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"Pope's sex abuse panel tells abuse survivor to take a leave"
Pope Francis' sex abuse advisory committee voted Saturday to sideline one of its members, a high-profile abuse survivor who had clashed with the commission over its mission.
Peter Saunders, a British advocate for victims, had been highly critical of the Vatican's slow progress in taking measures to protect children and punish bishops who covered up for pedophile priests. He also wanted the commission to intervene immediately in individual cases, rather than just craft long-term policies to fight abuse.
During a commission meeting Saturday, "it was decided that Mr. Peter Saunders would take a leave of absence from his membership to consider how he might best support the commission's work," the Vatican said.
The decision is a blow to Francis' efforts to show that he is tough on abuse, since the presence of Saunders and another abuse survivor, Marie Collins, had given the commission credibility.
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