The disclosure of a history of sexual abuse within our Church is a mark of our generation. There is no part of our Church that has not been affected by the scrutiny afforded consistently over the last thirty years by judicial processes and by the media. We now find ourselves in the midst of a Royal Commission which seeks to attend not only to the incidents of abuse but also to the way in which our Church has not responded well to the pain people have experienced. What is the challenge to our communities of faith by this crisis? How might a community of faith live through this experience which deeply impacts upon the whole Church in a way that is genuinely redemptive? How might a community of faith journey with, and contribute to the healing of those who have suffered, especially when the experience of the community and its leaders has been as damaging? The seminar seeks both to provide some lines of reflection and to draw from the wisdom of the participants themselves.
About Rev David
Fr. David Ranson is a priest of the Diocese of Broken Bay, Parish Priest of Holy Name Wahroonga, and Vicar General of the Diocese. He was ordained in 1992 in the Cistercian monastery of Tarrawarra Abbey. For many years he has lectured through the Sydney College of Divinity at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and is well known for his writing and lecturing throughout Australia and New Zealand in issues of spiritual and pastoral formation, and on the implications of sexual abuse within the Church. He has recently served on an international academic advisory panel for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to the Sexual Abuse of Children, and has contributed the Foreword to Jane Dowling, Child, Arise! The Courage to Stand: A Spiritual Handbook for Survivors of Sexual Abuse (David Lovell Publishing, 2015).