Thursday 22 February 2018

Irish clerical abuse survivor resigns from Vatican panel due to 'shameful' set backs

Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins
Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins has resigned from a panel established by Pope Francis to examine clerical sexual abuse, saying there have been "constant set backs".

Mrs Collins was a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors since 2014 and is a survivor of sexual clerical abuse.

In a statement Mrs Collins said she resigned as the lack of co-operation was "shameful".

"Since the beginning of the Commission in March 2014 I have been impressed with the dedication of my colleagues and the genuine wish by Pope Francis for assistance in dealing with the issue of clerical sexual abuse. I believe the setting up of the Commission, the bringing in of outside expertise to advise him on what was necessary to make minors safer, was a sincere move.

"However, despite the Holy Father approving all the recommendations made to him by the Commission, there have been constant set backs.

"This has been directly due to the resistance by some members of the Vatican Curia to the work of the Commission. The lack of co-operation particularly by the dicastery most closely involved in dealing with cases of abuse, has been shameful."

Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin paid tribute to the work that has been achieved by Marie Collins.

He said that few people in Ireland have made such a consistent contribution to the change in the Church’s response to child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Martin said: "Despite opposition and resistance, she remained committed and constructive in what were for her good moments and bad moments.  I have learned above all to see in her a person of integrity who is not afraid to chart her own course:  where things were wrong she identified them and named them; when she felt uncomfortable she was never tempted to take the easy path and remain quiet and I am certain that will be her position in the future.

"Victims and survivors owe her an enormous debt, but she was never one to seek praise or affirmation for herself.  I am happy to note her commitment to continue her contribution to the Church and I thank her for the contribution she has made to the Archdiocese of Dublin and the support she has given me personally."

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