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Marie Collins appointed by the Pope to new Safeguarding Commission for the Protection of Minors

April 01, 2014

The Pope has invited Marie Collins, founder trustee of the Marie Collins Foundation, to join the newly established Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Marie is among seven others (three women and four men) across the world who have been tasked with preparing the statutes for the Commission which will define its tasks and competencies including such matters as structures that need to be in place to safeguard and protect children, accountability on the part of the clergy, co-operation between the Church and the civil authorities and the pastoral care of victims. Other members will be added to the Commission in the future. 

Marie Collins said: “This is an unprecedented development within the Catholic Church and one which I welcome. I and my fellow members of the Commission have a serious task ahead of us. All children, wherever they live and whatever their ethnicity, race and religious beliefs, have the same universal right to be protected. This is our opportunity to ensure that the Catholic Church is a safe organisation in which children can participate without fear of being harmed.”

Professor Alisdair Gillespie, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Marie Collins Foundation, said:   “The entire Board of the Marie Collins Foundation congratulates Marie on her appointment by Pope Francis to the Vatican Commission on protecting children from abuse. We are incredibly proud that she has been appointed to this important commission. 

“I am sure the Commission will bring an opportunity to make a real difference to safeguarding children within the Roman Catholic Church. This appointment is a testament to Marie’s endeavours over many years to improve the protection of children within the church. We wish her well with this work and, as a Board of Trustees, offer her our complete support.” Tink Palmer, the CEO of the Marie Collins Foundation, added: “Marie Collins’ appointment to the Commission is excellent news. She is a woman who, having been sexually abused by a priest in childhood, has used her experience to campaign for the protection of children within the Catholic Church.

“Marie has a commitment to assisting the Catholic Church with this challenging exercise – she will bring wisdom, experience, knowledge and strength to the Commission together with a determination to ensure the Roman Catholic Church is a safe and empowering organisation for children.”

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