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Former sex-abuse commission member rebuts Cardinal Müller’s defense of Vatican

March 14, 2017

Marie Collins, who cited an intransigent Vatican bureaucracy when she resigned from her post on the Vatican sex-abuse commission, has taken issue with Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s defense of the Roman Curia and especially the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which he heads.

In an open letter to the National Catholic Reporter, Collins disputed claims that the CDF has cooperated with the abuse commission. She said that CDF officials had flatly rejected an invitation to meet with the commission, and that a CDF staff member who was assigned to the commission stopped attending meetings in 2015—and did not formally resign until 2016.

Cardinal Müller had said that a proposal from the sex-abuse commission for a tribunal to judge negligent bishops had been found unnecessary, because existing Vatican policies allow the Congregation for Bishops to take disciplinary action. Collins replied that in fact the tribunal not been a mere proposal, but a policy approved by Pope Francis. It was only after the Pope’s approval, she said, that “it was rejected by [Cardinal Müller’s] congregation.” Pope Francis eventually rescinded his approval for the tribunal, siding with the CDF’s opinion that existing policies were adequate.

But if the Vatican currently has appropriate means of disciplining bishops for the failure to curb abuse, Collins asked, “why then has no bishop been officially, transparently sanctioned or removed for his negligence.” She asked: “If it is not lack of laws, then is it lack of will?”


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  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Mar. 14, 2017 6:06 PM ET USA

    The fact that Marie Collins published her letter in the Reporter doesn't fill me with confidence about her position. I suspect another agenda is at work.