March 16, 2003
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.-Investigative reporter Jason Berry will discuss "The Vatican and the Crisis in the Catholic Church" on Wednesday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Berry will consider the international dimensions of the church's sexual crisis and its impact on the legacy of Pope John Paul II. His talk, sponsored by the Willis D. Wood and Schwemm Funds, will be free and open to the public.

A 1971 graduate of Georgetown University, Berry came to national prominence with his first book, Amazing Grace: With Charles Evers in Mississippi (1973). He has contributed to such national publications as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Nation and The New Republic. His books include The Spirit of Black Hawk: A Mystery of Africans and Indians (1995) and Louisiana Faces: Images from a Renaissance, with photographs by Philip Gould (2002). Of his 1992 work, Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children, a USA Today reviewer wrote: "Berry is the rare investigative reporter whose scholarship, compassion and ability to write with the poetic power of Robert Penn Warren are in perfect balance."

Berry has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities's 2002 Humanist of the Year award. Berry is at work on Vows of Silence, with Gerald Renner, which examines the Vatican's handling of the sexual crisis through the lives of two priests and will be published early next year by the Free Press.