Lectures to Examine Sex Abuse Scandal

The Cincinnati Post [Dayton OH]
Downloaded October 8, 2003

The sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church will be the subject of a lecture series at the University of Dayton.

The series starts next semester, but as a prelude, the Rev. James Heft, a professor of faith and culture, will speak on "The Sexual Abuse Crisis: A Case for Greater Shared Authority in the Roman Catholic Church" at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Mathias Heck Courtroom, Keller Hall.

The lecture series begins in winter semester 2004 with public presentations that examine sexual abuse from a clinical perspective.

One presentation will focus on legal issues, and organizers hope to include speakers who have worked with victims and offenders, plus experts who can discuss how the legal culture shapes the handling of these cases.

The next two semesters will explore the life of the church and what it means to be a broken community and a reconciling community, said Department of Religious Studies Chair Sandra Yocum Mize.

The lecture series will coincide with two major reports due next year from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, one on compliance with new rules intended to prevent sexual abuse, the other a survey on the extent of the problem.

"Our hope is that through informed and open conversations we might contribute to the upbuilding of the life of the church in these critical times," Mize said.

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