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Salving the Wounds That Remain: On the Sex Abuse Crisis in the Catholic Church…

U.S. Catholics widely believe that the “enduring wounds” from the sex abuse crisis are foremost among wounds in the Church. This was one of the main conclusions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ synthesis of U.S. Catholics’ views in its recent report for the global synodal process.

“Salving the Wounds That Remain: Where the Catholic Church Can Find Healing for its Sex Abuse Crisis” is the name of a lecture that I delivered at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 15th.

The lecture can be viewed here. It runs about 35-40 minutes, followed by a lively question and answer session that brought out heartfelt testimonies and views of survivors, for which I am grateful.

Here is the description:

The St. Thomas Office for Mission and School of Law’s Initiative on Restorative Justice and Healing invite you to their co-sponsored event featuring Professor Daniel Philpott.

Twenty years after sex abuse in the Catholic Church became a headline, vast wounds remain, not least the unacknowledged suffering of survivors. The dominant remedies, the logics of the journalist, the lawyer, and the therapist, have been secular. While these have achieved important results, true and widespread healing comes from looking to God’s own response to evil at the foundation of the Church: the cross and the resurrection of Jesus.

This talk, echoing nineteenth century Catholic philosopher Antonio Rosmini’s Five Wounds of the Church, will explore how God’s reconciliation of the world yields a restorative response to sex abuse that promises healing for survivors, perhaps surprisingly, abusers, the Catholic faithful, and the credibility of the Church.

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