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Pope Francis is to set up a Vatican committee to fight sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church and offer help to victims. The announcement, by the archbishop of Boston, follows a meeting between the Pope and his eight cardinal advisers. It comes days after the Vatican refused a UN request for information on alleged abuse by priests, nuns or monks.
Pope Francis has said dealing with sex abuse is vital for the Church's credibility. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, said the committee could provide codes of conduct for clergymen, guidelines for Church officials and better checks for would-be priests. Boston was the centre of a child sexual abuse scandal involving Catholic priests in the US in 2002. The archbishop said the new committee was suggested by the council of cardinals, which was convened to discuss reforms to the Catholic Church, according to AFP news agency. Pope Francis approved it on Thursday.