February 7, 2020
In this public lecture, visiting Macgeorge Fellow Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes explores how we can end the history of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Never one to shy away from controversy, her talk will be based on three decades of studying and intervening in the global 'traffic in children' for sexual gratification by Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals. Drawing on memoir, ethnography, Church history, Canon Law, and political theology, Professor Scheper-Hughes will explain the foundational causes, ugly consequences, and missed opportunities by the Vatican to end the clerical sexual abuse of children once and for all. The School’s own Dr Dave McDonald, a criminologist whose research explores institutional child sex abuse and the related Royal Commission, will act as a discussant and offer a local perspective. This Public lecture was attended by government officials, clerics and bishops, interdisciplinary faculty from three public universities universities, and in the front row the families and children who were victims of clerical sexual abuse.