Wounds remain. That is the premise of a new white paper published by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, Fully Equipped For Every Good Work: A Proposal of Twelve Core Competencies in Ministering to Survivors of Sexual Abuse For Seminary Formation Programs.
The paper offers sound wisdom and proposals for seminaries to train priests to minister to people affected by clergy sex abuse. Implemented, it could go a long way towards the healing of victim-survivors, other people involved in sex abuse, and the Catholic Church — an approach that goes beyond protection, as important as this is, and legal settlement, which is often alone unrestorative. It is authored by Fr. Thomas Berg, Dr. Timothy Lock, and Dr. Justin Anderson, and grows out of their involvement in consultations held on clergy sex abuse at the University of Notre Dame in 2021 and the University of St. Thomas in 2022. The consultations also inspired the National Catholic Restorative Justice Initiative, which works for healing from these wounds in the Church.