Contact: Christopher Heffron
800-488-0488, ext. 209

May 10, 2003     392 Words

St. Anthony Messenger's Special Issue Examines the Clergy Sex-Abuse Crisis

CINCINNATI—When the clergy sex-abuse scandals broke in January of 2002, the avalanche of court documents, cover-ups and heart-wrenching testimonies from survivors rocked the Catholic Church to its foundation. Almost a year and a half later, the Church is still reeling from its effects, but for many the journey of healing has already begun.

The June issue of St. Anthony Messenger entitled “The Church in Crisis: Our Search for Healing” examines the crisis from various angles. All of the articles in this issue are staff-written. Father Pat McCloskey, O.F.M., editor, writes a context article, giving the scope and history of the crisis.

Assistant Editor Christopher Heffron examines the healing journeys of Bobbie Sitterding and John Vellante, two survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Assistant Editor Mary Jo Dangel writes of Ray and Anne Higgins, parents of an abused child, for their story. She also interviews Father Robert Silva, executive director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), and Father Ted Keating, president of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils (NFPC), both of whom talk about the need for compassion and change.

Assistant Editor John Bookser Feister examines Voice of the Faithful, an organization of 30,000 Catholic laypeople, whose motto is “Keep the Faith, Change the Church.” Assistant Managing Editor Carol Ann Morrow writes of survivors’ advocate Phyllis Willerscheidt and her Minnesota-based ministry to assist victims.

Managing Editor Barbara Beckwith interviews four members of the National Review

Board: Frank Keating, Anne M. Burke, Michael J. Bland and Pamela D. Hayes. Assistant Editor Susan Hines-Brigger interviews Bishop Joseph Galante, coadjutor of Dallas, Texas, and a member of the bishops’ Committee on Sexual Abuse. And Father Jack Wintz, O.F.M., contributing editor, writes the editorial comparing the healing the Church needs to the healing St. Francis was called to give the Church of his day.

The special issue represents many factors, voices and perspectives relating to the clergy sex-abuse scandal, yet an overriding theme is a yearning for all members of the Church to heal. Such ways of growth and healing are discussed throughout.

After May 18, the entire special issue of this award-winning national Catholic magazine will be posted at:


Permission is granted to reprint this release.

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