By Natalie Colonna
Nearly fifty Catholic University students gathered on campus Tuesday night for the second installment of the “Response to the Crisis in the Catholic Church” discussion series.
University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry, Rev. Jude DeAngelo, hosted the second part of the series titled “How Did We Get Here: An Overview of the Sources and Events of the Crisis in 2018.” The event featured Dr. Susan Timony, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Ordinary Professor of Practice in the Catholic University School of Theology and Religious Studies. A main focus in the evening’s discussion was the parallel between the Church and society throughout this period of crisis in the Church.
The series comes to Catholic University at a pressing time in the Catholic Church. Just prior to the start of the academic year, news broke in Pennsylvania about sexual abuse in the Church. Many students arriving back on campus found these stories to be disconcerting and were searching for some answers.
“I think it is so important to be having these listening sessions. First, so that people can come together and know that they are not alone in their concern and in their worries,” Dr. Timony said. “Secondly, because the more information we can get out there that people can take to other conversations the better that it is to not only tell the story but it is also good for people to know what is being done.”
Students who attended were impressed with the discussion that took place.
“I found what Fr. Jude and Dr. Timony had to say very interesting and it gave a lot of insight to a major issue that I am facing not only personally, but as a potential career in psychology I think it is extremely applicable,” said Lauren Costello, a junior psychology major. “I think it’s very brave of Fr. Jude and Dr. Timony to come forward and help all these students that are facing troubles in their faith.”
As an introduction to the evening’s topic, Rev. DeAngelo and Dr. Timony provided factual information about the Church’s history with abuse dating back to the 1940’s, and the Catholic Church’s shift to become a more transparent institution. DeAngelo and Timony spoke on the moral implications of these stories and encouraged an open discussion among attendees.
“What is really impressive is the number of young people and the students that are here tonight that really want to work for a change in the church, in a positive way, to protect children, and to advance the mission of the Church,” said DeAngelo said.
The third discussion will be held on Monday, October 8, 2018 in the Pryzbyla Center Great Room C at 7:30 p.m. Both, Rev. DeAngelo and Dr. Timony will return for the next topic, “What Do I Do When My Faith is Shaken,” which aims to reflect on individuals and their faith during this challenging time. They will be joined by Emmjolee Mendoza Waters, Associate Director of Campus Ministry and Community Services.
“It is easy to feel like nothing is being done, so I think that this coming together in discussion is necessary,” Dr. Timony said.