- Jan 22, 2020
When a top papal advisor earlier this week suggested that Catholic prelates should stop apologizing to clerical abuse survivors, in order to lift the “cloud” of scandal hanging over the Church, it offered a clear illustration of the pressures the abuse crisis has generated – both on victims and Church officials.
Clergy sexual abuse survivor Marie Collins kicked off a five-city U.S. speaking tour on “The Catholic Tipping Point” in Baltimore Sept. 10, noting that she is disappointed with the results of the Vatican summit on child protection and efforts toward accountability and transparency.
Vatican officials needed “a safeguarding policy” in place ages ago to prevent abuse and address it when it occurred, said Marie Collins, a clergy sexual abuse survivor from Ireland.
Marie Collins has called on the Church to clearly define abuse in canon law and implement a zero-tolerance policy at the Feb. 21-24 Vatican summit on the issue.
Since both abuse survivors on the Pontifical Commission for Minors exited the body before the end of its term, the Vatican has usually not named the abuse survivors involved in anti-abuse efforts.
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.