Notre Dame panel asks about clerical crisis: ‘Where are we now?’


September 26, 2019

By Christopher White

South Bend, Indiana – Some of the leading figures in the U.S. Catholic Church in charge of the response to the clerical sex abuse crisis convened on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on Wednesday with a consensus that while the Church has been slow to reform, that change is underway.

The event was an initiative of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, who opened the forum by summoning the famous words of Saint Francis of Assisi, “rebuild my church,” as inspiration for the event dubbed “The Church Crisis: Where are we now?”

John L. Allen, Jr., editor of Crux, served as the moderator for the evening panel, which included Chilean abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz; former FBI agent Kathleen McChesney, who helped lead the U.S. bishops’ response to the crisis after 2002; Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore who, most recently, oversaw the investigation into Bishop Michael Bransfield of the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston; and Peter Steinfels, a long-time religion reporter for the New York Times.

“Most of us, myself very much included, know much less about this painful, stomach churning scandal than we think we know,” said Steinfels who kicked-off the panel discussion.

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