When Values Collide: the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Catholic Church and Lessons for Leadership
Father Joseph P. Chinnici, OFM
February 21, 2011
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
UC Forum C
The Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture, Mission and Ministry and the Center for Christian Spirituality
This event is free and open to the public.
An event that explored where the church goes from this point onwards in the aftermath of the sexual abuse crisis by bringing the unresolved issues to the table in an attempt to discern lessons for the future. Keynote Speaker: Joseph P. Chinnici, OFM, Professor of Church History, Franciscan School of Theology, Graduate Theological union, Berkeley, California.
Church historian Joseph Chinnici served as provincial superior of the Franciscan Friars in California when the clergy sex abuse scandal touched his order—several years before it became a national issue. He has published a book, When Values Collide, which blends his own personal experience of trying to do the right thing in a fraught atmosphere, the best social-scientific and psychological research, and serious reflection by a follower of St. Francis on the way the church’s leaders can re-establish confidence and trust.
Chinnici analyzes the church’s relationship to our age and culture and the ways in which leaders misused their power to shore up an institutional vision that ultimately has little to do with the essence of Christianity. In the example of St. Francis of Assisi, Chinnici finds a path to a humble spirit of non-acquisitive ownership, evangelical freedom, and institutional transparency. His study is a searching, balanced, and convincing look at the sexual abuse scandal in the American Catholic Church and its lessons for the future.
Fr Joseph P. Chinnici is a Franciscan Friar and a Professor at GTU, Berkeley. An Oxford-educated historian initially mentored by John Tracy Ellis, Joe is a widely-respected scholar, teacher and speaker in the history of American Catholicism and the development of Franciscan theology and spirituality. His ground-breaking work Living Stones: The History and Structure of Catholic Spiritual Life in the United States (second edition 1996) has been followed by numerous articles in U.S. Catholic Historian, the co-edited Prayer and Practice In the American Catholic Community, and significant studies on the history of prayer and on the reception of Vatican II in the United States. He is currently working on Church, Society, and Change, 1965-1996, a history of the post-conciliar period in American Catholicism. Priest and religious leader, Joe has served in various administrative posts throughout his career: nine years as Provincial Minister for the Franciscan Friars of the Saint Barbara Province; two stints as Academic Dean at the Franciscan School of Theology, and in numerous other positions. In addition to his current faculty duties, Joe is Chairman of the Commission for the Retrieval of the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition (CFIT). He has always insisted on high-quality education for the laity alongside those in religious life. Together, he says, we make the Church. He is author of Living Stones: The History and Structure of Catholic Spiritual Life in the United States, and editor of the Franciscan Heritage Series.