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2019-2020 Notre Dame Forum to address Church sex abuse crisis

| Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The 2019-2020 Notre Dame Forum, titled “Rebuild My Church: Crisis and Response” will focus on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, University President Fr. John Jenkins announced in press release Wednesday.

“While we must never fail to be honest and forthright about terrible acts of abuse and failures of oversight, the forum is designed to be constructive and forward-looking,” Jenkins said in the release.

According to the release, the annual Notre Dame Forum, first established in 2005, promotes academic discussion of “issues of importance to the University.”

The 2019-forum will “examine the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and explore reforms to which it should lead,” the release said.

The forum’s first event, a panel titled “The Church Crisis: Where are We Now?” is scheduled for Sept. 25 and will feature several scholars familiar with the crisis, including Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI executive who contributed to the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”; sexual abuse survivors’ advocate Juan Carlos Cruz; journalist Peter Steinfels; and John Allen, the editor of Crux, a Catholic news organization.

More panelists may join the panel, the release said. More events in the forum will explore possible reforms to address the crisis.

In the release, Jenkins also announced the creation of a committee to award over $1 million in grants to Notre Dame faculty to support research on sexual abuse and clericalism in the Church.

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