Vatican stresses policy role of sex committee after ouster

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Pope Francis' sex abuse commission is stressing that its sole purpose is to propose initiatives to protect children from pedophiles, after it effectively suspended a member who wanted it to take on a more activist role.

The commission told Peter Saunders on Saturday to take a leave of absence after he criticized the slow pace of reform and pressed to have the commission intervene immediately in individual cases, rather than just craft long-term policies to fight abuse.

In a statement Monday, the commission cited from its founding documentation that its "specific task" is to provide the pope with proposals to protect children and help local churches take responsibility for the problem.

It didn't mention Saunders, a British survivor of abuse, in the statement concluding its weeklong plenary meeting.