December 22, 2017
Cardinal Bernard F Law, whose stature as archbishop of Boston and America’s senior Roman Catholic prelate was shattered in a maelstrom of scandal, acrimony and resignation in 2002 after revelations that he had protected abusive priests for years, died Wednesday. He was 86 and lived in Rome.
The Vatican confirmed the death in a news release.
He was a staunch defender of church orthodoxy, a Harvard-educated advocate of social justice for immigrants and the poor, who had campaigned for civil rights in the segregated South. And when he arrived in Boston in 1984 as Pope John Paul II’s new archbishop, he was welcomed like a favourite son.
Over the next 17 years, he became one of the nation’s most influential churchmen, a protégé and confidant of the Pope, a friend of presidents, a force in politics who travelled widely, conferred with foreign leaders and nurtured Catholic relations with Protestants, Jews and others. Admirers thought he might become the first American pope.
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