ROME — Following a meeting of Pope Francis’ new anti-sex abuse commission at which members demanded that bishops be held accountable for how they handle allegations, the Vatican has vowed that it’s “keenly aware that the issue of accountability is of major importance.”

A statement released Monday said the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which met in Rome Feb. 6-8, is focusing on accountability “for everyone in the Church — clergy, religious, and laity — who work with minors.”

“Part of ensuring accountability is raising awareness and understanding at all levels of the Church regarding the seriousness and urgency in implementing correct safeguarding procedures,” the statement said.

The statement also said that, considering members’ keen concern over the issue, the assembly had already agreed on an initial proposal to submit to Pope Francis.

Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, president of the anti-abuse commission, has been outspoken on the need for greater accountability.

During a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” O’Malley addressed the case of fellow Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City. Finn is the only American bishop who’s ever been convicted of failing to report child abuse by one of his priests, and critics have called on Francis to remove Finn from his position.

The pope launched an investigation of Finn last year, but to date he remains in office.

“It’s a question the Holy See needs to address urgently …” O’Malley said during the interview that aired last November. “There’s recognition of that from Pope Francis.”

During the interview, O’Malley also referred to the new commission.

“One of the first things that we came up [with] was the importance of accountability and we’re looking at how the Church can have protocols and how to respond when a bishop has not been responsible for protection of children in his diocese,” he said.

The Vatican statement released Monday also addresses the work being done by the commission between its meetings.

Tasks have been assigned to working groups to produce “research and projects in areas that are central to the mission of making the Church ‘a safe home’ for children, adolescents, and vulnerable adults.”

Looking ahead to the next plenary meeting, the working groups will focus on issues such as pastoral care for survivors and their families, education, guidelines for best practices, formation to the priesthood and religious life, ecclesial and civil norms governing allegations of abuse, and the accountability of people in positions of responsibility within the Church when dealing with allegations of abuse.

Francis announced the commission in December of 2013; it was officially created in March 2014. It has 17 members: 10 are laypeople (six of them women, and two survivors of sexual abuse), plus five priests and two nuns.

Three of the experts come from the United States: O’Malley, and Bostonians the Rev. Robert Oliver and Krysten Winter-Green. Two are from England, and the rest hail from France, Ireland, Colombia, Philippines, New Zealand, Zambia, Italy, Germany, and South Africa.

During a press conference Saturday in Rome, Peter Saunders, a British member of the commission, was outspoken in his call for bishop accountability, saying there had been “an abysmal record of so many ill-judged responses by priests and dioceses around the world.”

“It is not disputed that there have been far too many cover-ups, there have been far too many clergy protected, moved from place to place. This has got to be consigned to history very quickly,” Saunders said.

Himself a survivor of clerical sex abuse by two priests and others, Saunders said he knows the Vatican and the Church at large “operate in a slightly different time dimension” where the definition of “quick” could be months or years.

“I get that,” Saunders said, “but when it comes to time, children only get one stab at childhood.”