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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Resignation of a Member of the Vatican's Commission for the Protection of Minors

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors issued a Press Statement earlier today in which it explained that one of its members - herself a survivor of sexual abuse by clergy - who had been appointed in 2014 by Pope Francis to serve on the Commission, resigned effective today.


Press Statement
issued by the Pontifical Commission
for the Protection of Minors

On Monday, February 13, 2017, Mrs. Marie Collins, a Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] advised Cardinal Sean O’Malley, President of the PCPM, of her intent to resign from the Commission effective March 1, 2017.

Mrs. Collins, a Member of the Pontifical Commission since its inception in 2014 is a survivor of clerical abuse, and consistently and tirelessly championed for the voices of the victims/survivors to be heard, and for the healing of victims/survivors to be a priority of the Church. In discussing with the Cardinal, and in her resignation letter to the Holy Father, Mrs. Collins cited her frustration at the lack of cooperation with the Commission by other offices in the Roman Curia.

Mrs. Collins accepted an invitation from Cardinal O’Malley to continue to work with the Commission in an educational role in recognition of her exceptional teaching skills and the impact of her testimony as a survivor.

 The Holy Father accepted Mrs. Collins resignation with deep appreciation for her work on behalf of the victims/survivors of clergy abuse.

 The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors was established by Pope Francis in March of 2014. The Chirograph of His Holiness Pope Francis states specifically, The Commission’s specific task is to propose to me the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are no longer repeated in the Church. The Commission is to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches, uniting their efforts to those of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults.


His Eminence, Sean Cardinal O'Malley, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Boston and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, issued the following statement concerning the resignation of Marie Collins from the Commission.

On behalf of the members of the Commission, I have expressed to Marie Collins our most sincere thanks for the extraordinary contributions she has made as a founding member of the Commission.  We will certainly listen carefully to all that Marie wishes to share with us about her concerns and we will greatly miss her important contributions as a member of the Commission.  As the Commission gathers for the plenary meeting next month, we will have an opportunity to discuss these matters.  With the members of the Commission, I am grateful for Marie's willingness to continue to work with us in the eduction of Church leaders, including the upcoming programs for new bishops and for the Dicasteries of the Holy See.  Our prayers will remain with Marie and with all victims and survivors of sexual abuse.
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