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Pope Benedict XVI Determined To Stamp Out Child Sex Abuse

Archbishop Thomas Collins

Archbishop of Toronto, His Grace, Thomas Christopher Collins, a senior Vatican investigator into clerical child sex abuse scandals in Ireland, yesterday spoke of Pope Benedict XVI full determination to ensure that such evil does not happen again.

Archbishop Collins has been chosen and  instructed by Pope Benedict XVI to conduct an inquiry into the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly, and to submit a report on his findings to the Pontiff by this Easter.

Archbishop Collins warned the large congregation in The Cathedral of The Assumption, Thurles, Co Tipperary, that even one priest gone wrong caused immense harm, and that throughout the world priests had done unspeakable evil, sometimes at church events.

Speaking at a penitential service, Archbishop Collins stated that a practical way in which the Catholic Church could show its concern was by doing all that we can to learn from this experience of evil, and so to try to ensure that it never happens again.

The Archbishop further added : “The evil of  sexual abuse of the young is all the more devastating when the perpetrators are priests. We cannot escape the horror of this, by pointing out that the great majority of priests do serve faithfully and with all integrity and compassion.
But even one priest gone wrong causes immense harm, and throughout the world priests have done unspeakable evil, sometimes within the very sacramental setting, which, should above all environments, be most sacred and safe. But it is the sacred responsibility of us all, but most especially of the authorities in the church, to do what we can to prevent such evil, and to deal with it effectively whenever it is found. The crimes themselves, and the failure of some church authorities to respond adequately to them, are both great scandals. We recognise the courage of the victims and their families who came forward and shone the cleansing light of truth on their suffering.

Over the next few days Archbishop Collins will hold confidential meetings with abuse victims, and he has already held private discussions with some 20 priests from the Archdiocese.

Archbishop Thomas Collins was born in Guelph, Ontario, in 1947 and is the tenth and current Archbishop of Toronto, having previously served as Bishop of Saint Paul in Alberta from1997–1999 and Archbishop of Edmonton from1999–2006. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from St. Jerome College, Waterloo in 1969, and was ordained to the Diaconate on 14 May, 1972.

In 1973, he received a Master of Arts in English from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Theology from St. Peter’s Seminary, London. He furthered his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, from where he obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture in 1978.  Archbishop Collins later in the same year served as a lecturer in English at King’s College and in Scripture at St. Peter’s Seminary, where he became Spiritual Director and Associate Professor of Scripture.

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1 comment to Pope Benedict XVI Determined To Stamp Out Child Sex Abuse

  • Michael

    Sexual abuse is unlikely to happen again. In my young days the priests were always right no matter what. If we new that a priest done something wrong and told our parents, we would be beaten for saying bad things about a priest. I could go on and on but I’ll stop here.

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