‘Faith and Desire – Exploring Sexuality and the Church’ is the theme of the next event in the ‘Bible and Beer’ series of discussion meetings for youths due to be held on Wednesday, November 22 at 7.45pm at Vecchia Napoli, Salini, organised by the youth section of the Missionary Society of St Paul (MSSP) Oratory, Birkirkara.

The forthcoming session will delve into topics like pornography, masturbation, premarital sex, contraceptives, and cohabitation. It will examine why the Church often takes a cautious stance in matters concerning sexual desire, particularly in today's more permissive society; it will ask what the Church's underlying motivation is, and whether it sometimes conflates sex with intimacy. It will also ask whether sexual interactions sometimes mask emotional vulnerabilities, and explore the implications of sexual assault and the impact of pornography on its victims.

The forthcoming session will also serve as an introduction to a subsequent event to be held in the Bible & Beer series that will be discussing the LGBTIQ+ community and the Church.

The session will ask what the Church's underlying motivation is, and whether it sometimes conflates sex with intimacy

To spark off the discussion at the start of the event, a panel of three speakers – comprising Anna Catania, Nicola Falzon and Fr Richard Farrugia – will share their expertise and experiences.

Catania is an accredited counselor specialising in sex and relationships. She offers counseling and psychotherapy for individuals and couples dealing with issues related to sexuality, relationships, intimacy, and body image. She is a member of the European Society for Sexual Medicine (ESSM), the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT), and the Malta Association for the Counseling Profession.

Falzon is head of the Prevention Department at YMCA Malta, a trainee psychotherapist, and an advocate for mental and sexual health. She is also a member of the European Federation of Psychology Students’ Association (EFPSA) and the European Federation of Psychologists’ Association (EFPA).

Fr Farrugia, who has studied bioethics with a focus on sexual ethics, was recently appointed parish priest at Xagħra, Gozo. He has a background in youth ministry, having served as rector at the Sacred Heart Minor Seminary and as a formator of new priests at the Gozo Seminary.

Participants at a previous Bible and Beer event.Participants at a previous Bible and Beer event.

‘Bible and Beer’ events aim to create a welcoming space where young people from diverse backgrounds can gather, exchange thoughts, and engage in meaningful discussions while enjoying a meal together.

To cover expenses, including food and beverages, the MSSP Oratory Youth asks participants for a €10 cash donation at the door. The event is open to youths aged 18 and over, and alcohol will be available.

For further details and to register interest in attending, visit this Facebook page.

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