OUR VIEW: Church’s handling of Cardinal Law’s death inappropriate

The Sun Chronicle

December 28, 2017

Time, they say, heals all wounds.

Even if that were true — we all know someone grieving the loss of a loved one years after their death — it’s clear that not nearly enough time has passed since the Catholic Church’s clergy abuse scandal to salve the damage to its victims.

That’s one of two lessons learned from the death last week of Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former head of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Law covered up sexual abuse committed against children by dozens of priests before he was forced to resign in 2002 when the scandal, and his role in it, was exposed by The Boston Globe.

“With his passing, I say I hope the gates of hell are open wide to welcome him, because I feel no redemption for somebody like him is worthwhile,” Alexa MacPherson, a native of the Boston area who says she is a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest, told reporters after Law’s death on Dec. 19 at the age of 86.

Robert Costello, another Boston-area native who says that Law covered up for the cleric who abused him, had even stronger words: “Chop him up and put weights on every piece of body part that he has and drop him in oceans around the world.”

Those raw emotions are still felt in the Attleboro area, home to one of the Catholic Church’s first and most widespread scandals.

There are still dozens of victims of Father James Porter, who began his career at St. Mary’s Church in North Attleboro, living and working in this area. They, like MacPherson and Costello, know that the pain of sexual abuse by a trusted cleric never goes away.

Time never really heals that wound.

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