Sex Abuse Survivor On Vatican Panel Quits Over “Resistance”

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Vatican is facing new fallout over the clergy sex abuse scandal.

A founding member of a commission Pope Francis created three years ago to protect minors from sexual abuse in the Catholic church has quit.

“These men thrive on silence and cover up so I felt I could do more outside than inside,” said Marie Collins.

Collins, who herself was sexually abused by a priest as a teen, added that she tired of what she call the “constant setbacks” in her work on the panel that was set up by Pope Francis 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 does not get it in 2017, is just unacceptable,” said Collins.

In her resignation letter, Collins wrote that she believes the Pope is “sincere” in his efforts and 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,” said Collins, “But you’re dependent in that position on those around you for advice.”

Monseigneur Anthony Figueiredo said Collins’ observations raise concerns.

“We all know that perhaps the hardest thing to change is not a structure of an organization but it’s the very attitudes of certain people,” said Figueiredo.

Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who heads the commission, said a statement that “We will certainly listen carefully to all that Marie wishes to share wit us about her concerns.”

The only other sex abuse victim on the panel, Peter Saunders, was critical of it and forced out last year.

Recently, the Pope was criticized for being too lenient of at least one pedophile priest. Instead of defrocking him, he removed him from public ministry and sentenced him to a lifetime of prayer.

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