Brachet OP, “Pastoral care and intrinsic evil: Humanae vitae, Veritatis Splendor and Amoris laetitia” (11.00-11.40hrs)
- Rev. Prof. Dr. habil. Josef Spindelböck, “The question of erroneous conscience in relation to Amoris laetitia”(11.45-12.25hrs)

Holy Mass and lunch break (12.30-14.30hrs)

Session III: The philosophical and theological background
- Very Rev. Thomas Loya, STB - “Saint John Paul’s Wednesday talks” (14.30-15.10hrs)

Session IV: Political, cultural and pastoral perspectives
- Dr. Gudrun Kugler, MP – “Humanae Vitae's and Veritatis Splendor’s perspective on politics and public life” (15.15-15.45hrs)
- Antoine Renard – “Family policies and Church teaching” (15.50-16.20hrs)

Tea Break (16.20-16.45hrs)

- Dr. med. Lic. Gintautas Vaitoska, “Contraception and hardness of heart” (16.45-17.15hrs)
- Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone – “What a bishop can tell his priests” (17.20-18.00hrs)

Angelus and closing of the symposium, followed by informal dinner

About the International Theological Institute

The conference is organized and hosted by the pontifical International Theological Institute (ITI), founded in 1996 by Pope St. John Paul II with a specific mission for today’s world: “A solid philosophical and theological formation is needed for Catholic leaders, lay and clergy, to achieve critical judgment in our culture and the capacity to contribute to the New Evangelization, which is especially needed in the area of marriage and the family”.

Students from all over the world study at the ITI in one of the five (theological) degree programs or the one-year Catholic liberal arts Studium Generale program. Student life is based on three pillars: prayer, study and community. This formation of the hearts and minds of our students brings forth a new generation of Catholic leaders, lay and clergy, joyfully equipped for the New Evangelization.

About the speakers

Speakers represent the universality of the Catholic Church, coming from Africa, Europe and the Americas.
In alphabetical order:

• Dr. Christiaan Alting von Geusau, J.D., LL.M
President and Rector of the International Theological Institute in Trumau and extraordinary Professor for Philosophy of Law and Christian Education. Von Geusau is also the founder of the Schola Thomas Morus, a Catholic High School in Trumau, Austria and the International Catholic Legislators Network (ICLN), based in Vienna. He teaches and publishes in the fields of philosophy of law, education and human dignity; Dr. Alting von Geusau is married and the father of five children.

• Carlos Beltramo, PhD
Beltramo, Argentine by nationality, received his license in philosophy from the Popular University of Puebla, Mexico and his doctorate in education from the University of Navarre Spain. He is the co-author of two widely used textbooks in character education: Quiero querer: educación de la afectividad (I want to love: education in affectivity) and Alive to the World (translated in 8 languages). He is Coordinator of the Character and Affectivity Education Area, in the Education of Human Affectivity and Sexuality Project, at the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), University of Navarra, and serving concurrently as the academic director of the Latin American Alliance for the Family. He and his wife Monica have six children.

• Rev. Dr. Jean-Yves Brachet, OP
Jean-Yves Brachet is a French Dominican living in Hungary. He has a doctorate in Sacred Theology and teaches moral theology and theology of marriage and family at the International Theological Institute (ITI) in Trumau. He also works with the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) and with the Hungarian Catholic Family Association (MAKACS). Prior to coming to the ITI he held various teaching positions internationally, including as Dean of Theology at the Ecole Saint Jean, Institut Privé de Philosophie et de Théologie, Rimont, France.

• Fr. Dr. Federico Colautti
Fr. Federico M. Colautti was born and raised in La Plata, Argentina. He studied at the S. Jose Mayor Seminary in La Plata and finished his studies at the Redemptoris Mater Diocesan Seminary of Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1992. He obtained his doctorate from the Pontifical Gregorian University with the title "Passover in Flavius Josephus." He has been involved in priestly and academic formation since 1994, after achieving his License degree at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

• Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
Archbishop Cordileone was appointed auxiliary bishop in his home diocese of San Diego (California) in 2002. At the U.S. bishops’ meeting in November 2006, he proposed to the gathered bishops that the use of contraception should be included in a list of thoughts or actions constituting grave matter. The proposal was defeated. In 2009 he was appointed the bishop of Oakland (California). From 2011-2017 he served as chairman of the bishops’ committee on defense of marriage. In 2012 he was named as Archbishop of San Francisco.

