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New Papal Advisory Board Meets for First Time

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(VATICAN CITY) -- A papal advisory board met for the first time on Saturday in the hopes of outlining recommendations to hold church officials "accountable" for failure to report allegations of sexual abuse.

The existing Catholic laws have been insufficient, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said on Saturday. The council was created in December by Pope Francis.

The Catholic church has not yet sanctioned any bishop or church official who covered for priests accused of abuse, a fact not lost on victims groups.

O'Malley said on Saturday that the advisory board "will propose initiatives to encourage local responsibility around the world and the mutual sharing of best practices for the protection of all minors." The process, O'Malley hopes, would be open and transparent, but would aim to hold church officials accountable above all else.

Marie Collins, an abuse survivor and a member of the advisory board said that the group "can't make concrete promises," but that she is "hopeful" that the board will accomplish its goal of accountability.

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