27 people who can help you cover the Catholic sex abuse summit

St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City (Photo courtesy of Kelsey Dallas)

Leaders of Catholic bishops conferences around the world are gathering this month at the Vatican to seek solutions to a decades-long sexual abuse crisis. They’ll pray together, share stories of what’s happening in their regions and look for ways to be more accountable and transparent moving forward.

The Summit on the Protection of Minors is a first-of-its-kind gathering that’s inspired a lot of hope in the Catholic community. However, veteran journalists and Vatican officials have tried to tamp down expectations, noting that many roadblocks stand in the way of meaningful change. For example, Catholic leaders outside countries like the United States, Ireland, Australia and Chile, the sites of major scandals, often don’t see clergy sexual abuse as a systemic problem.

Ahead of the summit, which will take place Feb. 21-24, use this guide to catch up on major Catholic news from 2018. These articles and sources will help you find local, national and international angles to watch during this historic event.

Background on the summit

Broader coverage of clergy sexual abuse

National sources

  • Blase Cupich

    Cardinal Blase Cupich is archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

    He is on the organizing committee for the summit on sexual abuse.

    Contact: 312-534-8227.

International sources

  • Mark Coleridge

    Archbishop Mark Coleridge leads the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia. He’s also president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Request an interview through Adrian Taylor.

  • Marie Collins

    Marie Collins is a survivor of clergy sexual abuse who now advocates for meaningful change in Catholic Church policy. She was appointed to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2014, but she resigned in frustration in 2017 because of a lack of action from Vatican officials.

  • Lionel Gendron

    Bishop Lionel Gendron is president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He oversaw the creation of “Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse,” the organization’s guidelines to responding to and preventing sexual abuse, which was released in October 2018.

  • Oswald Gracias

    Cardinal Oswald Gracias is archbishop of the Archdiocese of Bombay, India, and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India.

    He is on the organizing committee for the Vatican’s child sex abuse summit.

  • Federico Lombardi

    The Rev. Federico Lombardi is a Catholic priest and president of the Ratzinger Foundation. He served as director of the Holy See press office from 2006 to 2016.

    Lombardi will serve as moderator for the Summit on the Protection of Minors.

    Contact: +39 06 69882856.
  • Thomas Rosica

    The Rev. Thomas Rosica is chief executive officer of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, a Canadian media company. He is also a Catholic priest of the Congregation of St. Basil, and he’s served in various media roles for the Vatican since 2008.

  • Charles Scicluna

    Cardinal Charles Scicluna is the archbishop of Malta and an expert on the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis. He has been involved in reform efforts around the world and helped organized the February 2019 summit on child sex abuse.

  • Francis Sullivan

    Francis Sullivan served as CEO of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, a Catholic organization that worked with the Australian government from 2013 to 2018 to identify systemic failures and improve the church’s efforts to prevent child sex abuse. He’s spent most of his career in the health care field. Contact Sullivan through Gavin Abrahams, communications director for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

    Contact: +61 0408 825 788.
  • Andrea Tornielli

    Andrea Tornielli is Editorial Director for the Vatican Dicastery for Communication. He is a former Italian journalist and author of numerous books on religion, with a special focus on Catholicism.

  • Myriam Wijlens

    Myriam Wijlens is a professor of canon law at the University of Erfurt in Germany. She serves on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

  • Hans Zollner

    The Rev. Hans Zollner, a Jesuit priest, is president of the Centre for Child Protection at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He also serves on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and helped organize the February 2019 Summit on the Protection of Minors.

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