Creation of the new commission, he said, came at the suggestion of the cardinals' group, known formally as the Council of Cardinals.
While O'Malley said the pope has not determined the specifics of how the commission will function or where it will fit into the Vatican's bureaucracy, the cardinal said it is to be composed of an international range of experts and will focus on the pastoral aspect of the continuing clergy sex abuse crisis.
Federico Lombardi said the group is studying wide revisions of the Vatican bureaucracy, known as the Roman Curia.
The cardinals, Lombardi said, are evaluating the work of each of the Vatican's offices "one by one." O'Malley said Thursday the cardinals' group had proposed the new sex abuse commission to the pope Wednesday, with the pontiff approving it Thursday morning.
Announcement of the new commission comes amid news earlier this week that the Vatican had refused to provide information requested by a United Nations committee about how the church handles investigations into sex abuse by priests. N.'s Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Vatican said cases of sex abuse by priests were primarily the responsibility of the world's individual bishops.
Pope Francis has regularly defended Barros and called the allegations against him slanderous.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.The cardinals' group has been meeting at the Vatican since Tuesday and will conclude their sessions Thursday afternoon.The group, which includes prelates from six of the seven continents, met for the first time Oct. In press briefings Tuesday and Wednesday, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr.