Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Saturday, February 06, 2016

The Pope's sex abuse commission and Peter Saunders

In the news, Peter Saunders, a clergy sex abuse survivor and a member of the pope's sex abuse commission, was told to leave (see below). I'm not really surprised .... Pope Francis has done pretty much nothing for the victims of clerical sex abuse and Saunders is not the type to quietly wait for hypothetical change in the distant future.

- Pope's Sex Abuse Panel Tells Survivor to Take a Time-Out

[...] Peter Saunders, a British advocate for victims, had been highly critical of the Vatican's slow pace of progress in taking measures to protect children and punish bishops who covered up for pedophile priests. He had also wanted the commission to intervene immediately in individual cases, rather than just craft long-term policies to fight abuse ....

In an interview with The Associated Press, Saunders said commission members, with one abstention, asked had him to step aside after concluding they could no longer trust him to work within the scope of the commission's mandate .... He said the Vatican's inaction in the face of continuing cases of children being raped and molested "made me lose faith in the process and lose faith in Pope Francis." ....

The commission had been highly critical of Francis' decision to appoint a Chilean bishop despite allegations from abuse survivors that he had covered up for the country's most notorious pedophile, the Rev. Fernando Karadima. One of Karadima's victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, joined Saunders on Saturday in Rome in hopes of speaking to the commission but was refused. Cruz had been proposed as a possible commission member but emails published in the Chilean media showed how the Chilean church hierarchy worked to keep him off the panel.

- Abuse survivor disputes removal from Vatican commission, seeks papal meeting ... "I have not left and I am not leaving my position on the commission," said British children's advocate Peter Saunders. "I was appointed by His Holiness Pope Francis and I will only talk to him about my position." Saunders was speaking in a press briefing in Rome late Saturday, after the Vatican released a statement that day saying "it was decided" by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that he would be taking a leave from his position as one of its 17 members .....

- More: Fr. Thomas Doyle in 2014: Pope's new abuse commission is another promise waiting to be broken


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