Thursday 25 December 2014

Marie Collins 'hopeful' about new abuse commission

Sarah Mac Donald

Published 05/05/2014 | 02:30

Marie Collins says the Vatican’s new commission to protect children will be more than just a “talking shop”
Marie Collins says the Vatican’s new commission to protect children will be more than just a “talking shop”

IRISH abuse survivor Marie Collins says the Vatican's new commission to protect children will be more than just a "talking shop" and will deliver firm policies.

Ms Collins, who was one of the first of the eight members announced, said it will help produce "concrete proposals and policies" on accountability and best safeguarding practice in the Catholic Church.

Speaking from Rome yesterday, the vocal campaigner said her hopes "haven't been disappointed so far". Ms Collins said the commission's meetings, which took place from Thursday to Saturday, were a "good start".

Ms Collins was abused in the 1960s and has been a strong campaigner against the exploitation of children.

The Vatican commission to protect children from abuse was drafted last year, with four men and four women selected to tackle the issue of abuse.

"It is only the very beginning but the way we started out is very hopeful for the future and for the sort of change I and others have also called for in the past," Ms Collins said.

And she told how she had been "impressed" by the other members of the commission, which includes Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston and psychiatrist Sheila Hollins from the UK.

"We all come from different perspectives but we all have the one priority and that is the protection of children in the future."

Of her meeting with Pope Francis, Mrs Collins said all the members had met the pontiff individually. "He was very warm and it was a very positive meeting. He thanked me for accepting the appointment and said a few other personal words which were very positive. He struck me as a very warm and sincere man," she said.

Irish Independent

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