Why Marie Collins left the Commission for Protection of Minors

“When three years ago I accepted my appointment in the commission, I said that if I had found a conflict between what was happening behind closed doors and what was being said publicly, I would not have stayed. This has happened and this is why I have left.”

Marie Collins’ home phone in Dublin is hot; people are calling her from all over the world. The news of her resignation from Pope Francis’ anti-abuse commission comes out of the blue on the day the Catholic Church celebrates the beginning of the penitential season of Lent.

Marie as a young girl was abused by a priest and has always been committed to helping the victims of pedophilia.

You have mentioned of an internal resistance. Do you believe the Curia is resisting the new rules against this terrible phenomenon of child abuse?

No, I do not think that there are resistances to the norms or specific action against pedophilia. It is rather the gut feeling that some considered our commission’s work as an interference.

I do not know if this is part of the resistance against the Pope. What I found was a general unwillingness to cooperate.

You have however mentioned at least one specific case, arguing that it was the straw that broke the camel: the lack of commitment on the behalf of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to answer all the letters by abuse survivors.

I do not want to tell the names of the dicasteries. But yes, it is a specific case.

If you are an abuse survivor and write to tell your story asking for help and justice, and yet you do not receive a response, you are wounded once again. That is hard to understand.

Yet, both Benedict XVI and Francis have met with the victims, have listened to them, they have received them.

Francis had agreed to our recommendation. We asked that each individual victim should always receive a direct response. The Pope agreed, but some did not want to follow this indication. Continue reading



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