Clerical sex abuse: Survivor quits Vatican abuse panel, blames shameful resistance

An Irish survivor of clerical sex abuse, resigned Wednesday from a panel established by Pope Francis to address the issue, accusing senior Vatican officials of "shameful" resistance to its work.

Published: 01st March 2017 06:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2017 06:12 PM   |  A+A-

Cardinals and bishops wait for the start of a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. | AP

By AFP

VATICAN CITY: Marie Collins, an Irish survivor of clerical sex abuse, resigned Wednesday from a panel established by Pope Francis to address the issue, accusing senior Vatican officials of "shameful" resistance to its work.

Collins' departure is an embarrassing blow to the pontiff's attempts to demonstrate that the Church is serious about combating a scourge that has profoundly damaged its image over recent decades.

She is the second abuse survivor to leave the panel. Briton Peter Saunders was sidelined last year after a dispute with other members over how to handle allegations of serial abuse by an Italian priest that were brought to the panel's attention.

Saunders subsequently told AFP he felt betrayed by Francis and that he had been tricked into taking part in a "smoke and mirrors" exercise.

In her resignation letter, Collins said she believed Francis had acted sincerely when he set up the panel to advise him on steps to make minors safer.

"However, despite the Holy Father approving all the recommendations made to him by the Commission, there have been constant setbacks," she said in a statement.

"This has been directly due to the resistance by some members of the Vatican Curia to the work of the Commission. The lack of co-operation, particularly by the dicastery most closely involved in dealing with cases of abuse, has been shameful."

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