• David Daleiden
In 2013 David Daleiden started the Center for Medical Progress and launched the 30-month-long investigation documenting Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts from aborted fetuses. This investigation led the U.S. government to come within one vote in the U.S. Senate in 2017 of de-funding Planned Parenthood. Daleiden received his B.A. degree from Clairemont McKenna College. His writing has appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Human Life Review, USA Today, and The Hill.

• Dr. Vincent P. DeMeo
Vince DeMeo teaches Scripture and Theology at the International Theological Institute (ITI) in Trumau. His published doctoral dissertation is titled “Covenantal Kinship in John 13-17: A Historical-Narrative Approach”. Among giving lectures and writing several forthcoming articles, he is currently writing a book titled “The Common Good in New Testament and Patristic Thought”. He has also taught for Ave Maria University, Florida, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, Kolégium Antona Neuwirtha, Slovakia, Center for the Thought of John Paul II, Poland, and most recently, at Thomas Aquinas College, California.

• Dr. Bernhard Dolna
Vice-Rector and Dean of the International Theological Institute (ITI), Trumau. He teaches, researches and publishes extensively in the fields of Scripture and Jewish Studies, also at the University of Vienna and in Heiligenkreuz. He cultivates close relationships with Jewish leaders around the world; Dr. Dolna is married and the father of four grown children.

• Obianuju (Uju) Ekeocha
Uju, the founder and director of Culture of Life Africa, was a scientist at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. She holds a Master’s degree in biomedical science from the University of East London and a Bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Nigeria. Uju was born in southeast Nigeria, the youngest of six children, and has resided in the U.K. since 2006. In 2012 Uju wrote an open letter to Melinda Gates after learning of Gates' move to inject $4.6 billion worth of contraceptive drugs and devices into her homeland. She is the author of Target Africa (2018, Ignatius Press).

• Dr. Gudrun Kugler, MTS
Gudrun Kugler majored in Law as well as Theological Studies on Marriage and the Family and also holds a PhD in International Law. She currently serves as a member of the Austrian federal parliament and is the human rights spokesperson for her party. Previously she was an elected member of the Vienna Regional Parliament, where she covered especially human rights, European affairs, and integration of refugees. Gudrun Kugler is also the director of the Catholic online dating service, which operates in nine languages and in 13 countries. Kugler, who has published several books, was also a visiting professor at the International Theological Institute (ITI). From 2001 to 2004 she worked as the director of the World Youth Alliance - Europe in Brussels. Gudrun Kugler is married and the mother of four children.

• Fr. Thomas Loya, STB
Father Loya, STB, MA is a Byzantine rite priest for the Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma, Ohio. He hosts Light of the East Radio and is a member of the Tabor Life Institute for the education and formation in the theology of the body; he is also a conference speaker for Theology of the Body International Alliance. During his time at the Angelicum University in Rome, Fr. Loya attended St. John Paul II’s weekly audiences about The Theology of the Body.

• Steven Mosher
Mosher holds an M.A. in East Asian studies, an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University, as well as a M.S. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Washington. In 1979, as he was completing his Ph.D. dissertation at Stanford, Mosher was selected by the U.S. State Department to became the first American social scientist allowed to conduct field research in China since the Communist revolution. Permission came from Deng Xiaoping at the request of U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Mosher spent the following year in Guangdong province, an experience which he records in his bestselling book, Broken Earth (1984). Stanford University refused to award Mosher the Ph.D. he had earned following demands by the Chinese government that he be "severely punished" for writing articles "attacking China." In his publications, Mosher has documented many human rights abuses, including forced abortions in China's infamous one-child policy. Mosher is president of the Population Research Institute. Among Mosher’s other published works are Journey To The Forbidden China (1985), A Mother's Ordeal (1993), and Bully of Asia (2017). Mosher, a convert to Roman Catholicism, lives in Virginia with his wife, Vera, and has nine children.

