ROME – A clerical sexual abuse survivor calls a summit on child protection that will take place at the Vatican Feb. 21-24, involving presidents of all bishops’ conferences around the world as well as the pope’s own top aides, a “last chance” for the Vatican to be taken seriously.
“If this 2019 meeting ends with nothing more than enthusiastic words about the discussions which have taken place and promises for the future, it will be the end of the road for many who have waited years for the Church to take concrete action,” said Marie Collins, Irish clerical sexual abuse survivor, in a Nov. 23 interview with Crux.
The interview took place via email.
Collins, a former member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, has been steadfast throughout the years in holding the Church accountable and calling for reform.
On Nov. 23, the Vatican announced the planning committee for the summit, composed of Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago; Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Vatican’s leading prosecutor on child abuse; German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and head of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University; and Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, who also serves on Francis’s “C-9” council of cardinal advisors.
The absence of Cardinal Sean O’Malley, a member of the C-9 and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, has been a source of confusion for some.