Sex abuse survivor Marie Collins quits Vatican child protection panel
"They are refusing to co-operate on letting us work with them", Collins said.
Collins's decision to leave the commission comes one year after the only other abuse survivor who was appointed to the commission, Peter Saunders, was forced to take a leave of absence after he complained the commission was doing far too little to tackle abuse.
A systematic cover-up by bishops and other hierarchy across numerous Catholic dioceses around the world led to decades of deceit linked to the crimes of pedophile priests who raped children and committed other sexual abuse.
The commission in question was set up in 2014 by Pope Francis, who said its goal was to "propose to me the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are no longer repeated in the church". Zollner acknowledged that part of this difference in approach is also found within Curia, as mentioned by Collins in her letter of resignation.
Marie Collins says the "last straw" for her was when the Vatican administration ignored a request from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that it respond to all correspondence from people who've been sexually abused by priests.
The Vatican said that the Pope had accepted Collins' resignation.
She added: "It is a reflection of how this whole abuse crisis in the church has been handled: with fine words in public and contrary actions behind closed doors".
In a March 1 communique announcing her decision, the commission praised Collins as someone who has "consistently and tirelessly championed for the voices of the victims/survivors to be heard, and for the healing of the victims/survivors to be a priority for the Church".
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"We will certainly listen carefully to all that Marie wishes to share with us about her concerns and we will greatly miss her important contributions", he said, adding he was grateful Collins had agreed to continue helping to educate church leaders about abuse.
Collins resigned from the worldwide panel on 1 March, accusing senior Vatican officials of "shameful" resistance to the group's work and citing her "frustration at the lack of cooperation with the Commission by other offices in the Roman Curia". She says that a Vatican office had created its own sample template and refused to join efforts.
Francis scrapped the tribunal idea and instead issued guidance clarifying the Vatican's existing procedures for jettisoning bad bishops and emphasizing to the importance of following them. In her statement, she blasted the Vatican's administrators for "put [ting] other concerns before the safety of children and vulnerable adults", a position she called "devastating" and "unacceptable".
The reality likely is that survivors of clerical abuse will never be fully satisfied with the Church's response, and that's as it should be. She said some Vatican bureaucrats have been reluctant to implement the commission's recommendations "despite their approval by the pope". She said she thought the problems had more to do with turf battles within the church than ideological or theological arguments, though she said that as an outsider it was hard to be sure.
"I simply have tried to work in the commission, and this resistance in areas of the curia is something I can't continue working with, particularly as a survivor", Collins told Crux today.
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