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January 20, 2022

Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

Listening to the Voices of Survivors

hands praying in front of rows of candles

The child sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church is a global phenomenon. Decades-long patterns of abuse of children and vulnerable adults have caused enormous pain, harm, and suffering around the world. In recent years, as more information about these events has come to light, abuse survivors, scholars, legal experts, and other lay people in the Catholic Church have worked to report on clergy sexual abuse and change the culture around safeguarding in an effort to hold the Church accountable and begin the path towards reconciliation. There has been too little analysis and discussion about the differences and similarities of the multiple, national studies that have occurred in the Church since 2002.

This conference is the culmination of a series of events on Listening to the Voices of Survivors, hosted as part of the Global Culture of Safeguarding Program, Georgetown University. Two of these events focused on understanding the recent report from the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (CIASE), led by Jean-Marc Sauvé. The report is a momentous accomplishment filled with important recommendations and yet remains controversial. This conference will feature an interview with Jean-Marc Sauvé, attempting to understand how the commission came about, what the major findings of and responses to the report were, and what needs to happen now. Following this interview, a panel of global experts will discuss the similarities and differences between the French findings and findings from their own countries and attempt to provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each report and their key findings. The final panel of this conference will highlight the voices of noted female experts in the Church. They will engage in a conversation about what might have been different had women been given a seat at the table earlier in this process, what the findings of the CIASE report and other reports mean for women going forward, and how women can help lead the Church’s cultural transformation going forward.

This event is co-sponsored by Georgetown University's Collaborative on Global Children's Issues; Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life; Office of Mission and Ministry, and Georgetown Law Office of Mission and Ministry.


11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | An Interview with Jean-Marc Sauvé

Rev. Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., Georgetown University
Jean-Marc Sauvé, Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | National and International Experts Respond to Jean-Marc Sauvé

Speakers TBC

1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Lifting Up Female Voices in the Church

Speakers TBC



Rev. Gerard J. McGlone, S.J.

Rev. Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., is a senior research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. Previously he was an assistant professor of psychiatry in Georgetown's School of Medicine. Most recently, he was the associate director for protection of minors for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. He was also recently the chief psychologist and the director of counseling services at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He has been executive director at several major treatment centers for clergy and religious.


Jean-Marc Sauvé

Jean-Marc Sauvé is a French judge and civil servant and president of the French Independent Committee on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. In the past he has served in multiple roles in both municipal and national French government. He is currently president of the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris’ National Foundation and serves on several French ethics committees.