Survivor Leaves Vatican’s Abuse Commission

Click here to read Marie Collins’ first-person account: “Exclusive: Survivor explains decision to leave Vatican’s abuse commission,” by Marie Collins, The National Catholic Reporter, March 1, 2017

Excerpt: “The most significant problem has been reluctance of some members of the Vatican Curia to implement the recommendations of the Commission despite their approval by the pope.”

16 thoughts on “Survivor Leaves Vatican’s Abuse Commission

  1. When will it ever end – when will it ever end? It’s the same old, same old. Bureaucratic and political foot dragging wherever power and male dominance is challenged. This resignation by Marie Collins and the reasons for it are just proof that she is being “raped” again by the male clergy – this time by the almighty Vatican.

    Was Marie Collins trusting again this time when invited to be part of the solution, as she was trusting the first time the clergy abused her? This is clergy abuse all over again. I hope that her decision to leave a make believe “Abuse Commission” will mean to her that she will feel completely in charge of her own life again. She is a Shero in my book.


  2. “What is necessary to finally put this scandal behind us is a chorus of clerical voices demanding reform of their own culture [of clericalism], demanding that the all-male clerical caste engage in the painful work of understanding what their culture has become…” (NCR)

    Priests who fail to demand reform of their culture are neither “good” nor intelligent. The laity needs to stop using isolated incidences to argue that “there are many ‘good’ priests.” The culture of clericalism threatens the well being of all of us, including priests. For priests to remain silent is evil.

    Kate FitzGerald

    1. I can’t hear the “chorus of clerical voices” emanating from the Philadelphia Priest Association. Why? Because they are cowards.

  3. We will never hear the “chorus of clerical voices emanating from the Philadelphia Priest Association”, because until they hear the chorus of THE PARISHIONERS IN PROTESTS – inside the church on Sunday, outside the church any day the status quo will remain as it has for 2,000 years – the Vatican and the males in it in charge. “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” The voices of women, the marches of women, the protests of women in the past 40 days have been seen and reverberated around the world. The Church does not belong to the priests and the Vatican – it belongs to the people who worship there each Sunday. It should not be considered wrong or disrespectful for parishioners to stand up in THEIR Church and have their voices, concerns, and outrage heard. The clergy on Sunday and in the Church hierarchy need to hear a “SERMON” from the parishioners this Sunday and every Sunday. Until then “attending mass is like attending a puppet show”.

    “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” Tina Fey

    “Priests are no more necessary to religion than politicians to patriotism.” John Hayes Holmes

    “There is an old rabbinical belief that the only proof of God is in our own actions.”

    “No institution (even the Vatican) could ever achieve the the morality of the individual.” Reinhold Niebuhr. Institutions need to maintain power and control.


    1. They can afford to be deaf to the chorus of parishioners if that chorus ever finds a note. There will only be a change when parishioners withhold funding until action is taken. Is it not true that there is no absolution without a sincere act of contrition. I, as a survivor of sexual abuse, have not seen an act of contrition from the church in my case or any other.

  4. Kate and Reid I believe the priest assoc has been kaput for a few years now.

    I was asked to be on an Archdiocesan school safety committee a few years ago by an Archdiocesan employee who exhibited some of the most common sense I have yet to encounter in the past few years,she was also a mother which of course helped her common sense thought process. I turned down the opportunity because although I believe her offer to be genuine there are too many clerics who have history in the child sexual abuse crimes still holdng power in this Archdiocese and you will not find my name along with theirs…ever. I have had some success in weighing in on Archdiocesan child safety policy as a lone wolf 🙂 I give the survivors who accepted the positions on the Vatican committee credit for their attempts but like in most situations involving this clerical culture the writing was on the walll.

  5. Susan,
    I have long admired you and I appreciate receiving these e-mails.
    I wrote to once, that my maiden name was Matthews so possibly your husband’s family and mine might be related-Navan-County Meath . Above all, I appreciate your continued efforts regarding informing us of the ongoing and incredibly amazing failure of the Vatican to honestly deal with the problem of priestly pedophilia
    I am also 81 years old and frankly, I’ve really come to the awareness that a institution that denies women equality is more a patriarchal outfit than a genuine “religious” institution.
    Hypocrisy is rampant in our culture. But why not when it is so incredibly blatant in the Catholic Church.
    Margaret Matthews Murphy

    1. Hi Margaret, Thank you for your kind words, but this site wouldn’t be what it is without all of you. Reader Kate Fitzgerald was the impetus behind this posting. So many have reached out with stories and news. I am so appreciative. Matthews is my maiden name. My father’s family in England was most recently rooted in Torquey. There is also a Northern Ireland connection. I’ll ask him about Navan – County Meath. My mother’s maiden name is Kennedy. It is indeed a “patriarchal outfit.” I could live with that alone but not when it contributes to an institutional culture that allows children to be harmed.

