Marie Collins Resigns from Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

Mar 2, 2017 | 7 comments

NCR are reporting that on Wednesday 1st March 2017, Irishwoman and abuse survivor, Marie Collins, who has served on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors for the past three years, has announced her resignation.

“She decided to leave the commission after losing hope that Vatican officials would cooperate with its work following a failure to implement a series of recommendations.”

“Collins says her decision to resign was immediately precipitated by one Vatican office’s refusal to comply with a request from the commission, approved by the pope, that all letters sent to the Vatican by abuse survivors receive a response.”

“I find it impossible to listen to public statements about the deep concern in the church for the care of those whose lives have been blighted by abuse, yet to watch privately as a congregation in the Vatican refuses to even acknowledge their letters!” Collins writes in the statement.


“Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle, an expert on the church’s response to clergy sexual abuse, said in an interview that he thought Collins’ resignation would cause the commission to lose trustworthiness among survivors and advocates who have pushed for decades for the church to better protect vulnerable people.”

“Its credibility … is going to take a nosedive,” said Doyle. “If they don’t have a survivor on that commission, it’s like if the board of directors of the American Medical Association [is] only made up of bureaucrats and no doctors.”

Read full Report here


  1. Martin Murray

    Must be bad if Marie packed it in. Can’t say she didn’t give it a chance. But seems the Vatican civil service still rules the roost.

  2. soconaill

    Reports that the dicastery especially at fault here is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) will surely augment the case for its radical revision, if not abolition and replacement. It is the church’s biggest obstacle to credibility as an instrument of justice and divine mercy.

    • Teresa Mee

      Yes, Sean, and I think we’re now all aware of the fact that it’s the commitment to Power mongering by our Clerical-Hierarchic members that’s the Church’s ‘biggest obstacle to credibility as an instrument of justice and divine mercy’.

      Instead of promoting Faith Formation, this cabal among the clergy is doing its utmost to promote division.

      Their action is now presenting the global Church Reform Movements with a huge challenge to promoting resistance to their action on behalf of the believing Church.
      Pope Francis cannot do it alone.

  3. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    I think legally, there are implications more than meets the eye with such a departure. I know people have a tendency to cringe when “legal” and “lawyer” is mentioned in conversations about the Church but what is being flouted right now, despite the Pope’s approval, should be immediately investigated and those found liable, excommunicated.

    The Church is not equipped to be in hierarchical self-preservation mode, that is for sure; questionable decisions on self-protection has made this impossible.

    There has to be a quick intervention on this matter or I feel Pope Francis is going to step down. Of the abuse survivors out there, it’s time we get together and write our “Dear Pope Francis” letter the sooner the better in an appeal that he doesn’t.

  4. Kevin Walters

    Was any one surprised by her resignation?
    Taken from the link below
    “The resignation of Marie Collins from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is a turning point in Pope Francis’ pontificate. It cannot be seen any other way. For all the hope and promise that we find in Francis and his vision for the church, we believe his pontificate teeters on the brink of failure on the issue of sexual abuse by the clergy”
    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  5. Des

    We are now five or six days after the resignation of Marie Collins and not a whisper from our bishops. Apart from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who amazingly managed to issue a statement which did not mention her resignation, the reasons for it or support for her action. What is particularly disheartening is her revelation that not just the CDF but a range of Curia dicasteries were involved in hindering the work of the Commission and refused to implement changes despite these having the support of Pope Francis. It is obvious that the Curia has openly declared war on Francis and his reform programme.

  6. Gerald Donnelly

    It is disgraceful when anyone stands in the way of what is the No1 reason for people drifting away from the Church. Putting in place the means to protect our children and vulnerable adults is extremely simple and quick. It shows a commitment of the parish/congregations to the Church, the State and its parishioners. The question I pose is ” Is any parish fully compliant after at least 4 years and if not what are they hiding? This item is so important to the future of our Church in Ireland and so urgent that it is dragging all progress in other areas to a halt”.


Submit a Comment

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

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This