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2016 Friends of the Department of Religious Studies Speaker

What is Catholic about the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis?

Dr. Robert Orsi
Professor of Religion, Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies, Department of Religious Studies, Northwestern

Monday, April 25th, 2016, 7:00pm
Summerfield Room, Adams Alumni Center
RSVP: pbaudino@ku.edu / 785-864-4341
This event is FREE. Open to the public. Seats are limited.

As the full extent of the sexual abuse of children and adolescents by priests and the coverup of these crimes by diocesan officials became apparent, in the United States and around the world, church officials sought to build a wall between the reality of what happened and Catholicism itself. These were crimes, pathological acts, no different from the abuse of children by other adults, such as sports coaches, or so it was asserted. From this perspective, the crisis has nothing to say about Catholic history or contemporary practice. This lecture takes another approach, looking at the abuse of children and its consequences—in particular its religious consequences—in relation to the Catholic worlds within which the abuse occurred and asking what these evil acts say about these worlds. It specifically considers how many survivors of clerical sex abuse understand what happened to them its effects on their lives, and its impact on their faith and practice.

To learn more about Dr. Orsi and his work, visit orsi.northwestern.edu

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