Church ‘must reply to victims’, says Vatican's child protection commission

The Vatican’s child protection commission, from which an Irish abuse survivor resigned in protest in recent weeks, has told the Pope that the Church needs to start responding “directly and compassionately” to the victims of clerical abuse.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, of which Marie Collins was a founding member, met for its eighth Plenary Assembly over the past weekend.

Ms Collins stepped down from the commission at the start of March blaming “the resistance by some members of the Vatican Curia to the work of the commission”.

At the time, she said the lack of cooperation, “particularly by the dicastery most involved in dealing with cases of abuse, has been shameful.”

Following its assembly, the commission issued a statement in which it said members have unanimously agreed “to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors”.

“The commission discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See,” the statement read.

“Members agreed that acknowledging correspondence and giving a timely and personal response is one part of furthering transparency and healing.

“They acknowledged that this is a significant task due to the volume and nature of the correspondence and requires clear and specific resources and procedures. They have agreed to send further recommendations to Pope Francis for consideration.”

The commission also said a “central topic” of its assembly has been Marie Collins’s resignation.

“The commission members expressed strong support for her and her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults,” it said.

“They also expressed their particular gratitude that Marie Collins has agreed to continue working with the commission’s educational programs for new bishops and the offices of the Roman Curia.”


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