Boston Cardinal Law Planning Move to Maryland

By Denise Lavoie
Associated Press, carried in San Francisco Chronicle [San Fransisco]
February 8, 2003

(02-08) 00:07 PST BOSTON (AP) - Cardinal Bernard Law plans to move to Maryland but will be spending a good deal of time in Massachusetts for the trials of many of the 500 clergy sex abuse lawsuits in which he is named a defendant.

Law, 71, who resigned under fire in the clergy sexual abuse scandal, issued a statement Friday saying he plans to move to Clinton, Md., to live at a house owned by the Sisters of Mercy of Alma, a conservative order of nuns based in Alma, Mich.

He resigned as Archbishop of Boston in mid-December, after nearly a year of damaging revelations about his role in handling allegations that priests sexually abused children.

"I am very grateful to the Sisters of Mercy of Alma for their kind invitation to be their guest during this time of transition," Law said. "It is my hope to be of assistance to the Sisters as a chaplain."

There is no firm date for his move, Law said.

Law's next court date is Feb. 25, when he is scheduled to testify before a Massachusetts grand jury investigating possible criminal violations by church officials.

The house is located on the grounds of a convent about 20 miles from Washington, D.C. No one answered the phone at the order's headquarters in Michigan on Friday.

After his resignation, Law took a vacation with fellow priests, and has recently been on retreat at a monastery.

Law had become the lightning rod of dissent among alleged victims, parishioners and some fellow priests who criticized his handling of the scandal that ensnared dozens of priests and eventually spread to dioceses around the country.

The crisis first erupted more than a year ago, after previously secret internal church documents revealed that Law had shuffled offending priests from parish to parish, rather than removing them.


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