ABUSE SURVIVOR AND campaigner Marie Collins, of Aware and One in Four, has been named as a member of the Vatican’s new commission for the protection of minors.
The committee was set up to help improve measures within the Catholic church to protect children against sex abuse.
A statement from the Vatican today said:
…having heard the advice of a number of Cardinals, other members of the College of Bishops, and experts in the field, and having duly deliberated, Pope Francis now is forming a Commission for the safeguarding of minors.
The members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors are:
- Dr Catherine Bonnet (France)
- Mrs Marie Collins (Ireland)
- Professor the Baroness Sheila Hollins (United Kingdom)
- Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap (US)
- Professor Claudio Papale (Italy)
- Her Excellency Hanna Suchocka (Poland)
- Reverend Humberto Miguel Yañez, SJ (Argentina)
- Reverend Hans Zollner, SJ (Germany)
They will prepare the Statutes of the Commission, which will define its tasks and competencies. Other members will be added to the commission in the future.
The statement said that given “the Church has a critical role to play in this field, and looking to the future without forgetting the past”, the Commission will take a “multi-pronged” approach to promoting youth protection.
Its work will include education about the exploitation of children; discipline of offenders; civil and canonical duties and responsibilities; and the development of best practices as they have emerged in society at large.
Marie Collins was born in Dublin, Ireland and is married with one son. She is a child sexual abuse survivor and brought the priest who abused her in the 1960s to justice in 1997.
She is a founder Trustee of the Marie Collins Foundation and has campaigned for the protection of children and justice for survivors of clerical sexual abuse.
She was a founding member of the Irish depression support group Aware, and founding trustee of the support group for abuse survivors, One in Four (Ireland).