Wednesday, September 5, 2018

New Evangelizers Post: How to Talk to Students About the Church Scandal

I have a new article up at  

I have much, much more to say about this new round of scandals in our clergy that is causing so much turmoil among the faithful. But before I delve deep into my own personal feelings, I thought first about my students. As you know, I am a religion teacher at a Catholic high school. It is hard enough for adults who are mature in faith to come to terms with these events. It is most likely harder for the searching, questioning teenagers to understand.

Below are my suggestions about how to talk about the Church scandals with Catholics who are high school age.

1. Listen to the students
If it is brought up in class, ask them what they have heard and what their thoughts are on the matter. Allow them to express what they are thinking and feeling so long as it is not belligerent or sacrilegious. Some of the details of the abuse are so incredibly horrific that you will have to use your judgment as to how much detail is appropriate for the classroom setting.

2. Validate their feelings when appropriate
Many of us are feeling fear, betrayal, sadness and many other things over this latest round of scandals. Many of your students may desire to have their feelings heard. Especially if they are in great confusion, they may be worried about how these feelings impact their faith. Please reassure them that those feelings, in general, are appropriate and do not necessarily mean that their faith is in danger. What we feel and what we believe are not always in line with each other.

You can read the whole article here.

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