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Healing, Reconciliation and Hope Task Force

In October 2018, Father Pilarz created the Task Force to address the difficult but necessary questions raised by the Grand Jury report detailing sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania and failures by Church leaders in responding to these situations.

"There is good work to be done today and together, and the work undertaken by this Task Force will remind us all never to be distracted from the fear and pain of our sisters and brothers who suffered because of the church and its leaders."  Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.

The task force can be reached at HRHTaskForce@scranton.edu

Wisdom * Understanding * Counsel * Fortitude * Knowledge * Piety * Fear of the Lord

Listed below are upcoming and past events sponsored by the Task Force:

Upcoming Events:

  • Dr. Massimo Faggioli, Ph.D. professor of theology at Villanova University and Rita Ferrone, M.Div contributing writer at Commonweal magazine, will present Insights from History and Theology on September 16, 2019 in Leahy Hall, Room 235 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Michael Vanderburgh, Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Dayton, Ohio and Father Thomas Berg, Vice Rector and Professor of Moral Theology at St. Joseph's Seminary will present Prevention, Healing and Reconciliation on October 3, 2019 in Leahy Hall, Room 235 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Film and Discussion Series, led by Drs. Teresa Grettano and Stephen Whittaker of the English and Theatre Department. 
    • September 23, 2019 at 7pm in the Moskovitz Theater, The DeNaples Center room 401. Philomena (2013) directed by Stephen Frears, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan
    • November 4, 2019 at 7pm in the Moskovitz Theater. the DeNaples Center room 401.  Secrets of the Vatican (2014) from PBS and Frontline, directed by Antony Thomas

Past Events:

  • Participation in the Take Back the Night pre-rally on the Dionne Green on April 25, 2019.  The task force reviewed the "Ripple Effect" of clergy sexual abuse for an individual and provided a space for individuals to write note cards with messages of support for survivors.
  • Dr. Christine Courtois and David P. Nolan presented Clergy Sexual Abuse & Betrayal Trauma:  Facing the Harm and Facilitating Healing  on April 10, 2019 in Leahy Hall, room 235 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Prayer service for the healing of victims of clergy sexual abuse: April 3.  A prayer for advocates, and for our wounded Church. Communal prayer scheduled for 8:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.  Fellowship luncheon of soup and bread following 12:00 p.m. prayer.  
  • Gathering Session:  February 26, 4-5:30PM in TDC #405: A gathering to listen to, learn from and support those directly and indirectly impacted by clergy abuse.
  • Staff and Faculty Roundtable
    • December 5, 2018 at 12:00 noon in Brennan 509
  • Electronic Feedback request distributed to students, faculty and staff.  Feedback form open for period 11/27/18  - 12/7/18.
  • Royal Input:   November 16, 2018 at 5:30 p.m., Calling all students to discuss how the University should move forward

The following journals keep an up-to-date archive of relevant articles.  We list them here for your reference and information.  

In the interest of transparency, we have provided links to lists of credibly accused individuals from entities most closely aligned with our geographic region:

This tab provides information and links to various support services for survivors and others impacted by clergy abuse.

National/Community Resources:

Diocese of Scranton Victim Resources:  www.dioceseofscranton.org

The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:   https://www.ptsd.va.gov/

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network:  https://www.rainn.org/                 (800) 656-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/        (800) 273-8255

Additional Resources for University Staff, Faculty and Students:

Students:  University Counseling Center

Staff/Faculty:  NexGen - Employee Assistance Program:  (800) 327-2255

University of Scranton Minors on Campus Policy

How to Report Child Abuse

If you are NOT a mandated reporter:   Please contact your local police or district attorney's office 

If you ARE a mandated reporter:  Call Pennsylvania CHILDLINE:  1-800-932-0313