  6. i guess I’m just naive, or I haven’t a clue how these things work, but I don’t understand how so many things the Pope has basically mandated are ignored, thwarted, or outright rejected. I know he’s a busy man, but don’t the blatant rejections of his will come to his attention? Isn’t he in charge? I realize that politics are in play, but at some point, can’t the Pope say “This is how it will be” and remove those standing in the way?

  7. What comfy (I don’t give a damn that you guys are purportedly on work overload… I don’t believe it… and if it’s true, you deserve it) and cowardly priests don’t get or dismiss with a smirk is that their culture of clericalism has a long history of inflicting atrocities on mankind. Congratulations! “I live in a little world that either kills people or their souls. In it, I’m Christ!”

    (1) The rape of children and its ongoing institutional cover up (read the reports from the Australian Commission’s investigation) is an atrocity. (2) Burying fetuses and children in mass graves at homes for unwed mothers in Ireland is an atrocity. While the Bon Secour sisters ostensibly “ran” these homes, trust me, they did not. Clerics ultimately ran both the sisters and the homes. The mothers, infants and children in the homes endured every kind of conceivable abuse. Disproportional numbers died. (3) When Marie Collins, a survivor of priestly sexual abuse, was invited to sit on the Pontifical Commission, the clerical culture, including all of its secrets, psychologically “delayed” sexual and emotional baggage, and power-gangs, acted to re-victimized her. That’s an atrocity.

    The clerical culture at work through the lens of last week’s news, alone.

  8. Catholic Whistleblowers Press Release:

    March 2, 2017

    Pope Francis: his words and his actions don’t coincide,
    and Catholic clergy sexual abuse remains a crisis

    It appears that the safety of children and vulnerable adults is not a priority to Pope Francis. As Pope, he has all the power and authority he needs to make things happen in the Catholic Church. But in matters of clergy sexual abuse he has failed, perhaps because of his reluctance to walk in the shoes of the victims / survivors. Actions speak louder than words.

    On March 1 Marie Collins of Ireland resigned from Pope Francis’ Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. She is the second victim / survivor of clergy sexual abuse as a minor to step away from this commission. The other is Peter Saunders of Great Britain who took a leave of absence from the group about one year ago.

    In her public resignation comments Marie indicated that her dismay lies mainly in both the continued reluctance of the Vatican Curia to implement recommendations of the commission that the Pope had approved, and in the failure of Pope Francis to follow his own norms for holding accountable culprit bishops and religious superiors who negligently handled clergy sexual abuse allegations. Peter spoke similarly when he stepped away from the commission in February 2016.

    The Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee congratulates and thanks both Marie and Peter for their courage and prophetic leadership.

    Moreover, we realize that the Catholic Church is not competent to remedy its clergy sexual abuse crisis and scandal. Thus, the civil governments must act, be that at the federal, state, or local level.

    Actually, Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that has functioned so productively these past few years provides an excellent example of what is needed. And we strongly support any and all civil authorities who establish such commissions. It’s about protecting minors and vulnerable adults.

    Here is the link to the public statement by Marie Collins as presented in the National Catholic Reporter


    The members of the Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee who issue this statement are:

    Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., (West Orange, NJ); Rev. Ronald D. Lemmert (Peekskill, NY);Sr. Sally Butler, OP (Brooklyn, NY); Rev. Patrick Winchester Collins, Ph.D. (Douglas, MI);Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish, SNDdeN (New Castle, DE); Sr. Claire Smith, OSU (Bronx, NY);Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, OP, J.C.D. (Vienna, VA); Rev. Msgr. Kenneth E. Lasch, J.C.D. (Pompton Plains, New Jersey); Rev. Bruce Teague (Sheffield, MA); Rev. James E. Connell, J.C.D. (Milwaukee, WI)

  9. And now we learn that there has been an horrendous history of child victimization in Australia.
    So much for “freedom from religion”.

  10. Happy Easter everyone! Let Jesus be your hope and he will transform you from the inside out! Peace.

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