Past Events

Jesuits and Boarding Schools: Truth, Reconciliation, Responsibility

December 7, 2021


This conversation followed up on last year’s online dialogue “Native American Communities and the Clerical Abuse Crisis,” bringing together a Jesuit who has been deeply involved in this question along with two speakers who are leaders at, and in one case a graduate of, the Red Cloud Indian School, now several years into a Truth and Healing process. The panel sought to address the pressing question of what it means for today’s Jesuit institutions (and their employees, students, and graduates) to take responsibility for the full legacy of the Jesuits in North America.


Tashina Banks Rama, Indigenous Woman, Mother, Daughter, Wife, Niece, American Indian Movement, hereditary lifetime member
Oglala Lakota & Leech Lake Ojibwe, Boarding School Survivor Descendent, Oglala Sioux Tribe Land Caretaker, Lakota Language Learner, Truth and Healing Seeker, Oglala Sioux Tribal Member, Lakota Spirituality Centered, 7th Generation Member, Community Advocate, World Traveler, History Learner, Storyteller.

Ted Penton, SJ, Secretary of Justice and Ecology at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. 

Sarah White,  Director of Education Equity at the NDN Collective. She is Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and a graduate of Red Cloud Indian School, where she has recently joined the board.

Francis’s Reform of Canon Law and the Sexual Abuse Crisis

November 2, 2021

This conversation examined a major reform of the portions of canon law that deal with sexual abuse and other crimes committed by clergy and lay ministers. The panel discussed the possible benefits of a broader understanding of sexual abuse, in particular by recognizing that victim-survivors can be adults as well as minors and by criminalizing “grooming” behaviors, as well as the limits of canon law for addressing sexual abuse.


Fr. John Beal, J.C.D., is the Stephan Kuttner Distinguished Professor of Canon Law at Catholic University.

Sr. Helen Costigane, Ph.D., J.C.D., is Programme Director for the MA in Theology at St. Mary’s University-London, a member of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, and a canon lawyer.

Jennifer Haselberger, Ph.D., J.C.L., is former Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a position she held until resigning in April of 2013 in protest of the Archdiocese’s handling of accusations of clergy sexual abuse.

Patrick Hornbeck, Ph.D., is professor and former chair of theology at Fordham University, where he is also Special Faculty Advisor to the Provost for Strategic Planning and a J.D. student in Fordham Law School.

Reenvisioning our Relationship With Children in Light of the Abuse Crisis

September 28, 2021

This conversation featured two leading experts on Catholic ethics, both of whom specialize in considering childhood and children’s moral agency, in dialogue on how changing understandings of childhood shape our analysis of the abuse crisis — and how what we have learned about sexual abuse in the church should shape our thinking on childhood.


Cristina L.H. Traina, Ph.D., is the Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. Professor of Catholic Theology at Fordham University and the author of Feminist Ethics and Natural Law and Erotic Attunement:  Parenthood and the Ethics of Sensuality.

Jennifer Beste, Ph.D., is the College of Saint Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture and Professor of Theology at the College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University. She is author of God and the Victim: Traumatic Intrusions on Grace and Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2007).

Black Communities and the Clerical Abuse Crisis

April 21, 2021


This conversation was the fourth in a series of four on historically marginalized U.S. communities and the abuse crisis.


Tia Noelle Pratt, PhD (panelist) is a sociologist of religion specializing in systemic racism in the Catholic Church.  She is the Director of Mission Engagement and Strategic Initiatives at Villanova University. She received her PhD in Sociology from Fordham University in 2010.  For more than twenty years, Dr. Pratt has researched and written about how systemic racism impacts African-American Catholic identity. She is the curator of the #BlackCatholicsSyllabus, an outgrowth of her academic work.

Bryan Massingale, S.T.D. (panelist) is professor of theological and social ethics and the James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics at Fordham University. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. His most recent book is Racial Justice and the Catholic Church.

Rev. Manuel B. Williams, C.R., Th.M. (panelist) is Director of Resurrection Catholic Missions of the South, Inc. and Pastor of Resurrection Catholic Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

Asian/Pacific Islander American Communities and the Clerical Abuse Crisis

March 25, 2021

This conversation was the third in a series of four on historically marginalized U.S. communities and the abuse crisis.


Linh Hoang OFM, Ph.D. (panelist) is a Professor of Religious Studies at Siena College in New York. He is a Franciscan priest with the Holy Name Province. He is currently serving as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on Asian and Pacific Islander Catholics.

