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The once and future Church.  BC launches its initiative to consider the current crisis in the Catholic Church and the opportunities for reform and renewal
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Photograph of members of the panel


On September 18, an audience some 4,000 strong assembled in Conte Forum for the inaugural event in the Church in the 21st Century initiative, Boston College's academic response to the crisis in the Catholic Church arising out of recent clerical sex abuse revelations. The principal speakers were University President William P. Leahy, SJ; the longtime religion editor of Newsweek Kenneth L. Woodward; BC trustee and corporate CEO Jack Connors, Jr. '63; and BC theologians Lisa Sowle Cahill and Roberto S. Goizueta. For a reporter's account of the highly charged evening, see Richard J. Higgins's "field notes" in Linden Lane. For the speakers' presentations, read on.

With the launch of Boston College's project comes also the launch of a new special section in this magazine, devoted to the expected and unexpected products and byproducts of the Church in the 21st Century initiative and the crisis in the Church. The section opens in this issue with historian Charles R. Morris's survey of books published or reissued as a result of recent events. Like the initiative, the special section will continue for two years.


Terms of engagement: BC's special responsibility
By William P. Leahy, SJ


An unsettled realm: In crisis comes opportunity
By Kenneth L. Woodward

The challenge of sex: It's not about child abuse
By Lisa Sowle Cahill

Answering the call: The Church must change
By Jack Connors, Jr. '63

The new American Church: Traditional and countercultural
By Roberto S. Goizueta

Photo: Kenneth L. Woodward at the podium, with Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM, and William P. Leahy, SJ, looking on. By Lee Pellegrini


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Terms of engagement
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An unsettled realm
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The challenge of sex
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Answering the call
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The new American Church
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