• Antoine Renard Antoine Renard is a French citizen, married and the father of three children. He works as an engineer and executive in the railway industry. He is the president of FAFCE, the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations, an NGO with a participatory status at the Council of Europe. FAFCE represents families from 16 countries across Europe and promotes the family and its interests at the European level based on principles such as solidarity, subsidiarity and the common good.

• His Eminence Cardinal Dr. Christoph Schönborn OP Cardinal Schönborn is the Archbishop of Vienna and Grand Chancellor of the International Theological Institute; He was the editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church under St. John Paul II and later its youth version “YouCat” under Pope Benedict XVI. Before being ordained a bishop in 1991, he was a Professor of Theology and a member of the International Theological Commission. He participated in the 2015 Family Synod and is a member of various Vatican institutions, including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Catholic Education. He publishes and lectures extensively.

• Rev. Dr. Joseph Spindelböck
Josef Spindelböck was born in Kirchberg/Tyrol. He is a Roman Catholic priest of the diocese of St Pölten (Austria) and belongs to the “Gemeinschaft vom heiligen Josef”. Spindelböck earned his doctorate at the University of Vienna in Social Ethics and Moral Theology. He wrote his habilitation thesis at the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. He is a Professor of Moral Theology and lecturer of Ethics at the “Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule St. Pölten” and a Visiting Professor at the International Theological Institute in Trumau. Josef Spindelböck is a member of the Ethics Committee of Lower Austria and a “Defensor vinculi” at the Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court in St Pölten. He is also engaged in pastoral work in the parishes of Mühldorf and Spitz/Danube. Fr. Joseph’s main emphasis in research is the Theology of the Body of John Paul II.

• Dr. Lic. Theol. Gintautas Vaitoska
Dr. Vaitoska is a medical doctor in Vilnius, Lithuania with a specialization in psychiatry as well as a doctoral candidate in Theology. He teaches and serves as the director of the Masters in Marriage and Family Studies program at the International Theological Institute in Trumau; in Lithuania he works extensively with experts, politicians and church representatives to stem the tide of ideologically motivated programs undermining marriage, life and religious liberty. Gintautas is married and the father of a grown daughter.

• Joris and Carolijn van Voorst tot Voorst
Joris and Carolijn are the parents of five grown children and the grandparents of three (and counting). Joris is the National Director of Aid to the Church in Need in The Netherlands and President of the Netherlands’ Association of the Order of Malta. Carolijn, who studied psychology, founded the children’s catechesis foundation “Kinderwerk Samuel” that has provided literature and courses for teaching the faith to young children for over 30 years.

• Dr. Michael Waldstein
Michael Waldstein is St. Paul Center Faculty Fellow at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He was the founding president of the International Theological Institute in Austria until 2007 and prior to that was a Professor of Theology at Notre Dame University, and at Ave Maria University prior to joining Franciscan. He served as a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family (2003-2009) and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Eichstaett, Germany. He holds a B.A. from Thomas Aquinas College, a Ph.D. from the University of Dallas, an S.S.L. from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and a Th.D. from Harvard University in New Testament and Christian Origins. His books include a critical edition of the four Coptic manuscripts (with English translation) of the Secret Book of John, a Gnostic text discovered in the Nag Hammadi codices, and a new translation of John Paul II’s “Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body”.

Practical and planning details for the symposium

- Conference venue: the campus main building (Schloss) of the International Theological Institute (ITI) in Trumau, 25km South of Vienna, Austria.

- Accommodation: we recommend the following hotels in the town of Baden, located 9km from the campus of the ITI. We will provide a shuttle service between the campus and the recommended hotels four times a day: Hotel Schloss Weikersdorf (4*), Hotel Herzoghof (4*), Hotel Admiral (4*) and At the Park Hotel (4*), all in Baden bei Wien. Please book as soon as possible since room capacity may be limited.

- Meals: lunch and dinner are included in the conference fee. Breakfast in the hotels.

- Conference fee: €150,-, students €75,-; the conference registration is only final after payment. Banking information may be found here:

- How to reach our campus, see:

- Language: the entire conference will be held in English and there will be no translation services provided.

- Conference publication: audio of the conference will be uploaded to the ITI website and YouTube Channel after the conference.

- More information on the International Theological Institute:

- Registration and further information: [email protected] or call +43 2253 218 08