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How Do We End An Epidemic Of Clergy Sex Abuse?


“Uprooting this culture of death.” That is how Pope Francis described the challenge in front of the Roman Catholic Church,  in a letter responding to the findings of  Pennsylvania grand jury investigation into widespread sexual abuse of children at the hands of priests.

This hour, we try to make sense of a crisis of epidemic proportions laid bare by the grand jury’s report. Over 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children in dioceses across that state, in the course of seven decades. And these are just the latest findings in the growing record of sex abuse of children by Catholic priests in this country around the world.

The Pennsylvania investigation also made clearer than ever the degree to which bishops and other members of the church hierarchy were complicit in covering up and even aiding and abetting abuse. Can the Catholic Church fix a systemic culture of abuse that permeates from its lowest levels up into its leadership?

We ask a survivor, a lawyer, a theologian, a researcher, and a diocese representative -- how can the church end this crisis?

Are you a practicing Catholic? Has this affected your faith?

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

To report child abuse to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), call 1-800-842-2288

National Child Abuse Hotline:  1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453


Where We Live invited the Hartford Archdiocese to appear on this program but they declined to participate.

Watch the full Pennsylvania Catholic Church sexual abuse grand jury report press conference:

Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.
Carmen Baskauf was a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil from 2017-2021. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.
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