Year of Youth 2018

Abuse Survivor Resigns from Papal Commission That Works to Prevent Abuse

Last edited 1st March 2017

Marie Collins is one of the victims of abuse who worked in the Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors. Since its first meeting in 2015, she warned that if what it publically declares does not correspond with any concrete action, she would leave.

Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors
February 7, 2015
"If we don't really particularly lead the bishops in accountability in the next year or within the next two years at least. If we don't have something solid in place, I don't know that I would want to remain on the commission. As he said, you probably wouldn't find him here; well I don't think you'd find me here either. And that's a survivor point of view.”

Now, that day has come. It is a very important gesture. The Irish citizen denounces the "reluctance of some members of the Vatican Curia to implement the recommendations of the Commission approved by the pope."

She also says that they have neither the resources nor the material to do their work, and that any progress is too slow, or runs up against cultural resistance.

She blames, above all, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. She suggest that it refuses to respond to the letters of victims of abuse, despite the fact that the pope has asked them to do so. She also claims that they do not want to send to bishops' conferences the guidelines they should follow when a victim reports abuse.

Upon her departure, Marie Collins proposes three things to the pope:

- Give the Commission the power to oversee the implementation of its recommendations.

- Let the commission have an independent budget.

- Let the commission hire professionals who do not work in the Vatican.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, President of the Commission, publicly thanked Marie for her work over the past few years. He also has worked out a deal by which she will continue to collaborate in giving formation courses for new bishops in order to teach them how to be able to recognize cases of abuse and act against abusers.

In theory there is another victim of abuse who works on the Commission. However, in practice it is not clear whether or not Peter Saunders was suspended over a very difficult discussion about the commission's ultimate purpose and authority.

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