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Statement by Marie Collins regarding Abuse Commission's decision that Peter Saunders take a leave of absence
Editor's Note: Marie Collins is an Irish sexual abuse survivor and a member of Pope Francis' Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. She wrote the following statement for NCR following the commission's decision Saturday that fellow member Peter Saunders take a leave of absence from their work. As a survivor of child clerical sexual abuse I spent many years silent, then many years speaking out to expose the way the Catholic Church had protected itself and abandoned children to the abusers in its midst. The anger I felt at the continuing reluctance by many Church leaders to report the perpetrators, to cooperate with civil authorities, to treat survivors with justice was overwhelming.Then came the Pope's decision in 2013 to set up the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and my own appointment to that body. This Commission was being put in place to work on devising policy and structural change which could be recommended to the Pope to improve child protection in the future and ensure that all church leaders would implement these policies.