Francis introduced the creation of the Pontifical Fee for the Safety of Minors in 2013 to advise the Vatican on finest practices to forestall clergy sexual abuse. He named Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley because the fee’s head.
The board has gone by a number of iterations since then, most importantly when one other founding member, Irish abuse survivor and advocate Marie Collins, resigned in frustration in 2017 over Vatican stonewalling on the fee’s proposals.
Zollner’s departure steered an analogous, however broader diploma of frustration that touched on inner governance points as properly.
He pointed to a tough relationship with the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Religion, which since 2001 has processed all sex abuse cases across the globe. The previous Holy Workplace jealously guards its turf, and is understood for its centuries-long custom of secrecy and its unwavering crackdown on dissidents and heretics.
The workplace additionally was recognized to be less-than-enthusiastic about proposals put ahead by the fee or requests for cooperation. Final 12 months, Francis nonetheless positioned the fee, which had existed as an advert hoc physique that reported on to the pope, contained in the Dicastery.
On the time, O’Malley stated the transfer would give the fee extra institutional weight within the Vatican. However Zollner complained that just about a 12 months later, there have been nonetheless no laws governing the connection between the 2 entities.
Zollner, a German Jesuit and psychologist, heads an educational institute on the Pontifical Gregorian College that trains church personnel in youngster safety methods. The institute lately beefed up its mandate and now awards tutorial levels in safeguarding.
Zollner was additionally lately named as a advisor to the Diocese of Rome to enhance its youngster safety insurance policies.
In an announcement saying the resignation, O’Malley steered Zollner was leaving due to the brand new Rome appointment and “all his different tasks.” The cardinal didn’t point out the “structural and sensible” points Zollner cited.
O’Malley praised Zollner’s dedication to the reason for youngster safety, noting his international journey to coach church personnel.
“He has grow to be an envoy for safeguarding and can proceed to be a relentless presence on this necessary work,” O’Malley stated.
In his assertion, Zollner stated his resignation was accepted on March 14. There was no clarification for the delay within the announcement.