Csun's Smith Lecture to Explore History of Catholic Church and Abuse

The Sun
September 16, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Catholicism is one of the oldest sects of Christianity. It has a rich history full of divine miracles and plagued by scandal and charges of abuse.

Ex-priest Blase Bonpane will speak on the history of the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday, Sept. 23, as part of the Richard W. Smith Lecture Series at Cal State Northridge's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

His lecture, "Sexual Abuse, Cover-Up, and the History of the Catholic Church," will examine how the Catholic church handled sexual abuse allegations.

"Through the Richard Smith Lecture Series, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Cal State Northridge brings to campus award-winning writers and scholars—such as this semester's speaker, Blase Bonpane, a professor, news commentator and former Catholic priest who is well known and highly honored for his work as a peace activist and humanist," said Stella Theodoulou, dean of the college.

Bonpane currently serves as director and chief executive officer of the Office of the Americas and is a news commentator and host of the weekly program, "World Focus," on KPFK Pacifica Radio. He has received numerous awards for his work for peace and justice.

His academic degrees include a master of religious education and master of divinity from the University of the State of New York; a master's in Latin American studies from Georgetown University; and a Ph.D. in social science from UC Irvine.

Bonpane has been a professor at several universities including Cal State Northridge and UCLA, and has lectured at more than 100 universities.

The Richard W. Smith Endowment for Cultural Studies, founded by CSUN's 1991-92 Professor of the Year, Richard W. Smith, supports activities within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, including the Richard W. Smith Lecture in Cultural Studies. Smith's goal is to help scholars think like cultural psychologists, "from the perspectives of other peoples, other cultures."

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will immediately follow the lecture. Parking permits are available at the information booth located at Prairie Street and Darby Avenue. Parking is $6.


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