Confronting the Church’s Crisis

Leading Lay Voices on the Sexual Abuse Scandal in the Church

November 10, 2019
4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. EST
Location: Berkley Center Third Floor Conference Room Map

The Catholic Church has been mired in numerous scandals regarding sexual abuse and cover-ups around the globe over the course of many decades, with countless stories and situations still unknown to the public. In the wake of these scandals, the Church has taken steps to make changes and address underlying issues. This discussion featured a free and open exchange concerning what needs to happen to restore hope, what the Church is getting right, and what more needs to be done.

The event featured lay voices in this current sexual abuse tragedy that is affecting both diocesan and religious communities: Dr. Francesco Cesareo, chair of the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Dr. Len Sperry, chair of the National Advisory Council for Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM); Kathleen Coogan, parishioner and lay leader at Holy Trinity Catholic Church; and Katherine Marshall, executive director of World Faiths Development Dialogue and senior fellow at the Berkley Center, who has worked closely with faith leaders on issues of gender and sexuality. The discussion focused on three main questions: What is the way past this scandal? What are the strategies for regaining hope? What are the dynamics in creating a culture of safeguarding?

Refreshments were served prior to the panel, which began at 5:00 p.m.

This event was co-sponsored by Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.

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