Cardinal Law Makes First Public Appearance in New Rome Post

The Associated Press, carried in Worcester Telegram and Gazette
June 10, 2004

ROME- Cardinal Bernard Law made his first public appearance on Thursday in his new role as archpriest of a Roman basilica.

Pope John Paul II last month assigned Law - the former Boston archbishop who resigned at the height of the U.S. sex-abuse scandal - to the largely ceremonial post at St. Mary Major Basilica, a position often given to retired prelates.

The pontiff led a procession Thursday to St. Mary Major to mark the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Law kneeled in front of the basilica along with many other top prelates until the pope was driven away in an open van.

The day before, a few dozen right-wing protesters demonstrated against Law outside St. Mary Major, saying the scandal should disqualify him from his post there.

Law was named in hundreds of U.S. lawsuits accusing him of failing to protect children from known child molesters. After 18 years leading the nation's fourth-largest archdiocese, Law resigned in December 2002 in an effort to defuse the scandal.


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