Seton Hall expert to dissect government reaction to clerical sex abuse, June 7 in Harding

Jo-Renee Formicola,
Jo-Renee Formicola,

Clerical sexual abuse has dramatically changed how government deals with the Catholic Church. How dramatically?

Seton Hall political scientist Jo-Renee Formicola will analyze the situation on June 7, 2015, at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Harding. The 3:30 pm talk, Clerical Sexual Abuse: How the Crisis Changed US Catholic Church-State Relations, is sponsored by Voice of the Faithful New Jersey  and is free to the public.

Here’s more, from Voice of the Faithful:


Dr. Jo-Renee Formicola to speak on Clerical Sexual Abuse: How the Crisis Changed US Catholic Church-State Relations.

MORRISTOWN, NJ — At 3:30 PM on Sunday, June 7, 2015, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 100 Harter Road, Harding, NJ, Voice of the Faithful New Jersey will present Dr. Jo-Renee Formicola, political science professor at Seton Hall University.

Jo-Renee Formicola,
Jo-Renee Formicola,

Based on her recently published book of the same name, Dr. Formicola will speak on Clerical Sexual Abuse: How the Crisis Changed US Catholic Church-State Relations. Fr. Tom Ivory will preside at a liturgy following the talk.

Dr. Formicola’s specific field of expertise is Church-State relations, and during her tenure at Seton Hall University, she has published extensively on social and religious topics related to the relationship between the Catholic Church and the American government.

Since the appalling sexual abuse scandals were openly revealed in 2001, Catholic Church-State relations have changed dramatically. Whereas accusations of sexual abuse by clergy were routinely denied by the Church, civil law-enforcement authorities now hold clerics accountable under civil law.

Dr. Formicola has examined the secret payoffs, cover-ups and the re-assignment of priests in order to expose the magnitude and pervasive extent of these crimes. The outrage and consequent demands for reform have cost the Church dearly in both credibility and the billions of dollars spent on attorneys’ fees and reparations to victims.

Dr. Formicola received her B.S. from Le Moyne College, her M. A. from Georgetown University, and her Ph.D. from Drew University. She is the author of four books: The Catholic Church and Human Rights (1988); John Paul II: Prophetic Politician (2002); The Politics of Values (2008) and Clerical Sexual Abuse: How it Changed U.S. Catholic Church-State Relations (2014).

She is the co-author of The Politics of School Choice (1999) and Faith Based Initiatives and the Bush Administration (2003) and also the co-editor and chapter contributor to three other volumes: Everson Revisited (1997); Religious Leaders and Faith Based Politics (2001); and Taking Religious Pluralism Seriously (2005).

All are welcome. There is no charge for the program. For information:,, or call 973-538-4063

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