FR. ZOLLNER ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION FROM VATICAN BODY ON PROTECTION OF MINORS
In a shocking and yet courageous statement yesterday, Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ, announced his resignation from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. He is currently the director of IADC, the Institute of Anthropology: Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care, a safeguarding institute that is part of Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.
Yesterday, March 29, 2023, Fr. Zollner released a statement on his Twitter account announcing his resignation from the Vatican body on Protection of Minors:
Hans Zollner SJ on Twitter: “Statement on my resignation from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. 1/2 https://t.co/GoyRkQ2aBM” / Twitter
Over the years, complaints have been lodged against this Vatican body created in 2014 by Pope Francis. Most often they dovetailed with Fr. Zollner’s reasons for leaving the commission, that is, for “issues related to the “areas of responsibility, compliance, accountability and transparency” that, in his opinion, have not been properly developed in the Commission.
Previous members who left include Baroness Sheila Hollins, an expert in child psychiatry and psychotherapy, Marie Collins, an abuse survivor, and Peter Saunders, who was abused by a priest as a child.
Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley heads this pontifical commission and was quoted yesterday as saying the Holy Father had accepted the resignation “with the deepest gratitude for his many years of service.”
In a story for the Boston Pilot, the cardinal said that, since the commission was founded, “Father Hans has been an abiding presence over the years as we have seen our commission grow and find its way as the center for safeguarding throughout the church.” …He has become an ambassador for safeguarding and will continue to be a constant presence in this important work. … “We look forward to continuing our cooperation with Father Hans in our common commitment to making the church a safe home for all.”
Fr. Andrew Small, O.M.I., secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, in a story for Vatican News on October 28, 2022, wrote: “September 30, 2022, Pope Francis appointed ten new members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. With the ten members reappointed from the previous one, there are now 20 experts on the Commission, which, led by the President and Secretary, constitutes an important locus within the Roman Curia for the protection of minors and the broader safeguarding program.
“In March of 2022, Pope Francis added the Commission to the central structures of Church governance by virtue of the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, Praedicate Evangelium, placing it within the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. Since the Holy Father is committed to preserving the autonomy of the Commission, it will continue to be headed by a President appointed by the Pope.”
On March 3, 2023, Fr. Zollner issued the following: Statement by Father Hans Zollner, S.J. regarding new consultant role in the Diocese of Rome • Institute of Anthropology (IADC) (unigre.it)
LISTEN TO FR. ZOLLNER ON VATICAN INSIDER: Go to: EWTN Audio & Radio Library Archive – Search & Listen Now | EWTN
Where it says SEARCH, write: Fr. Hans Zollner, scroll down to and click on VATICAN INSIDER and you will see links to my two-part interview with him.