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Sex abuse survivor resigns from pope's commission on abuse

Sex abuse survivor resigns from pope's commission on abuse

"They are refusing to co-operate on letting us work with them", Collins said. "We have already received new invitations, and she herself says in her statement that she will continue to work with us, so if she thought it was the whole Curia then she would not work in this effort to educate those in the Curia", the priest explained.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, the head of the commission, said Ms Collins' concerns would be examined at a meeting next month. "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 as a member of the commission", he said.

In February a year ago Briton Peter Saunders, the only other member of the commission who had suffered clerical sexual abuse, resigned after making repeated criticisms of the commission's work.

Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle, an expert on the church's response to clergy sexual abuse, said in an interview that he thought Collins' resignation would cause the commission to lose trustworthiness among survivors and advocates who have pushed for decades for the church to better protect vulnerable people.

With no survivors actively serving on the panel, Winter-Green said the commission now needs to take a hard look at its composition. "If they don't have a survivor on that commission, it's like if the board of directors of the American Medical Association [is] only made up of bureaucrats and no doctors".

"There are, as you can expect in any organization and in any institution, there are pushbacks, there are setbacks", he said, but clarified that "this is not the Curia". In a statement published by the Vatican, the cardinal said he'd expressed to Collins his "most honest thanks for the extraordinary contributions she has made as a founding member" of the group.

"I think it will take some time to really look at the composition of this commission and forge a path ahead", said Winter-Green, a native New Zealander who lives in the US and provides consulting services for religious congregations.

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Both Collins and Saunders were well-known as survivors of clerical abuse long before their nomination to the commission, with a reputation for outspokenness and leadership in the fight against abuse. However, she has agreed to continue working with the commission "in an educational role" given her "exceptional teaching skills" and the impact of her testimony as an abuse survivor.

The survivor of clerical abuse has been described as "a stalwart campaigner for change" within the Catholic Church in how it responds to survivors. While that tribunal was announced by O'Malley in June 2015, it was never created. He had been outspoken in expressing his opinion on sanctioning particular church leaders for alleged abuse cover-ups and his frustrations over a lack of action on key issues.

The law, given the name Come una madre amorevole ("As a loving mother"), also empowers four Vatican dicasteries to investigate such bishops and initiate processes of their removal.

A survivor of clerical sexual abuse has resigned from a commission established by Pope Francis aimed at stamping out the practice, saying the group's work was being stymied by Vatican officials. In her resignation letter to the Pope, she cited frustration at the lack of cooperation with the Commission by other offices of the Roman Curia. "I really do not know where it comes from, but I do know that it does a grave disservice to survivors and victims and it doesn't really promote the healing and care that the commission is about". That was a large part of the reason they were selected, on the theory that their credibility in the survivors' community would translate to the papal commission.

"I have learned above all to see in her a person of integrity who is not afraid to chart her own course".

"(So) I can understand that she is frustrated about that", he said, and pointed to different perspectives various cultures take on the issue throughout the world.

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