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Peter Steinfels photo

Peter Steinfels

St. Mary’s University will host a joint lecture and symposium on the theme “A Church in Crisis Moves to the Future” on Wednesday, Sept. 18, and Thursday, Sept. 19. Both days will feature discussion by Peter Steinfels, Ph.D., scholar and former New York Times journalist.

St. Mary’s University’s MacTaggart Lecture Series and the newly established Center for Catholic Studies will jointly present the free public discussion that will take place in the University Center, Conference Room A.

“This program demonstrates that St. Mary’s has heeded the call given by St. John Paul II, who as pope stressed that ‘a Catholic University must have the courage to speak uncomfortable truths which do not please public opinion, but which are necessary to safeguard the authentic good of society,’” said Alicia Cordoba Tait, D.M.A., Beirne Director of the Center for Catholic Studies.

“St. Mary’s offers this program to help the church and all people of faith, or none, to consider multiple viewpoints to issues and ideas that we are grappling with each day,” Tait said.

At 7 p.m. on Sept. 18, Steinfels will discuss, “Sex Abuse and the Future Church,” as the first lecture of the year in the MacTaggart Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture Series. This free, annual lecture series features men and women who have helped shape the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, which is at the heart of the educational experience at St. Mary’s.

At 6 p.m. on Sept. 19, the dialogue will continue with The Crossroads Symposium of the St. Mary’s University Center for Catholic Studies. The symposium will include panel discussions and commentary on the topics of clergy sexual abuse and the challenges and opportunities in the church.

Those traveling to campus are asked to park in Lot D, near the NW 36th Street entrance, or Lot H, near the Culebra Road entrance.

Participants of The Crossroads Symposium

  • Thomas Mengler, J.D., President, St. Mary’s University; Chair, Board of Directors, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
  • Catherine Stone (J.D. ’82), Chair, Lay Commission on Clergy Sexual Abuse for the Archdiocese of San Antonio; Partner, Langley & Banack, Inc; former Chief Justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals of Texas
  • Deacon Bernard Nojadera, Director, U.S. Bishops Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection
  • The Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, President, Oblate School of Theology
  • Patti Walker Koo, Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) – San Antonio
  • The Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., CEO and President, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
  • Allison Gray, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology, St. Mary’s University
  • Peter Steinfels, Ph.D., author; former journalist, New York Times; and University Professor Emeritus, Fordham University
  • The Rev. James Heft, S.M., Alton M. Brooks Professor of Religion and Professor and Founder of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies, University of Southern California – Los Angeles
  • Neomi DeAnda, Ph.D. (B.A. ’97, M.A. ’99), President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States; Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Dayton; Tejana scholar; activist; and Catholic Lay Marianist
  • The Rev. Timothy Eden, S.M., Ed.D., Rector and Vice President for Mission, St. Mary’s University

More about Peter Steinfels

Steinfels is an American journalist and educator best known for his writing on religious topics. He was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize for this work as senior religion correspondent and columnist for the New York Times.

Post-Second Vatican Council, he joined the staff of Commonweal, an independent lay Catholic opinion journal, for which he continues to write.

Steinfels and his spouse Margaret founded and co-directed the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture for eight years. He is the author of “The Neoconservatives” and “A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America.”

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