Marie Collins challenges appointment of Chilean bishop

Mar 27, 2015 | 5 comments


Bishop Juan Barros Madrid and the protest at his installation in Osorno – March 21st 2015


In a telephone interview with NCR on Thursday, Marie Collins, Irish member of the Vatican sexual abuse commission who is also a survivor, has called on Pope Francis to remove Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, recently installed in extraordinary circumstances as head of the diocese of Osorno, Chile.

“As a survivor, I’m very surprised at the appointment in Chile because it seems to go against … what the Holy Father has been saying about not wanting anyone in positions of trust in the church who don’t have an absolutely 100 percent record of child protection,” said Collins.

Bishop Juan Barros Madrid was installed Saturday March 21st as head of the diocese of Osorno, amid protests in the cathedral. Chilean survivors accuse Barros of covering up abuse by Fr. Fernando Karadima, a once-renowned spiritual leader and key Chilean church figure who was found guilty by the Vatican in 2011 of sexually abusing minors, when Barros was a priest.

Click here to read full NCR report.

Click here for John Allen’s comment on this important matter: ‘Pope Francis may be nearing a tipping point on sexual abuse’.


  1. Jo O'Sullivan

    Thank you Marie and Peter. All you ever are is true to yourselves and, by being so, you say what needs to be said. I feel so grateful that you are both in a position where your voices can be heard by many. Even if those who are SUPPOSED to be listening to you seem to be turning the deaf ear, I’m sure there are many, many people like me who thank God you are there and are saying it.

  2. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    I hate to call in a favour but could someone “officially” ask on my behalf if the ACP/PI/AUSCP are going to officially announce their support to Marie and Peter. My goodness that would be a good thing, surely.

  3. Soline Humbert

    A recent interview with Marie Collins contains some very alarming facts:
    …”Marie Collins criticized the Vatican for failing to adequately fund the panel — a failure she says could jeopardize the commission’s work.
    She said that although the group is making progress — such as including a section on abuse prevention in a course for all new bishops — the current model of temporary funding was untenable.
    “I personally find that inexplicable because I think that with the Church saying this issue is of the highest priority, this commission should have been properly funded from the beginning,” she said.
    The commission has even been told to consider raising their own funds to complete the work.
    “If the Church is saying that this is its highest priority, then they must be able to fund it and fund it properly,” she said. “If you’re not properly funded, if you’re not properly resourced, then you can’t do the work that you need to do.”

    • soconaill

      This is indeed troubling Soline – and reminds me that Ian Elliott has made a similar allegation in relation to the funding of the Irish Church’s child safeguarding body, the NBSCCC. Has it not sunk in yet with those in authority that to regain full trust they must dissolve all suspicion that they are playing a double game – to disable in private the agencies they establish to restore their public image?

      How on earth could the Pope’s commission fund itself – by organising a lottery?

  4. soconaill

    I remembered last night also that Cardinal George Pell is now in overall charge of finance at the Vatican – and that he has a dismal record of causing intense further suffering to abuse victims due to his prioritisation of the finances of the church above its obligations of justice. I would like to hear much more from Marie Collins on this vital matter.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × four =

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This