Pope Francis on Thursday set up a committee to fight child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and give pastoral care to victims.

Announcing this, U.S. cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, said the composition of the committee would be announced “in the near future”. The initiative was also in line with the zero tolerance approach of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

The committee could come up with codes of professional conduct for clergymen, guidelines for Church officials in individual countries on how to deal with misconduct and checks for would-be priests, he said.

“The emphasis so far has been on legal procedures but less on the pastoral response,” he said, adding however that the committee will also look at ways of working together with civil authorities against abuse.

— AFP