February 22, 2016
The Big Questions BBC 21st February 2016
‘While the commission has been described as a policymaking body by some church officials – determining guidelines and best practices to avoid abuse – Saunders has long called for it to be far more aggressive, including addressing specific cases that have emerged all around the world. He has also questioned why the Vatican has not apparently made any progress on an abuse tribunal that was announced last year to hear cases of church officials who cover up abuse.
“A number of members of the commission expressed their concern that I don’t toe the line when it comes to keeping my mouth shut,” Saunders said hours after the news of his leave was announced.
“I made clear I would never be part of something that was a public relations exercise. There was a feeling around the table expressed in a vote that the commission could not work with me as things stood at the moment and unless I changed.”
“Our pope could do so much more to make things happen now. It’s incumbent on a commission appointed by him to impress on him the need to do things now, not years down the line … I don’t see movement, I don’t see action over an issue that they should be absolutely furious about.”
He also revealed that the commission had received a report that two priests from Italy recently discovered that a colleague was abusing children, but that when they alerted their bishop to the abuse, he “instructed they remain silent”.
“That itself rips my heart apart…and sadly this happens all over the world,” he said.