Eunice Park, MTS/MAMC (panelist) is a Korean American pastoral minister in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has worked in Asian Pacific Islander ministry on local and national levels, having sat on both the Consultative Committee for API Ministry for the Secretariat of Diversity and the Ad Hoc Advisory Group for the Subcommittee on API Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Rachel Bundang, Ph.D. (moderator/panelist) is a Catholic feminist ethicist. Presently based in the Bay Area, she teaches as Religious Studies faculty at Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco and the Graduate Program for Pastoral Ministries faculty at Santa Clara University.

Native American Communities and the Clerical Abuse Crisis

February 26, 2021

This conversation was the second in a series of four on historically marginalized U.S. communities and the abuse crisis.


Jack Downey, Ph.D. (moderator) is associate professor of Religion and Classics, and John Henry Newman Professor in Roman Catholic Studies, at the University of Rochester. He is the author of The Bread of the Strong: Lacouturisme and the Folly of the Cross, 1910-1985 (Fordham University Press, 2015), and is working on a history of the Catholic Church in Alaska.

Denise K. Lajimodiere, Ph.D. (speaker) is an enrolled Citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Belcourt, North Dakota. Dr. Lajimodiere is a retired Associate Professor from the School of Education, Ed. Leadership program, North Dakota State University, Fargo. She is one of the founders of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (N-NABS-HC) and the author of Stringing Rosaries: The History, The Unforgivable, The Healing of Northern Plains Boarding School Survivors (2019).

Kathleen Holscher, Ph.D. (panelist) is associate professor of American Studies and Religious Studies, and holds the endowed chair in Roman Catholic Studies, at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of Religious Lessons: Catholic Sisters and the Captured Schools Crisis in New Mexico (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Latinx Communities and the Clerical Abuse Crisis

January 28, 2021

This conversation was the first in a series of four on historically marginalized U.S. communities and the abuse crisis.


J.D. Long-García (moderator and panelist) is a Senior Editor at America Media, and has worked as a journalist covering the Catholic Church since 2004. His recent writings for America include “The Wrong People Are in Charge of Protecting Our Children from Sexual Abuse” (November 2020, on the McCarrick Report) and “Is There a Sexual Abuse Reckoning Coming for the Latino Church?” (August 2018.)

Damellys Sacriste (panelist), a native of Venezuela, is the faith formation and education coordinator at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta, Georgia and the Hispanic outreach coordinator for the Aquinas Center at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Dr. Susan Bigelow Reynolds (panelist) is assistant professor of Catholic Studies at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. An ecclesiologist, she has done extensive research in Latinx parishes, including, most recently, on clergy abuse in undocumented immigrant communities. She also serves on her parish’s task force to address the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

The McCarrick Report: Findings, Lessons, Directions

December 10, 2020

On November 10, 2020, the Vatican released its long-awaited report on the rise of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick within the Catholic Church. This unprecedented 459-page account revealed major institutional, cultural, and personal failures that led to immense suffering for victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse and terrible damage to the Church. One month later, the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University and the Taking Responsibility: Jesuit Institutions Confront the Causes and Legacy of Clergy Sexual Abuse initiative at Fordham University co-sponsored an online dialogue to look at the report’s most important findings, lessons it holds, and future directions in continuing to confront the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.


John Carr is the director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. For over 25 years he served at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He wrote in America about the lessons he had learned from his experience of clergy sexual abuse and his work with the U.S. bishops, including McCarrick.

Juan Carlos Cruz is an executive in Philadelphia. A survivor of clergy sexual abuse in Chile, he was first disbelieved and later welcomed to the Vatican by Pope Francis to share his experience and recommendations. He is widely seen as a key figure who challenged Pope Francis to take decisive action on clergy sexual abuse as a global crisis.

David Gibson is the director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University. He is a former national reporter for Religion News Service where he specialized in coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church, and he covered McCarrick for decades, including a recent article in Commonweal.

Kathleen Sprows Cummings is the director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism and a professor in the Department of American Studies and Department of History at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American (2019) and New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era (2009).

Bradford E. Hinze, who will moderate the dialogue, is the Karl Rahner, S.J., Professor of Theology at Fordham University, and the project director for the initiative “Taking Responsibility: Jesuit Institutions Confront the Causes and Legacy of Clergy Sexual Abuse,” a joint project of the Curran Center for the Study of American Catholicism and the Theology Department at Fordham.

This online Public Dialogue is co-sponsored by the Taking Responsibility Initiative at Fordham University and the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University.