Women like Marie Collins and Sheila Hollins model a different way of working

18 May 2017 | by Joanna Moorhead


Women like Marie Collins and Sheila Hollins model a different way of working

It’s not often that a Pope sides with a woman who’s at loggerheads with the Vatican. But when Francis was passed the mike at 30,000 feet in one of his regular in-flight press conferences last weekend on his way home from Portugal, that’s what happened.

The Pope was responding to a question about an Irishwoman called Marie Collins who, you may recall, served on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors until a few weeks ago, when she resigned over what she perceived as shortcomings in its dealings with individuals like her who had been victims of abuse. Asked on the plane how he felt about her decision to go, the Pope said, candidly, that Collins “was right about some things”. He also acknowledged that too many of the abuse cases the Church needs to deal with are being held up by delays, with possibly as many as 2,000 cases in the queue.

The Pope said Collins was “a great woman” who had explained her concerns clearly to him, and added that the Church was now “looking for new people” to do the necessary work to speed things up.

Joanna Moorhead

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