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The Complicated Question of Forgiveness After Sexual Abuse

Forgiveness is central to Christianity. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells Peter to forgive, “not seven times, but 77 times.” And in the letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul instructs the early Christians, “Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” Yet victim-survivors and advocates report… Read more “The Complicated Question of Forgiveness After Sexual Abuse”

Courageous Conversation: Examining the Ripple Effects of Clergy Abuse in the Church

Last week Awake Milwaukee launched the 2021-2022 season of its Courageous Conversations series by discussing the ripple effects of the twin crises of sexual abuse and leadership failures in the Catholic Church. During this event, Catholic moral theologian Marcus Mescher, PhD, of Xavier University in Cincinnati gave an idea-packed talk about what he sees as… Read more “Courageous Conversation: Examining the Ripple Effects of Clergy Abuse in the Church”

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5 Ways the Catholic Church Can Build More “Institutional Courage”

This blog post, first published in September 2020, really resonated for some on Awake’s Leadership Team. Given last week’s post about whistleblowers, it felt like a good time to revisit the wisdom of researcher Jennifer Freyd, PhD. See her advice about “Cherishing the Whistleblower” below. By Erin O’DonnellEditor, Awake Blog In our work listening to… Read more “5 Ways the Catholic Church Can Build More “Institutional Courage””

Photos of two women, Siobhan OConnor and Jennifer Haselberger

Whistleblowers and the Abuse Crisis: Two Women’s Stories

As the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has unfolded, some people employed by the Church have made the choice to publicize previously secret information about sexual abuse and cover-up in their local dioceses. When Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced in April the start of a statewide investigation of sexual abuse by religious leaders… Read more “Whistleblowers and the Abuse Crisis: Two Women’s Stories”

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Awake Prayer Service Lifts Up Questions About Abuse in the Church

The crisis of sexual abuse and leadership failures in the Catholic Church has led many faithful people to experience a mix of painful feelings such as anger, sorrow, horror, frustration, and embarrassment. It has also raised fundamental questions about the Church and what God asks of each of us. Such questions informed an outdoor prayer… Read more “Awake Prayer Service Lifts Up Questions About Abuse in the Church”

Headshot of Dr. Kathleen McChesney, a woman in a black top

Dr. Kathleen McChesney: Transparency Around Clergy Abuse is “Absolutely Essential.”

Dr. Kathleen McChesney is a central figure in the Catholic Church’s efforts to address sexual abuse by clergy and religious leaders. She began her career as a police detective in King County, Washington, ultimately serving as an executive assistant director for the FBI. In 2002, she was recruited by the United States Conference of Catholic… Read more “Dr. Kathleen McChesney: Transparency Around Clergy Abuse is “Absolutely Essential.””

Zoom screen shot from Fordham virtual event

Awake Grieves the Harm Caused by Native American Residential Schools

In May and June of this year, Native communities in Canada found hundreds of unmarked graves near the sites of two residential schools. This reignited conversation about the brutal residential school system established in the United States and Canada in the 1800s, which forced indigenous children to assimilate to white culture and operated for more… Read more “Awake Grieves the Harm Caused by Native American Residential Schools”

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What’s Happening with the Wisconsin Investigation of Abuse by Clergy and Religious Leaders?

Last week the office of Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that it has received more than 100 reports so far in its statewide investigation of clergy and faith leader abuse. The investigation began in April when the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) unveiled a website, SupportSurvivors.widoj.gov, and phone line, 877-222-2620, for victim-survivors to report… Read more “What’s Happening with the Wisconsin Investigation of Abuse by Clergy and Religious Leaders?”

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