Law to Rome Faithful - Catholics Must Atone for Contradictions

By Eric Convey
Boston Herald
June 28, 2004

ROME - Bernard Cardinal Law, in one of his first public appearances since resigning as archbishop of Boston 18 months ago, called on Catholics yesterday to atone in public if they've contradicted Catholic teaching in public.

"In some way, we must publicly repair the scandal of our infidelity," he said during his homily at Santa Susannna, a church in Rome that's home to many North American Catholics.

Without making any specific reference to his own difficulties during the clergy molestation scandal that tarnished his career, Law also told the congregation of about 100 that they should expect difficult times if they pursue their faith.

"(Jesus) tells us that if we are to follow him, we are to take up our cross," Law said. "If we are to follow him, we have to go to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is His betrayal, His suffering, His death."

He also noted that Jerusalem was the site of the resurrection.

Law, 73, looked healthy and appeared relaxed.

As he mingled afterward, the scene was like many in Boston before the clergy molestation scandal struck in January 2002.

Law, named archbishop of Boston 20 years ago, moved to a convent in Maryland shortly after the pope accepted his resignation as archbishop on Dec. 13, 2002. But he spent considerable time in Rome. In an unusual arrangement, Law is now officially linked to two churches here.

Like other cardinals, he has a titular church in Rome. Since the days of Richard Cardinal Cushing, Boston's cardinal has been the head of Santa Susanna's. When visiting the Vatican, Cushing and his successors would often stop by the baroque church.

Law was also recently named chief priest at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.


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