September 24-26, 2018 – International Meeting of Experts held at Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

From 24-26 September 2018, ICOLF organized an International Meeting of Experts on “Sexually Aggressive Behavior toward Pre and Post Adolescent Males, Seminarians and Adults by Catholic Clergy: Prevention, Evaluation, and Responses.” The proceedings of the meeting will be published in book form in 2019. The abstracts will be available in the 2018 December issue of “Inside the Vatican.”

Professor Jane Adolphe, Expert for the Holy See, organized under the auspices of International Center of Law, Life, Faith and Family, a high profile meeting which gathered experts from various disciplines: theology, sociology, journalism, political science, psychology, pastoral care, and law (including civil, international and canon law).

The focus of the meeting was on three case studies involving clerics (including bishops and cardinals) as sexual perpetrators: sexual abuse against minors and sexual aggression against seminarians; and the third case study addressed the problem of active homosexual clergy in the Church .

Susan Mulheron, JCL, Chancellor for Canonical Affairs for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, gave the keynote address, “An Overview of the Various Issues and Challenges of the Church.”

Monsignor Piotr Mazurkiewicz, former Secretary General of the Commission of the Bishops’ of the European Community, discussed “Negative Secular Influences on Church Culture,” and Dr. Robert Fastiggi from Sacred Heart Major Seminary, spoke on the topic of “Church teachings on perpetual continence and celibacy of clerics in the Catholic Church.”

The legal panel included Professor Adolphe who spoke on “Issues in International Law and Comparative Law,” Professor Mark Bonner spoke on “Issues in American Criminal Law,” Professor Brian Scarneccia spoke on “Issues in American Tort Law,” Ronald Rychlak, a member of the Board of Governors of Ave Maria Law, spoke on “The Convention Against Torture and the erroneous interpretation to include Clerical Sexual Abuse, and Patricia Dugan, Esq., a practicing canonist and civil lawyer spoke on “Intersecting Issues in American Civil, Criminal Law and Canon Law.”

Geoffrey Strickland, alumnus of Ave Maria Law (’09), spoke on “Adult-Child Sex and its Lobbying Movement.”

Thank you to Roger Kiska, Esq., alumnus of Ave Maria Law (’03), for moderating the panels. Thank you to Professor Adolphe for bringing us together for such a successful conference.


Let us congratulate Professor Adolphe and all of those who participated in the conference for having a Dossier on the conference published as an insert in the December Issue of Inside the Vatican magazine.

The Dossier provides an introduction, abstracts of papers, and bios of the presenters who participated in the expert meeting.