PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s new fallout at the Vatican over the clergy sex abuse scandal as a founding member of a commission created by Pope Francis to protect minors from sexual abuse has quit.
Marie Collins, who was sexually abused by a priest as a teenager, was tired of what she called “constant setbacks” in her work on a panel set up by the pope to protect minors from sex abuse.
“To find that there’s still a group of men in this level of the church who do not see child protection as a priority that do not get it in 2017 is just unacceptable,” Collins said.
In her resignation letter, Collins wrote she believes the pope is “sincere” in his efforts, but the “resistance by some members of the Vatican Curia,” or church administration, “has been shameful.”
“Sometimes I feel the pope does make mistakes, he’s badly advised, but you’re dependent in that position on those around you for advice,” Collins said.
Barbara Dorris, the national outreach director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said it doesn’t matter if other members of the Vatican are seen as resistant because the pope is a monarch.
“If he says that today we’re going to stop protecting enablers, we’re going to stop protecting the predators, then that happens today,” Dorris said.
Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who heads the commission, said in a statement, “We will certainly listen carefully to all that Marie wishes to share with us about her concerns.”
Peter Saunders, the only other sex abuse victim on the panel, was critical of it and forced out last year.
The pope was recently criticized for being too lenient on at least one pedophile priest. Instead of defrocking, the pope removed him from public ministry and sentenced him to a “life of prayer.”