The Vatican’s dismissal of Peter Saunders from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors cannot be justified (“Outspoken abuse survivor ejected from Vatican commission”, February 8th).
Even with the advent of Pope Francis, there is still no room for anyone who sees things differently and who is critical of church authority.
Peter Saunders is a case in point. He was appointed to this commission in 2014 as a representative voice for survivors of clerical sex abuse. Obviously he has been greatly frustrated by the undermining of this commission’s work to achieve justice for survivors of clerical sex abuse. He was right to be outraged by the Vatican’s confirmation of Msgr Juan Barros as bishop of Osorno in Chile, who was accused of protecting Fr Fernando Karadima, a serial sex abuser.
Instead of Bishop Barros being dismissed, it was Mr Saunders who was fired. He was dismissed because he refused to stay silent in the face of continued Vatican collusion in the protection of the institution over the welfare of minors.