April 11, 2005

Law is the wrong choice

Tufts Daily

The Vatican's choice to have Cardinal Bernard Law perform one of nine memorial Masses for the late Pope John Paul II once again illustrates the Church's continued position of ignoring the sex-abuse scandal that has torn apart the Roman Catholic church in the United States. Cardinal Law is among the highest ranked clergy in the Church, but there are better candidates that could have performed these prestigious Masses instead of the cardinal most associated with the sex-abuse scandal.

Vatican officials point out that Law is in charge of St. Mary Major in Rome, one of four parishes under direct Vatican control. The Vatican could have acknowledged that Law symbolizes the frustration and disgust of the scandal to many American Catholics. In 2002, Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston after it was revealed that he allowed priests guilty of sexually abusing children to remain in the archdiocese, moving them to different parishes without notifying the public of their crimes. Law was not charged with any criminal offenses and was not forced to resign his position as cardinal. Instead, the Vatican called him to Rome and placed him in charge of St. Mary Major.

Law's appointment to the memorial Mass pours salt in the still-open wounds of American Catholics who are reeling from the sex abuse scandal. These nine memorial Masses will garner much attention from the media, who will obsess over the homilies, trying to determine how the cardinal will vote. The last thing American Catholics want to see on their television screens is the man who they consider to have hidden the sexual abuses of priests.

Posted by kshaw at April 11, 2005 01:24 AM