VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has announced the initial members of a commission to advise him on sex abuse policy, tapping lay and religious experts to start plotting the commission's scope.
The eight members were announced Saturday after Francis came under criticism from victims' groups for a perceived lack of attention to the abuse scandal, which has seriously damaged the church's reputation and cost dioceses billions of dollars in legal fees.
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The Vatican in December announced that Francis had decided to create the commission to advise the church on best policies to protect children, train church personnel and keep abusers out of the clergy.
But no details had been released until Saturday and it remains unknown if the commission will deal with the critical issue of disciplining bishops who cover up for abusers.
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