Sexual abuse by priests or consecrated persons is a pain for the Church. How to deal with this difficult subject and how to protect the victims? Haven't there been mistakes in approach in this area in the past? We will talk about the situation in Slovakia with those who help victims of abuse and at the same time try to educate and prevent other similar cases - with priest Andrej Kačmar (director of the Centre for the Protection of Minors of the Archdiocese of Košice) and Sister Agnieszka Jarkowska (an expert in the field of protection of minors from sexual abuse). Rod Dreher, who has been working on this topic for a long time, will bring an international context to the debate.
Rod Dreher is an author and journalist whose best-selling books have been translated into 12 languages. He is a leading commentator on the relationship between Christianity and public life. He is a senior editor at The American Conservative, where he writes a popular blog about religion, culture, and politics, and he publishes often in other journals. In 2017, his best-selling book "The Benedict Option" was described by The New York Times as "the most important religious book of the decade." In 2019, his book "Live Not By Lies," a warning about what he regards as the coming soft totalitarianism, became another bestseller in the United States. He dedicated the book to the memory of Father Tomislav Kolakovic, the founder of the Slovak underground church. He is an Orthodox Christian who lives with his wife and children in Louisiana.
Sr. Agnieszka Ewa Jarkowska is a nun from the Institute of the Capuchin Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She is an expert in pedagogy, pastoral vocations and protection of minors from sexual abuse, with an academic diploma in the protection of minors from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. She has been working with youth and families in Slovakia since 2014, lecturing at the Catholic University of Ružomberok since 2017 and collaborating with the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious. Since 2019, she has been a member of the Centre for the Protection of Minors in Košice and a member of the Commission of the Slovak Bishops' Conference for Cases of Sexual Abuse of Minors. She deals with prevention and assistance to victims of sexual abuse.
Andrej Kačmár is an ecclesiastical lawyer, vice rector of the seminary and since 2019 also director of the Centre for the Protection of Minors of the Archdiocese of Košice. He also serves as the secretary of the KBS Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Church. He completed his studies in Canon Law at the Pontifical Lateran University and additional studies at the Gregorian University.
Editor-in-chief of nm.sk. Graduated in mass media communication in Trnava. Worked as an editor and presenter in the Bratislava studio of Radio Lumen and has collaborated with the religious and sports editorial staff of RTVS. He is married and lives in Bratislava.