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Catholic board called 'an impressive group'

Despite criticism that it left out victims' advocates, the board appointed to monitor the implementation of the new sex abuse policy in the Roman Catholic church is "an impressive group" devoted to restoring credibility in the church, the panel's chairman said.

Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, who was appointed board chairman previously, pledged that the board will be tough on priests who molested minors and church leaders who hid abuse cases.

"We care deeply about the church, which has been deeply hurt," Keating said. "Our community is angry, because the Catholic church is trailing blood."

Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, the president of the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops, appointed eight new board members Wednesday, including former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta.

The list includes several prominent Catholic lay people, but none from victim advocacy groups. Keating said he did not want board members beholden to a particular organization.