April 08, 2005

Some protest a role of honor given to Law

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Rachel Zoll
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in disgrace as archbishop of Boston over his role in the clergy sex-abuse crisis, has been given a role of honor in the mourning for Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican announced yesterday that he would lead one of the daily Masses celebrated in the Pope's memory during the nine-day period that follows the funeral, called Novemdiales. The service will be Monday at Rome's St. Mary Major Basilica, where Law was appointed archpriest after leaving Boston.

Some Catholics in his former archdiocese immediately protested.

Suzanne Morse, spokeswoman for Voice of the Faithful, a Massachusetts-based activist group that emerged from the scandal, said Law's visibility since John Paul's death had been "extremely painful" for abuse survivors and parishioners.

"It certainly shows and puts a spotlight on the lack of accountability in the Catholic Church, that the most visible bishop in the clergy sexual-abuse crisis has been given these honorary opportunities," she said.

Chester Gillis, an expert in Catholicism at Georgetown University, said celebrating a Mass during the mourning period was not only an honor but a position of influence.

Posted by kshaw at April 8, 2005 04:38 AM