St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese taps restorative justice to heal impact of sex abuse

Star Tribune

Oct. 25, 2019

By Jean Hopfensperger

Janine Geske, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, seems an unlikely frequent flier to Twin Cities Catholic churches. She has been introducing them to a new method for addressing the devastating impact of clergy sex abuse through a process called restorative justice.

A philosophy of justice distinct from the crime and punishment system of courtrooms, it pulls together parties affected by a crime — including victims and their communities — and offers them a safe place and process to heal from trauma.

That’s been happening in Twin Cities churches for more than a year, said Geske. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is a national leader in using restorative justice techniques to address the lingering repercussions of clergy abuse, said Geske, who was among the panelists Friday at a symposium titled “Restorative Justice, Law & Healing” at the University of St. Thomas law school in Minneapolis.

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