Marie Collins, former member of the Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors, said: “I saw the Vatican up close, and its resistance, the lack of priority [on clerical child sex abuse], lack of transparency, and the absolutely misleading statements issued.”
Reported in the Irish Times by Patsy McGarry Feb 19/18: Marie Collins fears working groups set up to address care of survivors may be scrapped.
Marie Collins, former member of the Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors, said: “I saw the Vatican up close, and its resistance, the lack of priority [on clerical child sex abuse], lack of transparency, and the absolutely misleading statements issued.” File photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
Dublin abuse survivor Marie Collins has criticised a decision by Pope Francis not to reappoint “some of the most hard-working, independent, and active members” of the outgoing Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors to the new commission announced at the weekend.
The former commission ended its term of office in December. Ms Collins resigned from it last March after serving “three difficult years”, due to frustration with some officials in the Roman curia, particularly at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The only other abuse survivor appointed to the original commission with her , the UK’s Peter Saunders, took leave of absence in 2016 and resigned last December for similar reasons to Ms Collins.
The new 16-member commission, half of them laypeople, includes eight new appointees from around the world. Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Seán O’Malley remains as president, and Mgr Robert Oliver, also from Boston, returns as secretary.
Among members of the outgoing commission available for reappointment but overlooked were French psychotherapist Catherine Bonnet, the UK’s Baroness Sheila Hollins, Bill Kilgallon, a New Zealand church official, and religious congregation adviser Krysten Winter-Green,a New Zealander living in the US.
Ms Collins pointed out that these were leaders of working groups set up to address the care and healing of survivors.
“They were halfway through their work, and I’m worried these groups may now be scrapped,” she said. “There is no group in the commission for survivors.”
Announcing the new commission, the Vatican noted the eight men and eight women chosen were “from a multi-disciplinary field of international experts in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from the crime of sexual abuse”.
Included are four nuns and four clergy, a cardinal, an archbishop, a bishop and a priest. The Vatican said several members of the new commission were victims of clerical sexual abuse, but did not made clear who these may be.
For full report: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/