At St. Mary’s University we are proud of our Catholic identity. Thanks to the generosity of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL), we are honoured to host a leading Catholic speaker for our CWL Annual Lecture in Catholic Studies. On Friday, October 2 (5:30 – 7:30 pm MST), Sister Nuala Kenny, MD will offer this year’s virtual keynote address on “Healing the Church: Diagnosing and Treating the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis”. Due to COVID-19, our lecture will be held online.
Sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is the greatest scandal of the modern Church. It has caused devastating, life-long harm to victim-survivors and their families and communities. It has resulted in the loss of trust in the Church as a place of holiness, care and justice, and has eroded the credibility of its leaders as disciples of a loving and merciful Jesus. For some, it has precipitated a crisis of faith in God as it has wounded bodies and minds and crushed souls. The Catholic Church is wounded and in need of healing.
As a pediatrician who is also a Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, Dr. Kenny is very familiar with the devastating harms of the physical and sexual abuse of children and youth. Among her many accolades, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999 for her contributions to child health and medical education and she has received a Queen’s Jubilee Medal. As a Sister of Charity – Halifax for over 50 years, Sister Nuala is deeply committed to helping the Catholic Church heal from this crisis. She has been involved in this work since her 1989 participation in the St. John’s, Newfoundland, Archdiocesan Commission on Clergy and Clergy Sexual Abuse. She has authored two books on this topic, Healing the Church (2012) and Still Unhealed: Treating the Pathology in the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis (2019). Sister Nuala also served as an advisor to the CCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Protection of Minors (2014-2018) which produced “Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse: A Call to the Catholic Faithful in Canada for Healing, Reconciliation and Transformation”.
On Friday evening, October 2nd, Sister Nuala Kenny’s virtual keynote address is titled “Dynamics and Diagnosis: A Call for Personal and Ecclesial Reform”. Using her medical background, Sister Nuala will help us properly diagnose the deeper systemic issues that are at the root of this crisis. With this understanding, she will then draw upon the words and actions of Jesus, the Healer, to provide a holistic prescription for healing the Church. To register for this free online lecture, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-cwl-annual-lecture-in-catholic-studies-by-sister-nuala-kenny-md-tickets-121260769225
For those who wish to continue this important conversation, on Saturday, October 3rd, Sister Nuala Kenny is facilitating a virtual workshop: “Lessons from Being Church in the Pandemic: Prophetic Possibilities for Pastoral Conversion”. The morning session (10:30 am - 12:00 noon MST) is on “Lessons About Secrecy, Dialogue and Morality”. The afternoon session (1:00 pm - 2:30 pm MST) is on “Lessons About Relationships, Mission and Challenges”. This workshop is a critically constructive reflection on how we, as disciples of Christ, might make sense of what has happened in this crisis and respond both individually and communally. It aims to provide support for laity and clergy who desire repentance and continual conversion to disciples of a loving and merciful God. This workshop is rooted in the “mind of Christ” and in trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to make all things new. The cost of this workshop is $25.00 for both sessions. To register, visit: https://www.stmu.ca/event/cwl-virtual-workshop/
Written by Dr. Peter Baltutis
CWL Chair for Catholic Studies, St. Mary's University.
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Catholic Pastoral Centre Staff and Guest Writers