Marie Collins appointment a welcome step

Dear Editor, the appointment by Pope Francis of Marie Collins to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is wonderful news. Mrs Collins has been a powerful and courageous voice who has spoken not only for herself, but on behalf of those who cannot speak out about their experiences.

The setting up of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is a vital step in the Church demonstrating at a universal level that it is committed to learning the mistakes of the past.

Huge steps forward have been taken and the Church in Ireland and many other parts of the western world now has more stringent child protection policies and procedures that any other organisation. It is vital that this collective knowledge, won at the expense of the painful experiences that those abused and their families had to experience, is shared with the rest of the Church. This is particularly important in parts of the developing world where there is not the heightened awareness of the need to safeguard and protect children that there is here in Ireland.

Let us not have a scenario where senior prelates in parts of the developing world and wringing their hands decades from now saying “we didn’t know”. We here in Ireland do know, and it is vital that the knowledge that child protection is paramount informs everything the Church does in engaging with children and young adults.

Yours etc.,

Marie Murphy,

Cork City.