Member of Pope’s anti-abuse panel insists, ‘The Church is not failing’


February 23, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr. and Ines San Martin

Rome – After a former member of Pope Francis’s key advisory body on the fight against sexual abuse charged that letters from victims are not answered, a new member of the same panel and a former staffer responded that it’s “meticulous in responding to all correspondence from victims.”

French child psychiatrist Catherine Bonnet made the charge in an interview with French news outlet L’Express, in which she suggested that Pope Francis needs to make the anti-abuse effort “a priority now.”

A failure to respond to victims’ correspondence was also a key element in Bonnet’s indictment.

“When [abuse victims] send letters, we do not answer them! Marie Collins found this point particularly unbearable,” Bonnet said, adding that in her 35 years of experience working in this field, the testimonies of survivors are essential.

Teresa Kettelkamp, who was hired by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in January 2016 to assist in its Rome office in the development of anti-abuse guidelines around the world, says that in terms of responding to victims, while not commenting on the practice in other Vatican departments, responding to victims is actually a high priority for the commission.

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