Papal commission on sex abuse to push for accountability
O'Malley, known as a pioneer for a more open and forceful approach to tackling the scandal since he published a database of Boston clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors online in 2011, said a person's rank in the church should not be cause for special treatment or protection.
Victims' groups have pressed the Vatican to hold bishops who either shielded abusers or were negligent in protecting children to account, along with abusers themselves.
O'Malley said accountability should apply to "every one in the church regardless of what their status is ... both for those who perpetrate the crime of sexual abuse and those who are negligent in child protection".
"There are a lot of people who think it's limited to certain countries and that it's been dealt with and now we can move on to something else, and that is simply not true," he said.
Last month, Pope Francis sought forgiveness for the "evil" committed by priests who molested children.
In February, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child accused the Vatican of systematically turning a blind eye to decades of abuse and attempting to cover up sex crimes. The Vatican called the report unfair and ideologically slanted.
"I know there are many, many survivors around the world who are hoping and have great expectations of this commission," she said.
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