Cardinal Law’s Papal Sendoff Shows Church’s Laxity on Sex Abuse Scandal

Huffington Post

December 22, 2017

By Celia Wexler

I didn’t expect this punch in the gut from Pope Francis. But I guess I was naïve. Of course, the pope would say a formal and apparently heartfelt goodbye to Cardinal Bernard Law, the prelate whose reckless disregard for the welfare of children in the Boston archdiocese led to a tragedy that still harms and hurts.

Law died this week at 86. He had resigned in disgrace from his powerful position in Boston, and found a cushy berth in Rome. Still able to savor the pomp and perks of that rarest of rare male clubs, the college of cardinals.

Law never really apologized enough for the damage he wrought. But for posterity’s sake, let’s review : After the Boston abuse scandal became front-page news in Boston in 2002, the Globe tallied its initial toll: 500-plus claims of abuse by victims, the prospect of lawsuits seeking an estimated $100 million in damages, and an archdiocese – that had already paid out $40 million – teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

But those numbers only scratch the surface. We’ll never know how the acid of Law’s betrayal of his flock corroded faith and ruined lives.

And yet, in the face of this untold harm, Pope Francis permitted Law to be buried with all the pomp and circumstance the church affords its powerful prelates, and with a papal blessing:

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