Tuesday 25 September 2018

Clerical abuse survivor not invited to meet Pope

Marie Collins has never had a chance to meet Pope Francis
Marie Collins has never had a chance to meet Pope Francis

Sarah MacDonald

Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins confirmed she has not been invited to meet the Pope when he visits Dublin for the World Meeting of Families.

Ms Collins called on Pope Francis to make time to visit Northern Ireland and meet victims of clerical abuse when he comes to Ireland this August.

She resigned from Pope Francis's Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in March 2017 over its resistance to members' reform proposals.

She also revealed she felt hurt by the Church's failure to grant her a meeting with the Pope, despite her efforts to bring about a safer environment in the Church for children.

"During three years working as an adviser to Pope Francis on his commission I was never given the opportunity talk with him, either in the context of a survivor seeking pastoral healing or as an advocate with questions to ask in regard to the problem of abuse in the Church," said Ms Collins.

Even though she was involved in bringing abuse survivors from Ireland and other parts of Europe to Rome in 2014 to meet the Pope, she herself was not granted a meeting.

"I have no doubt this was due to the fear I might ask challenging questions. I do not believe the Pope himself would have any problem with that but those around him have a very different view," she said. "It would be untrue for me to say I was not hurt by this - I was."

She said she would accept an invitation to meet and talk with the Pope if it was made.

Irish Independent

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