Vatican culture slows abuse-prevention commission work

A member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors says the slow progress in some of its work is because of Vatican culture.

Abuse survivor Marie Collins told the Irish Times that the commission has made good progress in some areas, but in others, progress has been “very slow”.

“My expectation was that the work would be done more quickly,” she said.

Her fellow commission members are “really good and have the right intentions”.

She does not believe the slow pace is “intentional hindrance”.

At the Vatican “they simply do things in a very different way to the secular world. They’ve been doing things that way for so long they don’t see it as slow. I find it frustrating”.

Ms Collins also said some in the Vatican “find it a little difficult to work with lay people, women in particular”.

“There’s been no overt stumbling block or anything put in our way.

“It’s just my own personal feeling, my own lack of trust, my own cynicism because of my history.”

In the article, she expressed a fear that a future pope may not be as focussed as Pope Francis is on this area.

“My fear is that if we had a change, would the same impetus be there? Every pope has different priorities.”

She said she knows that survivor groups are wary of the commission.

“I received a lot of criticism for agreeing to be part of it.”

Ms Collins said the “biggest stress of all [of being on the commission] is other survivors being in contact, because I cannot do anything for them”.

“Emotionally that’s very, very difficult.”

But she replies to everyone.

The commission has agreed on an annual Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse.


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