Clericalism’s day coming to an end

Clericalism is coming to an end, says Marie Collins, who is a clergy sexual abuse survivor from Ireland.

However, Vatican officials needed “a safeguarding policy” in place ages ago to prevent abuse and address it when it occurs.

Collins says a policy of this sort was promised at the Vatican summit on child protection in February, but it has never materialised.

One of the original members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Collins says she is disappointed with the outcome of the summit.

“We had been told it would be about responsibility, accountability and transparency,” she says.

“What we saw come out of it was a [promise of a] handbook for bishops – that has not come out yet – and a safeguarding policy for Vatican City…”.

In her view, Vatican City should have had such a policy “decades ago,”.

Collins, who resigned from the Vatican commission in 2017 because she was concerned that promised reforms were not being implemented and Vatican leaders were impeding the commission’s work, has found fault with the pope’s recent document “You are the light of the world”.

It includes a number of protocols for addressing abuse claims. It’s aim is to hold church leaders accountable for actions or omissions related to the handling of such reports.

“It’s still bishops investigating bishops,” Collins says.

“Many would see that as just inappropriate and not the answer.”

Unless there’s “some sort of consequence” for bishops who ignore the policy or are negligent in handling allegations of abuse, the policy’s worthless, she says.

“We’ve seen too much in the Church now – far too many revelations of corruption on this level. The power is corrupted. We have moral corruption, financial corruption.”

Collins blames clericalism, particularly those who feel “they can basically do anything and their colleagues will protect them,” but she said that “day is coming to an end.”


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News category: World.

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