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rescinded his approval for the tribunal, siding with the CDF’s opinion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
She asked: “If it is not lack of laws, then is it lack of