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Pope Francis on Thursday set up a committee to fight child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and give pastoral care to victims following a recommendation from a council of cardinals he has asked to advise him. The announcement was made by US cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston and one of the eight members of the council, who said the precise composition of the new committee will be announced "in the near future". The Vatican has said its Canon Law prosecutors are investigating thousands of alleged cases of abuse but it is unclear how many have been confirmed and what action has been taken against those found guilty. The Vatican on Wednesday said it could not respond to questions on the abuses from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, explaining that it was not responsible for the actions of individual churchmen because they are subject to national laws.