"Restoring Trust," a conference on Catholic sexual abuse crisis, to be held at Notre Dame

by Michael O. Garvey

Five Notre Dame faculty members will join Commonweal editor Margaret O’Brien Steinfels on Oct. 14 (Monday) in the University’s McKenna Hall auditorium for a conference on the sexual abuse scandal recently afflicting the Catholic Church.p. The conference, entitled “Restoring Trust: Perspectives After Dallas,” will begin at 4:30 p.m. with an introduction by Notre Dame president Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., followed by a panel discussion on “Dallas and Beyond: The Experience and the Future.” The panelists will be Ms. Steinfels; R. Scott Appleby, professor of history and John M. Regan, Jr. Director of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; and Rev. Richard P. McBrien, Crowley-O’Brien Professor of Theology at Notre Dame.p. A panel discussion on “Emerging Issues for the Church” will begin at 7:30 p.m. The panelists, all Notre Dame faculty, will be Gerard V. Bradley, professor of law; Mary Rose D’Angelo, associate professor of theology; and Rev. Brian Daley, S.J., Catherine Huisking Professor of Theology.p. Steinfels and Appleby were prominent speakers at the June 14 meeting in Dallas where the Catholic bishops of the nation adopted a controversial “zero tolerance” policy for all past and present sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The policy requires Vatican approval to become Church law and consequently binding in all dioceses. Yesterday, an anonymous Vatican official told The Associated Press that the Holy See would issue its response to the policy Oct. 10 or Oct. 11.p. Since reports of sexual abuse among clergy began rocking the American church in January, at least 300 of the nation’s 46,000 priests have been removed from their ministries, and many bishops have been criticized for inadequately responding to reports of abuse.p.

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