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Shepherding The Shepherds: The Pastoral Challenges of Caring for Priests who are Accused, Suspended or Laicised

September 20, 2023

2:00 to 3:15 p.m. (ET)


Following the abuse scandals in the Church in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and elsewhere, steps have been taken, and rightly so, that opportunities for abuse are minimised as much as possible, any allegations are rigorously investigated, and there is maximum cooperation with civil authorities. At the same time, while the response from bishops has been laudable in seeking to remedy the injustices of the past, there have been unintended consequences for the relationship between bishops and their priests in terms of the process itself and its aftermath. A consideration of some cases will help illustrate the issues.


Sr. Helen Costigane – Speaker

Sr. Helen Costigane, SHCJ, holds degrees from the Universities of Glasgow, London, and Leuven, including a PhD in Moral Theology from the University of London, and a JCD from KU Leuven. Having taught at Heythrop College, University of London, for over 20 years, she now teaches Canon Law, Christian Ethics, and Ecumenism and Interfaith in Mater Ecclesiae College, St Mary’s University, Twickenham. She also works as a canonical consultant, advocate, and tribunal judge. She is a member of the board of the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, and a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Canon Law Colloquium and has given guest lectures and webinars in Europe and the USA.

Sr. Helen Costigane - Speaker

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