Exclusive: Former papal abuse commissioners want re-evaluation of group

Winter-Green, Bonnet, Collins cSource: National Catholic Reporter

By Joshua J. McElwee

ROME — Three former members of Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse are calling on the pontiff’s February Vatican summit on child protection to reevaluate the structure of the group in order to make it more effective in pursuing policy reforms.

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In separate NCR interviews, the former papal advisors emphasized the need for the commission to reassert its independence from the Vatican’s bureaucracy, to oversee implementation of its own recommendations, and to meet regularly with Francis.

Several outside experts with long histories in confronting clergy abuse echoed their concerns, and highlighted a lack of clarity and transparency over the purpose and objectives of the now four-year-old group.

Marie Collins, an Irish abuse survivor who resigned from the commission in 2017, said the role of the commission might merit special discussion at the February summit because the frustrations over its work exemplify how the Catholic Church has struggled for decades to address the abuse crisis.

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