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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Irish abuse survivor wants Vatican summit to increase accountability

A prominent survivor and advocate for those affected by clerical abuse has urged Pope Francis to publicly name bishops who have been found guilty of negligence by Church tribunals.

Marie Collins – who was a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors from 2014 to 2017 – also said that, during the Vatican summit on safeguarding in February, the pope should set out comprehensive procedures to hold bishops accountable.

Speaking at a public talk in Dublin on 14th January, Collins said the Vatican meeting – which will include the presidents of the world’s episcopal conferences as well as senior Vatican officials – should prioritise making child safeguarding policies and procedures universal.

“The experience from those countries where the abuse crisis has been faced is not being used to bring universal policies into place for the countries where it has yet to occur,” she told the meeting, organised by We Are Church Ireland.

“You can be sure there is abuse of minors in every country where the Church has a presence, as it is in every society. Yet the sleeping mandarins in leadership in our Church seem to feel if they turn a blind eye, it will stay hidden, and they will not have to deal with it,” she said.

Picture: Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins is seen at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland August 24, 2018. (CNS photo/Clodagh Kilcoyne, Reuters).