Praising the work of the commission over the last three and a half years, the Pope said that they have worked to consistently emphasize the most important principles guiding the Church's efforts in abuse protection.
He also said that he was happy to hear that many churches have taken their advice of holding a Day of Prayer and of dialoguing with victims and survivors.
In his address, O'Malley said that the commission considers the safeguarding of minors and vulnerable adults to be "an integral part of the mission of the Church."
"The Church's care for victims/survivors of abuse and their families is a primary consideration in this mission. By listening attentively and sharing experiences with them, our Commission has benefitted greatly from all that survivors have offered to us."
Other things the commission has emphasized has been educational and training programs, especially for Church leaders, and assistance for local churches to develop and implement guidelines, he said.
Following the audience with Pope Francis, he said the commission will hold their plenary assembly to continue to discuss these projects and prepare recommendations for the Pope for the continued work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Francis said that the Church is called to be "a place of piety and compassion, especially for those who have suffered."
The Church is a field hospital, he concluded, one which accompanies each of us on our spiritual journey.
"I am fully confident that the Commission will continue to be a place where we can listen with interest to the voices of the victims and the survivors. Because we have much to learn from them and their personal stories of courage and perseverance."
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.