Flannery Lecture in Catholic Theology

St. Ignatius statue in autumn

The Flannery Chair of Roman Catholic Theology is an endowed Chair gift of the late Maud and Milo Flannery of Spokane, to further excellence of theological study and teaching at Gonzaga University. The Religious Studies Department invites an outstanding theologian twice per year to deliver The Flannery Lecture in Catholic Theology.

Upcoming Lectures

What the Sexual Abuse Phenomenon has Done to the Catholic Church

October 7, 2019, 5:30 p.m., Hemmingson Center Ballroom

Portrait of Thomas Doyle.

Presented by Thomas P. Doyle

In this lecture, Thomas P. Doyle will explore the complex nature of the world-wide reality of sexual violation of minors and the vulnerable by Catholic clerics and religious and the systemic mishandling, denial and coverup by the hierarchy.

This is not a new phenomenon in the Church, suddenly surfacing in the 1980’s.  It has been a tragic manifestation of the dark side of the institutional Church through its history. The present era, from the 1980’s to the present, is unique because for the first time in history the victims have not endured in passive fear and silence.  This experience over the past three decades has revealed several deeply embedded flaws in the Church as an institution and in the clerical culture.  The clergy abuse phenomenon has had a clear impact on civil society, and it has brought significant change to the institutional Church.  But most important, it has revealed the need for a fundamental evolution in several essential elements of the Church.

About the Speaker

Tom Doyle was ordained a Dominican priest in 1970.  He holds graduate degrees in philosophy, theology, political science, church administration and has a doctorate in canon law.  He is also a licensed addictions therapist. He has been involved with the clergy sex abuse issue since 1984 when he was working at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C.  He has remained deeply and consistently involved since.  His experience includes extensive research, expert witness and consultant work for civil and criminal cases, and grand juries throughout the United States.  He has done similar work in several European countries as well as Australia and New Zealand.  He has published and lectured on various aspects of clergy sexual abuse in the Church.  He considers his most important contribution by far to be the care and support he has shared with individual victims.


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