Marie Collins shocked at Kilgallon’s omission

Marie Collins

Church-abuse-survivor, Marie Collins, says she’s shocked that Pope Francis dropped a Kiwi from his sex-abuse inquiry.

Ms Collins resigned her membership of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

She says she left in frustration last March at what she saw as a lack of progress.

The commission’s 3-year term ended late last year.

Pope Francis dropped Kiwi Bill Kilgallon and 5 other members when he renewed the commission this year.

He reappointed 8 of the original members and appointed 9 new ones.

New Zealander Bill Kilgallon told CathNews he has retired and did not expect reappointment.

He says the commission itself recommended more or less what has happened to the membership.

“I was not expecting to serve a second term,” he says.

Retirement no barrier

But Marie Collins says retirement was not a block to commission membership.

She says some past and present members were retirees and that means they have more time for Commission work.

Collins agrees that Kilgallon has also retired but she told CathNews that was only from his role in New Zealand.

Kilgallon had been Director of the National Office of Professional Standards (NOPS).

She told CathNews that he was available despite his retirement.

Kilgallon maintains that his term was a fixed one and his retirement signalled its end.

CathNews sought comment from NOPS.

Collins says Francis has dropped some of the most active and independent members of the commission.

She says three of them were leaders of the Commission’s six working groups.

“They were halfway through their work, and I’m worried these groups may now be scrapped,” she says. “There is no group in the commission for survivors.”

According to Collins, dropped members included French psychotherapist Catherine Bonnet and the UK’s Baroness Sheila Hollins.

She also lists Kiwi Bill Kilgallon and religious congregation adviser Krysten Winter-Green, a Kiwi living in the US.

For the renewed commission, the Vatican chose eight men and eight women.

It says they’re “from a multi-disciplinary field of international experts in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from the crime of sexual abuse”.

The new members come from a wide geographic spread.

Their countries include Tonga, Brazil, Ethiopia and Australia, among others.

The commission says the new members will add to its global perspective.

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