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Saturday 18 November 2017

Survivor quits abuse reform body in Vatican

Marie Collins: survivor of abuse by clergy. Photo: REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Marie Collins: survivor of abuse by clergy. Photo: REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Sarah Mac Donald

Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins has resigned from the Catholic Church's Pontifical Commission due to frustration with Vatican officials' resistance.

Mrs Collins's shock announcement on Ash Wednesday was a serious blow to Pope Francis's efforts to tackle the abuse crisis within Catholicism and show that the Church was getting its house in order.

Mrs Collins was appointed to the commission in 2014 as one of two survivors of clergy sex abuse.

Outlining her reasons for resigning to the 'National Catholic Reporter', she said it was "devastating in 2017 to see that these men still can put other concerns before the safety of children and vulnerable adults".

Describing their attitude as "unacceptable", she hit out at the reluctance of some in the Curia to implement recommendations or cooperate with the work of a commission whose purpose is to improve the safety of children and vulnerable adults.

Last year, at the safeguarding commission's request, Pope Francis instructed all departments in the Vatican to ensure all correspondence from victims/survivors received a response.

"I learned in a letter from this particular dicastery last month that they are refusing to do so," Mrs Collins said.

She said she found it "impossible to listen to public statements about the deep concern in the Church for the care of those whose lives have been blighted by abuse" and "yet to watch privately as a congregation in the Vatican refuses to even acknowledge their letters".

The 70-year-old said it reflected how the whole abuse crisis in the Church has been handled: "With fine words in public and contrary actions behind closed doors."

Irish Independent

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