Pope promises ‘firmest measures possible’ against pedophiles

Pope Francis promised Thursday to respond with the “firmest measures possible” against priests who rape and molest children, and said bishops and religious superiors who cover up for them will be held accountable.

Francis met for the first time with his sex abuse advisory commission, a group of outside experts named in 2014 to advise him and the Catholic Church on best practices to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood and protect children.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston and head of the commission, told the pope that the commission had “benefited greatly” from listening to survivors.