Pokin Around: Cardinal Law, portrayed as protector of pedophile priests, once worked here

Springfield News-Leader

Steve Pokin, spokin@news-leader.com November 30, 2015

On Thanksgiving I went to the Moxie Cinema and watched “Spotlight,” the best movie I’ve ever seen on journalism, including “All the President’s Men.”

The film, based on real events, has a strong local connection: Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, who is the villain.

The film chronicles the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer-Prize winning coverage of how the Boston Diocese protected pedophile priests and moved them from parish to parish. The man behind these decisions was Law, who became a Cardinal while archbishop of the Boston Diocese, the third largest in the nation.

Before going to Boston, Law, now 84, was bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese from October 1973 to January 1984.

As a result of the Globe’s dogged reporting, Law became a sort of poster boy, representing how the Catholic Church initially covered up of the misdeeds of pedophile priests.

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