From January 18 to 20, more than 2,000 participants gathered in Montreal for the Decoding Love conference, led by Christopher West and Jason Evert, two specialists in theology of the body.
The Decoding Love conference, which was put on by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal in collaboration with the Mission Jeunesse Youth Ministry office and the Diocesan Centre for Marriage, Life and Family and sponsored, in part, by Loyola High School, attracted attendees from different age groups, including clergy and laity, and Catholics and non-Catholics both single and married.
Topics covered the gamut in addressing how to integrate the truths of the Church's teaching on human love, sexuality and relationships explored in TOB. In addition to discussing marriage and family life, topics ranged from educating teenagers on the fruits of chastity, living TOB in the single life, and combatting the ravages of pornography.
"TOB helps us to recover an authentic sexuality," West said in speaking to parents about the education of their children, citing three practical principles within the home: an attitude of body goodness, the use of beauty in the education of desire, and a culture of respect and generosity. Sharing his own experiences as a father, West communicated with humour and honesty the great task of parents in our time.
One of the attendees was Bishop Alain Faubert, diocesan auxiliary bishop, who called the TOB "the curriculum of the culture of life," and urged participants to teach that curriculum through their lives and work. "This conference must not end," he said. "We must build upon the contribution of the speakers and participants, the fruits of the seminars, discussions and artistic performances. This conference must become a campaign for promoting human development and catechetical formation."