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The Catholic Church in Crisis: A Panel Discussion

Nov 15, 2018
Ida Noyes Hall, Library
1212 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Kim DanielsGeorgetown University

Russell HittingerUniversity of Tulsa

Fr. Michael Sweeney, OPLay Mission Project

  • The Catholic Church in Crisis

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Free and open to the public. Cosponsored by the Theology Club and the Catholic Students Association.

Since questions of sexual abuse emerged in the Church, and in other institutions, in the 1980s, some dioceses have (including Chicago) demonstrated leadership in dealing with the issue. After the "Spotlight" investigation by the Boston Globe, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops established a "zero tolerance" policy toward the commission and cover-up of abuse. This panel of Catholic scholars and professionals will review the Church's attempt to face this issue and will consider why it has reemerged in 2018, relating that question to broader issues of clericalism and governance in the Catholic Church.

Fr. Sweeney also gave a downtown lunch address on November 15 on a similar topic.

Kim Daniels is the associate director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School, Ms. Daniels was appointed by Pope Francis as a Member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication in 2016, and has been a lead advisor to the U.S. bishops and Catholic organizations on issues where Church teachings intersect with public life, including immigration, human life and dignity, religious liberty, and care for creation. She has appeared on CNN, Fox News and PBS and in The Huffington Post, Reuters, The Washington Post and Catholic media outlets.


Russell Hittinger is the William K. Warren Professor of Catholic Studies and Research Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa. He is also a member of the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Hittinger is the author of many books, including A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory, The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, Thomas Aquinas the Rule of Law, and most recently Paper Wars: Catholic Social Doctrine and the Modern State (forthcoming).


Fr. Michael Sweeney, OP, founded and directs the Lay Mission Project of the Western Dominican Province. Previously he served as President of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT) in Berkeley, California. With Sherry Weddell, he founded the St. Catherine of Siena Institute, which equips parishes to form lay apostles. A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, he was ordained in 1979 and has served as a university chaplain and as a pastor in a parish setting. Fr. Michael gives lectures and workshops around the country on lay formation and the mission of the Church.