Abuse victim Marie Collins on Vatican committee

Marie Collins from Dublin has been appointed to the commission Image copyright Rte
Image caption Marie Collins from Dublin has been appointed to the commission

Irish abuse victim Marie Collins has been appointed to the Vatican commission on protecting children from abuse.

In December, the Vatican said it would set up a committee to improve measures to protect children against sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis announced the first eight members on Saturday, four men and four women.

However, the scope of the commission remains unknown.

Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, who revealed the initiative, is also on the commission.

Protection of minors

The initial members will be responsible for rounding out the "commission for safeguarding minors" with other experts from around the world and defining the scope of the group's action.

"Pope Francis has made clear that the church must hold the protection of minors amongst Her highest priorities," Vatican spokesman Rev Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

"Looking to the future without forgetting the past, the commission will take a multi-pronged approach to promoting youth protection," he said.

These will include taking criminal action against offenders, educating people about the exploitation of children, developing best practices to better screen priests, and defining the civil and clerical duties within the Church, Rev Lombardi said.