Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Archbishop Martin ‘perfect’ for Vatican role

Marie Collins, the prominent voice of abuse survivors in Ireland, has tipped Dublin’s Archbishop Martin for a role in the newly-announced safeguarding commission to advise Pope Francis.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic, Mrs Collins, said Archbishop Martin would be an ideal choice for the commission, given his role at the coal-face in dealing with abuse issues in Dublin.

“He has been praised around the world for his work at diocesan level in putting safeguarding guidelines into place,” Mrs Collins pointed out. Of equal importance to anyone set to deal with Pope Francis on abuse and its implications, Mrs Collins added, “Archbishop Martin has dealt directly with survivors of abuse”.

Having met and worked with prelates in seeking recourse for survivors of clerical sexual abuse, Mrs Collins also named Bishop Charles Scicluna as a figure capable of bringing invaluable skills to the commission. 

Malta-based Bishop Scicluna, a former Promoter of Justice with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, became synonymous with the Vatican’s crackdown on abuser priests under Pope Benedict XVI.

“Msgr Scicluna is very, very strong on accountability for bishops and following safeguarding guidelines,” Mrs Collins said.

The special commission to advise Pope Francis on safeguarding was announced on December 5 by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a member of the Pope’s Council of Cardinals tasked with leading reform within the Church. 

Speaking to the press on that date, Cardinal O’Malley said the safeguarding commission would be made up of priests, men and women religious, and laypeople. 

The cardinal stressed that “all those who are experts in the work of safeguarding children and all those who have been taking care of children” would be considered for the commission.

Mrs Collins questioned the apparent exclusion of members of survivors groups from that list.

“The commission will also be working on pastoral outreach and healing,” she said. “Not to involve survivors at that level would be a mistake.”

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