Vatican summit speaker says abuse caused 'death of respect' for church leaders

Irish abuse victim Marie Collins talks during a press conference in downtown Rome on Tuesday. Collins is attending a four-day symposium, "Toward Healing and Renewal," at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

An Irish victim of sexual abuse bluntly told a Vatican summit this morning that her experience of being ignored, and her suffering minimized, by church leaders caused “the final death of any respect” she once felt for ecclesial authority.

Marie Collins said there must be “acknowledgement and accountability for the harm and destruction that has been done to the life of victims and their families” before she and other victims can regain trust in the leadership of the Catholic church.

Collins made the remarks at a four-day summit on the sexual abuse crisis titled “Towards Healing and Renewal” being held at the Jesuit-run Gregorian University.

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