Bringing more expertise and more geographic balance, the larger commission and the global nature of the church could add to the complexity, rather than reduce it.
Catholic sex abuse cases
A quiet street and a quaint three-bedroom home drew Mike Stenzhorn and his family to Dittmer 15 years ago. He and his two children loved the neighborhood in the small community 40 miles southwest of St. Louis.
They didn't put much thought to the Roman Catholic facility across the street -- a small complex of buildings called the Vianney Renewal Center.
Stenzhorn knew the center had something to do with helping struggling priests. In any case, it seemed harmless, and the neighborhood was nice.
The St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese has reopened the case of Fr. William Stolzman, who has already twice cleared of sexual misconduct.
Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's former chief prosecutor of clerical sex abuse cases, will head a new doctrinal team dealing with appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse.
Updated: The archdiocese described the bankruptcy as "the fairest way" to resolve existing and future claims of sexual abuse; Archbishop John Nienstedt restates he is not resigning.
Fr. Charles Engelhardt, 67, died Nov. 15 in prison two years into a six-to-12-year sentence.
One of the claimants in the bankruptcy described the proposed settlement as "a Christmas gift for lawyers" and said it likely would not be approved by the committee of creditors.
Peter Saunders, an English survivor of clerical abuse, had called on Pope Francis in July to hand over information about abusive priests to state authorities.
While abuse in the church was "sickening" and "shameful," the great majority of cases occurred in non-institutional settings, wrote Archbishop Anthony Fisher.
"Obedience and closed environments also seem to have had a role in the prevalence of abuse within some religious orders and dioceses."