Pope Sends Condolences for the Death of Cardinal Bernard Law

Associated Press
December 20, 2017

Cardinal Law addresses the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on Nov 12, 2002. (Reuters file photo)

Pope Francis sent a telegram of condolences Wednesday to the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, for the death of Cardinal Bernard Law and said he is praying for his soul.

The letter made no mention of Law's role as the former archbishop of Boston, where he was responsible for covering up for sexually abusive priests in a scandal that erupted across the nation and eventually cost the American church some $3 billion in legal fees.

Rather, Francis' telegram referred to Law's final position as archpriest of the St Mary Major basilica in Rome.

In it Francis said: “I raise prayers for the repose of his soul, that the Lord, God who is rich in mercy, may welcome him in His eternal peace, and I send my apostolic blessing to those who share in mourning the passing of the cardinal.''

An advocacy group for survivors of sex abuse called for Pope Francis to keep survivors in mind when he celebrates Cardinal Bernard Law's funeral Mass.

SNAP, which gained prominence as the US abuse scandal erupted in Law's Boston in 2002, said no victim of sexual abuse will ever receive the same attention and pomp that Law received in life and is due to receive in death.

In a statement, SNAP's Joelle Casteix said Catholics should ask the Vatican why Law was promoted to a prominent position at a Vatican basilica after he resigned in disgrace as Boston's archbishop.

She said: “This celebratory focus on abuse enablers like Law must end. It is time for the Vatican to refocus on change: protecting children and those who have been hurt.”

Law died Wednesday in Rome. Francis is expected to celebrate his funeral Mass in St Peter's Basilica later this week.








Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.