At the Center
Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
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Friday, Jun. 8, 2012 11:14 AM
Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson addresses the conference
Ten years after the scandal of child sexual abuse by priests rocked the U.S. Catholic Church to its core, has enough been done to protect children, prevent recurrence, and strengthen institutional accountability and transparency?
The mixed-bag answer to that question was the subject of the conferece "Clergy Sexual Abuse Ten Years Later," held May 11, 2012, at Santa Clara University. The Ethics Center was a sponsor of the event.
Supporters of reform take heart that most U.S. dioceses have a “zero tolerance” policy for priests facing credible allegations – even if they are un-adjudicated. They note that allegations have dropped drastically from the peak of the epidemic after the 1970s, and new allegations now number fewer than a dozen a year nationwide. But critics and reformers alike continue to find problems with the lack of oversight or consequence for rogue bishops who refuse to comply with best practices established by the so-called Dallas Charter. And the legacy of clericalism and spotty accountability has been hard to erase.
The panelists included Karen Terry, Ph.D., the principal investigator for two nationally acclaimed John Jay College of Criminal Justice studies on the nature, scope, and causes of the abuse scandals; Barbara Blaine, who in 1988 founded the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP); Kathleen McChesney, Ph.D., former FBI executive who was the first executive director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Bishops; and SCU Professor Thomas Plante, a consultant on priest sexual abuse who also helps screen seminarians for sexual-abuse proclivities as vice chair of the National Review Board for the U.S. Bishops’ Protection of Children and Youth office.
Thursday, May. 3, 2012 10:42 AM
Friday is the deadline to register for the conference "Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis," to be held May 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on the Santa Clara University campus. Taking on a still-controversial topic, a diverse group of experts, including victims and clergy, offers reflections on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, examining what the church has done—and what it still needs to do—to protect children.
Keynote speakers are:
Karen J. Terry, PhD, is a professor in the criminal justice department and the interim dean of research at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She holds a doctorate in criminology from Cambridge University and has several publications on sex offender treatment, management, and supervision. Most recently, she was the principal investigator on the national Study of the Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church from 1950–2002 and on the Study of the Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010.
Thomas J. Reese, S.J., senior fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University and former editor of America magazine. Author of a trilogy examining church organization and politics on the local, national, and international levels: Archbishop: Inside the Power Structure of the American Catholic Church (Harper & Row, 1989), A Flock of Shepherds: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (Sheed & Ward , 1992), and Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church (Harvard University Press, 1997). Currently co-ordinates the Religion & Public Policy Program and International Visiting Fellowship Program at Woodstock.