Marie Collins, a 64-year-old Dubliner who was abused by a hospital chaplain, Rev. Paul McGennis, when she was 13, as quoted in The New York Times Magazine article “The Irish Affliction.”

Two decades later, she confided in another parish priest about what happened. He suggested it was her fault because she may have tempted McGennis, but that he would forgive her. And then ten years later, she wrote to the archbishop of Dublin, now a cardinal in the Vatican, who told her McGennis was a good priest and she should not “ruin his life.”

Share Your Reflection




She's been a powerful voice in calling not just for justice, but also for in-depth theological reflection and change within Irish Catholicism... compelling and clear. There are some hopeful signs that her voice, and others like her, are being listened to. At the same time, there are some sad indications that, even though child protection rules are correctly tightened up, in-depth theological reflection on this forsaken chapter of Irish history may not happen within leadership and their praxis.