Fr. Raymond J. de Souza: Father Hans Zollner’s Resignation Exposes Crisis at Vatican’s Sexual-Abuse-Prevention Commission

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Top: Jesuit Father Hans Zollner poses in St. Peter’s Square on Oct. 14, 2019. Bottom: Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston attends a press briefing about the meeting on ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’ at the Augustinianum in Rome on Feb. 22, 2019. (photo: Daniel Ibanez/CNA)

COMMENTARY: His public clash with Cardinal Seán O’Malley is an indication of how much the Holy Father’s reform agenda has faltered.

By Father Raymond J. de Souza, EWTN News, March 31, 2023

Father Raymond J. de Souza is the founding editor of Convivium magazine.

Father Raymond J. de SouzaThat the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, established in 2014 and one of the flagship reform efforts of Pope Francis, is in deep crisis was manifest this week in how its two most prominent figures clashed.

German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, an original member of the commission and its most prominent one, resigned on Wednesday. Initially, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, president of the commission, released a statement saying that Father Zollner had new duties, and thus was resigning, and thanking him for superlative service.

Father Zollner had a different view. He put out his own statement, a blistering denunciation of the commission’s failures in “responsibility, compliance, accountability and transparency,” all of which “have made it impossible for me to continue further.”  …