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Conscience Magazine

Letters: More Than Words 2

September 17, 2020

If the institutional Catholic church is going to make real strides towards ending cases of clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups in the future, it will be because of advocates like Marie Collins.

As advocates and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, we at SNAP were honored to play a part in bringing Marie Collins to the US for her six-city speaking tour. Marie has been an impressive figure in the church reform movement ever since she resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2017. By citing the “lack of cooperation” from the Vatican in working with the committee, Marie helped draw worldwide attention to the consistent lack of action by institutional church leaders in dealing with ongoing cases of clergy abuse and cover-up. Truly, Marie is not afraid to speak truth to power, and we commend her for her example and are grateful for the time she spent in the US, sharing her message of hope and reform.

I believe that many people who had assumed the abuse crisis was over—or overblown—likely had their eyes opened by Marie’s witness and outspoken nature, and the powerful messages she shared on her speaking tour. We hope that others who feel similarly frustrated by the Vatican’s slow response time will find inspiration in Marie’s example and will similarly use their voice to speak out and work to create the kind of church that will better serve all people in the future.

Executive Director, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests