Rome Conference on Forgiveness

Virtue of Forgiveness Formation in Educational Programs to Promote Peace


Pontificia Universita della Santa Croce
John Paul II Auditorium

January 18, 2018

The Rome Conference on Forgiveness took place on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at the University of Santa Croce, near the Piazza Navona. You can view excerpts from the conference whenever you wish. The Videoltre film crew video-recorded the talks.  They are available to you below. Please click on the speaker’s name to access the video presentation.  At the end of the speakers’ list is a playlist option in which all of the videos are available in one place.


What is the focus of the conference?

This was a one-day conference in beautiful Roma. The program first focused on forgiveness education with children and adolescents. The next set of speakers discussed forgiveness from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, examining what it means to forgive, the importance of forgiveness, and how to better interact with others through forgiveness.


View the videotaped conference.
(Click on the speaker’s name to access h
is/her presentation.)


Fr. Luis Navarro, Rector, Professor, University of Santa Croce, gives the opening remarks.  “The way to forgive is to love……It is an honor for us to have this conference here……It will be useful for us today…but also for the future.”


Fr. Robert Gahl, Professor of Philosophy, University of Santa Croce, introduces the entire set of talks for the afternoon.  “It is an exceptional occasion so that we can all go deeper in our understanding of forgiveness whether more from an academic perspective, or a personal, or spiritual, or diplomatic, or political.”


Dr. Robert Enright of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the International Forgiveness Institute, Inc. discusses the science of forgiveness education.  What does it mean to forgive?  What is forgiveness education?  What is the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of forgiveness education?  Why should we have forgiveness education.


Annette Shannon discusses forgiveness education at Holy Cross Girls Primary School in Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Alison Sutherland, Director-at-Large of the Rotarian Action Group for Peace informs us of some of the peace initiatives in which her groups are involved.


Peta Pellach of the Elijah Interfaith Institute in Jerusalem discusses forgiveness in Judaism.


Hon. Omer Ahmed Kerim Berzinji, ambassador of Iraq to the Vatican, discusses forgiveness in Islam.


Msgr. Mariano Fazio discusses forgiveness from a Christian perspective.


Complete YouTube playlist


Media Coverage of the Rome Conference on Forgiveness:


‘Forgiveness science’ founder can’t prove it, but suspects a ‘Francis effect’


ROME – Scientific study of the world has been around for a while now, so it’s rare these days to meet the founder of an entirely new branch of science. That, however, is what you’ve got in full living color in the person of Robert Enright, a Catholic who teaches at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and who pioneered what’s today known as “forgiveness science.”
In essence, it’s a scientific attempt to answer two questions:

•  First, how does forgiveness actually work?

•  Second, what are the consequences of forgiving someone for the one who does the forgiving?

Enright has spent the last thirty-plus years developing hard, empirical answers, including a four-phase, twenty-step process to lead patients to forgive. He insists data prove it has positive effects, including tangible reductions in anxiety, anger and psychological depression, and gains in self-esteem and optimism about the future.


Click here to read the rest of this story.


‘Horton Hears a Who’ fosters forgiveness in Northern Ireland


ROME – For anyone who grew up reading Dr. Seuss, it comes as no surprise that the lessons written in his stories can be powerful tools for imparting values, especially to children.

For primary school teachers in Northern Ireland, Horton Hears a Who, the classic tale of the elephant Horton and his struggle to save the invisible “Whos”, has proven an effective way to teach forgiveness in a community long torn apart by Catholic and Protestant tensions.


“A person is a person, no matter how small,” the main line from the book, is at the heart of their application of forgiveness therapy, a relatively new and scarcely-used science aimed at understanding and applying the redeeming quality of forgiveness.


Click here to read the rest of this story.

Videoltre Positive Action APS (Roma, Italy)
Santa Croce Videos
O Clarim

We extend heartfelt thanks to our partner Forgive4Peace who made this conference possible.