Lawyer Magazine_Winter 2020


‘A CALL WITHIN A CALL’ Griffith also is the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Minneapolis and is the liaison for restorative justice and healing for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. In talking about restorative justice, like Tyner he referenced the Bible, noting that the word “restore” is in Scripture 130 times. He came to restorative justice in numerous ways. Shea

She explained that there are three questions in restorative justice: Who was harmed? What was the harm? How do we go about repairing the harm? In sharing with symposium attendees her take on restorative justice, Tyner mentioned Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” “We have a

set up a dinner with Griffith and Geske a few years ago, where Griffith heard many stories about how she came to restorative justice. In addition, Our Lady of Lourdes accepted an invitation from the archdiocese to pilot a parish program in restorative justice. Griffith also had served as a delegate for a safe environment for the archdiocese, dealing with clergy abuse. “I felt a call within a call,” Griffith said. “I’m called to priesthood, and then within priesthood I felt a particular call to get into this ministry. It’s happened organically, and every step along the way I have felt an affirmation to continue to do the work and to get into it more in depth.”

responsibility as lawyers and as a community to help and repair the world,” Tyner said. She added that restorative justice is an alternative that works. Restorative justice provides many benefits, the foremost of which is healing. Shea, a former assistant U.S. attorney, said that the criminal justice process is very formulaic and doesn’t give a person the opportunity to ask the offender, “Why me?” Restorative justice requires the offender to look the victim-survivor in the eye and explain why.

Shea’s most popular course at the School of Law is Crime and Punishment, and he always would have a couple of guest speakers, including Tyner, come in to talk about restorative justice. He never really got personally involved in restorative justice until a few years ago. “I became very concerned and involved in the clergy sexual abuse situation here in the Twin Cities, and I decided that I was being called to try and help both confront the issues that remained before us, and more importantly, to find a path forward for the entire faith community,” Shea said. Shea advocated to Archbishop Bernard Hebda and other archdiocese officials as well as Ramsey County

“When people are given an opportunity to talk about how they experienced harm, it is in fact a healing experience for them,” Griffith said. Another benefit is that restorative justice can be a bridge to both direct and peripheral harm. Griffith also said that it can be a way for perpetrators to experience restoration and understand the impact of their behavior, which fosters greater accountability. Regarding a third benefit, Griffith said, “We live in a world where increasingly we are not in dialogue. We’re walled off from each other. Restorative justice is really in accord with the nature of the human person. We’re meant to be social – that’s how we’re created.” He added that we need more respectful dialogue in society.

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