Dawn in Washington: Former GetReligionista offers spiritual advice on sex abuse and healing

At some point, the hot story of the moment -- the latest wave of the multi-decade Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal -- will demand in-depth think pieces on a number of subjects branching out of its central, horrifying core.

GetReligion readers, of course, know that I am convinced that -- so far -- this news story has three angles:

I. The abuse of young children (pedophilia).

II. The abuse of teens, almost all of them male (ephebophilia).

III. The abuse of seminarians and young priests, usually by powerful homosexuals at seminaries and in the church's local, regional, national and global power structures.

What ties them all together? That's the overarching story, which I have described in several posts

The key to the scandal is secrecy, violated celibacy vows and potential blackmail. Lots of Catholic leaders -- left and right, gay and straight -- have sexual skeletons in their closets, often involving sex with consenting adults. These weaknesses, past and/or present, create a climate of secrecy in which it is hard to crack down on crimes linked to child abuse.

Now, in the near future, one of the valid angles that I hope mainstream journalists will cover is this: How do victims of abuse recover from these hellish events in their lives?

You can write that story focusing on secular experts, and that would be valid. At the same time, it would also be valid to look at how traditional Catholics view abuse recovery, often focusing on spiritual disciples and healing.

If reporters want to write that second angle they can start by placing a call to former rock journalist, headline writing superstar and GetReligionista Dawn Eden Goldstein. 

Now, you may remember that Dawn has moved into academia. She earned a doctorate in sacred theology -- magna cum laude -- from the University of St. Mary on the Lake (Mundelein Seminary). This was the first time in the university's history that a woman had earned a canonical (i.e. pontifically licensed) doctorate in theology.

It's a long story, but her work teaching dogmatic theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary has -- in this digital age -- led her to Washington, D.C. He is also about to head to India on a teaching mission associated with the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences.

I thought GetReligion readers would want an update.

At the same time, I wanted to note that Dawn's academic background, along with one of her books, and then her own experiences recovering from abuse, make her an interesting voice right now. The book is "My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints."

Check out the television interview at the top of this post.

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