Irish abuse victim quits Vatican commission

Collins quits panel on protecting children over "lack of cooperation" from Curia.

Marie Collins, an Irish woman who was a victim of clerical sexual abuse as a girl, has resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors due to its work being “hindered and blocked by members of the Curia.”

Collins resigned from the international panel on 1 March, accusing senior Vatican officials of "shameful" resistance to the group's work and citing her "frustration at the lack of cooperation with the Commission by other offices in the Roman Curia."

Headed by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, the commission was established by Pope Francis to address the scandal of clerical sexual abuse. Collins had been a member of the panel since 2014.

Her departure comes days after Pope Francis reduced sanctions against a handful of paedophile priests – as part of his vision of a “merciful Church” – a move which was criticised sharply at the time by Collins.

“If there is seen to be any weakness about proper penalties, then it might well send the wrong message to those who would abuse', she is quoted as saying.

Collins was regarded by many as the most respected and level-headed of all the clerical abuse victims who have worked with the Vatican.

Pope Francis has accepted her resignation with "deep appreciation for her work on behalf of the victims/survivors of clergy abuse", according to a report by Vatican Radio.