17-18 meeting, meaning the group is taking an extra day together in the spring.
Pope Francis began his first public statement during a trip to Chile this week with an apology for the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.“I feel bound to express my pain and shame, shame I feel for the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the Church,” the pope said Tuesday.
But the idea to create some new commission on sex abuse may have been in the pope's thoughts since at least the October meeting of the eight cardinals' group.
A source told following that meeting that the issue had been addressed by the cardinals and to expect the pope to announce some new initiative on the matter.
The group, O'Malley said, is to include priests, men and women religious, and laypeople.
"All those who are experts in the work of safeguarding children and all those who have been taking care of children" will be considered to serve on the commission, he said.
Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the lone American serving among the eight cardinals advising the pope on church reform, announced the new group at a press briefing.Francis has previously said that the Church must address sexual abuse perpetrated by its members or risk losing credibility, and he has also suggested that "sanctions" be imposed against priests found guilty.Keep up with this story and more Still, even the pope’s closest colleagues have been marred by sex abuse scandals.Thursday if the new group would also be responsible for making suggestions to the pope on how to handle bishops like Nienstedt who are criticized for not reporting priests who commit abuse, O'Malley said he did not know.
"That's something that the church needs to address," he said, saying he did not know if it would be addressed by the new commission, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, or the Congregation for Bishops.“I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and to make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensuring that such things do not happen again.”Cases of sexual misconduct have rocked the Catholic Church in Chile, where Father Fernando Karadima, long considered the preacher for Chile’s elite, was found guilty of sexually abusing minors for decades.