Clerical abuse survivor has it out with Cardinal Müller

Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins, resigned from the Pope’s panel on clerical sex abuse a fortnight ago.

She cited “shameful” resistance within the Vatican to the group’s efforts to protect children.

Collins has now written an open letter about her resignation to Cardinal Gerhard Müller.

In it she responded to an interview he gave an Italian newspaper on 5 March, shortly after her resignation.

In the interview, Müller, who is is the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, claimed he could not understand Collins’s “talk of lack of cooperation”.

In response Collins wrote that in 2015 the working group invited the Congregation to provide a representative to attend their upcoming meetings in Rome to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Collins says the invitation was declined.

Working group members were informed by the Commission Secretary that face-to-face meetings would not be possible.

They were told any communication with dicasteries must be done in writing.

Collins also questioned Müller’s statement that “in recent years there has been a permanent contact” between the panel and the Congregation.

“I don’t know what form this permanent contact took.

“All I can say is the members of the Commission did not receive any formal reports or see any positive results generated by such contact,” she said.

She noted that although Müller says the Congregation supplied a member, Claudio Papale, to the panel, Papale ceased active involvement with the Commission in 2015.

Collins said a number of Müller’s claims were contrary to the Pope’s expectations of the panel.

These included Müller’s suggestion the fight against clerical pedophilia was just a “project” and his lack of formal knowledge about the claims of abuse, which he called “incidents”.

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