The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, also known as the Dallas Charter, is a comprehensive set of procedures addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. Developed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and established in June 2002, the charter has impacted survivors, their families, and everyone in the Church for the last two decades. In light of these past 20 years, panelists will ask: What has happened since the Dallas Charter was promulgated in 2002, and what is the way forward for the next 20 years? What progress has been made, what has failed to happen, and what voices have been neglected or marginalized? What might the next 20 years look like with a focus on hope, healing, and restorative transformation processes?
This event will feature the voices of frontline workers—scholars, journalists, writers, and advocates—who have been at the heart of the response to the sexual abuse scandal, beginning in 1992 and continuing after the promulgation of the Dallas Charter. What have they seen as progress and as lack of progress? What are the obstacles and opportunities going forward? These voices will provide a balanced yet critical perspective about what they saw, what they heard, and what they learned from walking with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their families.
This event is co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Collaborative on Global Children's Issues, and Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University.
Jason Berry is an investigative journalist whose books include Lead Us Not into Temptation (1992) and Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church (2011). Berry is the 2022 recipient of the ChildUSA Sean P. McIlmail Hero Award for his reporting on the clergy abuse crisis.
Jennifer Beste is the Koch Chair for Catholic Thought and Culture at the College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University. Beste holds a master’s degree in divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School and a Ph.D. in religious ethics from Yale University.
Rev. Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., Ph.D., is a senior research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Previously he was an assistant professor of psychiatry in Georgetown University'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, as well as faculty and staff psychologist, at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He has been executive director at several major treatment centers for clergy and religious in the United States-Saint John Vianney Center and Guest House, Inc.
Terence McKiernan is the president of BishopAccountability.org, an archive and research organization devoted to documenting and understanding the Catholic clergy abuse problem. Prior to founding BishopAccountability.org in 2003, McKiernan studied classics and art history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Bristol in England and worked in academic publishing and consulting.
Nicole Winfield is the Vatican correspondent for the Associated Press in Rome. Winfield joined the AP in 1992 and has been covering the Vatican since 2001. During her time in Rome, she has covered three popes: John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis. Winfeld is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.