Opinion: Media focus on Cardinal Law's death ignored his good works

By Michael Langlois
Lowell Sun
January 01, 2018

Cardinal Bernard Law died recently, and media outlets couldn't wait to highlight his involvement with the child sex-abuse scandal. Pulling scabs and uncovering old wounds is what keeps them relevant, right?

I was more recently gratified to read in The Sun that one victim of these undoubtedly horrific crimes hoped that Law was in purgatory and not in hell. For Catholics purgatory is a state where after dying one is "purged" of sin's effects in preparation for entry into heaven. In Tuesday's Sun I was similarly encouraged to read where a victim had forgiven Law and the clergy who actually abused him.

The judicial system has the specific role of bringing to justice and punishment people who have committed crimes. Religious entities, on the other hand, have a quite different mission; to lead people to repentance and redemption. Besides, who of us can know Cardinal Law's intention when he transferred priests from parish to parish at the same time when the abuses were actually occurring? These were not uncovered until years later.

So, I guess, to paraphrase what my sainted pastor, Rev. Father Lucien Loiselle at the former Saint Mary of the Assumption parish in Dracut, used to say at every Mass: "Pray for Cardinal Law and remember all the good that he did."


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