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Conference: A Wounded Church

April 28 – May 1, 2021

International Conference



Please note that conference registration is now closed.

"For more than thirty years, the Catholic Church has been going through a crisis that has caused deep wounds and painfully torn the fabric of the Church. The sexual abuse of thousands of children in the heart of the Church is an unbearable suffering and an immense scandal. The Centre for Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons at Saint Paul University in Ottawa is organizing a three-day conference in which international witnesses and experts who have lived through this crisis will share their experiences and findings. This is a unique opportunity offered to listen, understand and explore new paths of reconstruction and hope." 



Wednesday April 28 2:30pm - 4pm (EST)

Massimo Faglioli: Did the Church protect abusers?

Dr. Massimo Faggioli is full professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University (Philadelphia). His books and articles have been published in more than ten languages. He is columnist for the magazines Commonweal and La Croix International. His most recent publications include the books: The Rising Laity. Ecclesial Movements since Vatican II (Paulist, 2016); Catholicism and Citizenship: Political Cultures of the Church in the Twenty-First Century (Liturgical, 2017); The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis. Moving Toward Global Catholicity (Orbis, 2020). He is co-editing with Catherine Clifford The Oxford Handbook of Vatican II (Oxford UP, 2021).


Thursday April 29th 

Delphine Collin-VézinaListening to child victims: Key principles to offer support and foster healing

1pm - 2pm (EST) 

Dr. Delphine Collin-Vézina is the Director of the Centre for Research on Children and Families at McGill University, a licensed clinical psychologist, and a Full Professor at the McGill School of Social Work. She is also an Associate Member in the Department of Pediatrics where she holds the Nicolas Steinmetz and Gilles Julien Chair in Community Social Pediatrics. Her program of research seeks to better understand the impact of adverse and traumatic life events in the lives of children and youth, as well as their experiences with services geared towards them. She has established the research group on Social Responses to Complex Trauma at McGill University and has recently received a SSHRC Partnership grant to expand this work and establish the Canadian Consortium on Child Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care.


Nuala Kenny: The prognosis for healing abuse in a post-pandemic Church

2:30pm - 3:30pm (EST)

Nuala P. Kenny is a Sister of Charity of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, a retired paediatrician and medical ethicist and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Past President of the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Canadian Bioethics Society, she is now Emeritus Professor at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. Author and lecturer, her research interests continue in palliative and end of life care, healing the Church from clergy sexual abuse and just health policy.


Friday April 30th  

John Renken: The Canonical rights of victims-survivors and alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse

9:30am - 10:30am (EST)

Monsignor John Anthony Renken, P.H., was born in Carlinville, Illinois. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy (Cardinal Glennon College, Saint Louis, 1975); M.A. in Civil Law (University of Illinois, Springfield, 1988); S.T.D. in Dogmatic Theology (Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 1981) and J.C.D. (Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 1981). He was ordained a priest by Saint John Paul II on 24 June 1979. He served in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois as parochial vicar, co-pastor, priest-moderator, vice-chancellor, chancellor, episcopal vicar and moderator for canonical affairs, vicar general, moderator of the curia, judicial vicar, founding director of the permanent diaconate. He was president of the CLSA (1999-2000); chair of the committee for the 1999 CLSA translation of the CIC; advisor to the USCCB Committee on Canonical Affairs (2003-2005); visiting professor of canon law in the summer JCL program at The Catholic University of America (1989-2006). He has lectured widely and his articles appear in many canonical journals. In 2007, he joined the Faculty of Canon Law, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, where he is now Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law and full professor, as well as editor of Studia canonica, the Faculty’s periodical. He has authored five books on canon law, including: The Penal Law of the Roman Catholic Church: Commentary on Canons 1311-1399 and 1717-1731 and Other Sources of Penal Law (2015).


Annemie Dillen: Faith in action: theology of childhood and the prevention of child sexual abuse

11am - 12pm (EST)

Annemie Dillen is Professor in Pastoral and Empirical Theology at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven. Her research focuses on theology regarding families and children, domestic violence, religious education in families, empirical theology, and fundamental practical theological reflections. In addition to articles in journals and edited volumes, she has published a number of books (as author and editor), her most recent: Dillen, A. & S. Gärtner, Discovering Practical Theology: Exploring Boundaries, Leuven, Peeters, 2020; Dillen. Annemie Dillen was the editor of a number of English volumes: Dillen, A. & A. Vandenhoeck (ed.), Prophetic Witness in World Christianities. Rethinking Pastoral Care and Counseling (International Practical Theology, 13), Münster, Lit-verlag, 2011; Dillen, A. & D. Pollefeyt (ed.), Children’s Voices. Children’s Perspectives in Ethics, Theology and Religious Education (betl), Leuven, Peeters, 2010; Dillen, A. (ed.), When ‘Love’ Strikes. Social Sciences, Ethics and Theology on Family Violence, Leuven, Peeters, 2009.


Saturday May 1st

Karlijn Demasure: Sexual abuse of women religious. The state of affairs and how to move forward

11am - 12pm (EST)

Prof. Dr. Karlijn Demasure holds a doctorate in theology (Phd, STD) from the Univer-sity of Leuven (Belgium). She acted as the Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences (2010-2014) and of Philosophy (2011-2014), at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. She there held the Sisters-of-Our-Lady-of-the-Cross Research Chair in Christian Family Studies (2008-2014). In 2014 she accepted the position as Executive Director of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. She is full professor and director of the Centre for Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons at Saint Paul University since 2019.

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