Ministering in Times of Scandals and DivisionsCourse Level: Basic

Course Summary

St. Paul VI wrote that the Church "exists in order to evangelize" – but how do we share the Good News and form missionary disciples when reports of scandals and divisions so often dominate the news? How do we help those who are struggling to make sense of everything that is happening? This seminar will look at the roots of scandals and divisions in the Church and the response of the Church, while offering suggestions on ways to help ourselves and others find healing though grief work and prayer.

Successful completion of this course earns 1.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • To gain a better understanding of the current crisis of Church scandals.
  • To explore the psychology of scapegoating and the roots of divisions in the Catholic Church.
  • To gain a deeper understanding of how to minister to persons dealing with grief and pain due to scandals and divisions in the Church.

Course Materials

  • No books required. All readings are online.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: The Challenge of Handling Scandal
    • To gain an overview of recent scandals in the Church
    • To understand scandals in the light of Scripture, history and Church teaching
    • To pray with Mark 4:35-41: "Jesus Calms the Storm at Sea"
  • Week 2: The Challenge of Overcoming Divisions in the Church
    • To explore ways to overcome the "tribal divides" in the Church
    • To examine the roots of divisions in light of the work of the French philosopher, René Girard
    • To pray with John 8:3-11: Jesus Rescues the Woman Caught in Adultery
  • Week 3: The Response of the Church and our Personal Response to Church Scandals
    • To explore hopes for the Church to respond to abuse scandals and look at our own responses
    • To review some tools for grieving and coping with Church scandals
    • To explore avenues for changing accountability and transparency within the Church culture.
    • To pray for healing for the Church