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    Lectures Explore Response to Clergy Sexual Abuse

    Fall lectures sponsored by the University’s Task Force on Healing, Reconciliation and Hope willwill explore: lessons that can be learned from history about the clergy sexual abuse crisis; how prayer and liturgy can be a source of healing and courage; structural reforms that might help to end the crisis of clergy sexual abuse; and ways the Church should response to survivors of abuse. The lectures, scheduled for Sept. 16 and Oct. 3, are open to the public, free of charge. Both lectures begin at 7 p.m. in the Kane Forum of Leahy Hall.
    September 4, 2019

    The University of Scranton’s Task Force on Healing, Reconciliation and Hope will host two public lectures this fall, one exploring “Insights from History and Theology” and the other discussing “Prevention, Healing and Reconciliation.” Both lectures are free of charge and open to the public.

    On Sept. 16, award-winning authors Massimo Faggioli, Ph.D., professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University, and Rita Ferrone, a writer and frequent speaker on issues of liturgy and church renewal, will discuss lessons that can be gleaned from history about the clergy sexual abuse crisis and how prayer and liturgy can be a source of healing and courage. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the second-floor Kane Forum of Leahy Hall.

    A lecture on Oct. 3 will examine structural reforms might help to end the crisis of clergy sexual abuse and the Church’s response to survivors of abuse. Michael Vanderburgh, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse and current executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Dayton, Ohio, and Rev. Thomas Berg, author and vice rector and professor of moral theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, New York, will present the lecture that will begin at 7 p.m., also in the Kane Forum of Leahy Hall.

    A church historian, Dr. Faggioli has written numerous articles and books during his career. His book “Catholicism and Citizenship” received a 2018 award for Faithful Citizenship/Religious Freedom from the Catholic Press Association. He is a columnist for La Croix International, a contributing writer for Commonweal magazine. He was awarded the 2019 Barry University Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence, which recognizes the contributions of contemporary theologians in working, writing, and teaching in light of the Catholic tradition while moving that tradition forward to meet the challenges of today.

    A contributing writer for Commonweal magazine, Ferrone has also published numerous articles in scholarly journals and Catholic magazines. Her books include “Liturgy: Sacrosanctum Concilium” and “Sourcebook for Sundays and Seasons.” She co-authored the eighteen-volume series “Foundations in Faith” and the parish renewal program “Living the Eucharist.” She received the 2007 Yale Divinity School Alumni Achievement Award for Distinction in Congregational Ministry.

    Prior to his work at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Vanderburgh served as chief development officer for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, where he led a capital campaign that raised more than $166 million. Since 2006, he has served on the committee that reviews the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s handling of sexual abuse cases. He also wrote a chapter entitled “The Suffering Church” for the book “Abuse of Trust Healing from Clergy Sexual Abuse.”

    Father Berg is author of “Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics.” He has commented extensively on the clergy sexual abuse crisis in several media outlets, including the Washington Post, First Things and the global Catholic television network EWTN.

    Convened in October of 2018, the Task Force on Healing, Reconciliation and Hope was established by University President Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., and is supported by endowed funds approved by the University’s Board of Trustees. The Task Force is co-chaired by and Christian Krokus, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Theology/Religious Studies Department, and Patricia Tetreault, vice president for human resources.

    For additional information, visit the Task Force’s website or email hrhtaskforce@scranton.edu.

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