By PHILLIP MARTIN
When Bernard Cardinal Law, Archibishop of Boston, fled to the Vatican in 2002, he left behind a trail of human and financial wreckage: 550 victims abused by parish priests and court judgments that eventually topped $85 million.
Meanwhile, Law was assigned a comfortable post in Rome, where he disappeared from the headlines.
Law led America’s fourth-largest archdiocese for 18 years. His reputation as a public figure peaked during Boston’s court-ordered school desegregation crisis, when the cardinal emerged as a steadying voice of sanity. However, as his role as the architect of the abuse cover-up emerged, first in the Boston Phoenix, then in the Boston Globe, Law was transformed into a pariah. With permission from Pope John Paul II, he resigned in 2002 ahead of the mandatory age of 75. Law was subsequently appointed head of Santa Marie Maggiore, one of the most significant basilicas in Rome. He retired from that post in 2011. Where is he now? What has he been doing since then?
Like many searches these days, this one begins with Google, in a café in Rome. I comb through recent articles, but none from 2015. And I come across an excerpt from Wikipedia that reads, “It was ‘commonly believed that [Law would] live out his retirement in Rome’ when he was retired in 2011. As of March 2013 he was still living at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.” So that’s where I’m headed.
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