April 11, 2005

Advocates for U.S. sex abuse victims at Vatican to protest Law's role

Telegram & Gazette

AP Religion Writer

VATICAN CITYŚ Victims of sex abuse by American clergy brought their campaign for reform to the center of Roman Catholicism on Monday, demanding that Vatican officials bar Cardinal Bernard Law from celebrating an important Mass mourning Pope John Paul II.

Two leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who arrived in Rome just hours before the service at St. Peter's Basilica, condemned what they called the Vatican's "hurtful decision" to choose Law for the honor.

Law resigned as archbishop of Boston in December 2002 after unsealed court records revealed he had moved predatory clergy among parishes without alerting parents that their children were at risk. More than 550 people have filed abuse claims in Boston in recent years and the archdiocese has paid more than $85 million in settlements.

The network's leaders planned to distribute fliers in English and Italian around St. Peter's Square later Monday.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops declined to comment. Law has also declined to comment through an aide at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, where the pope appointed him archpriest last year. Law has apologized for his failures.

Posted by kshaw at April 11, 2005 07:25 AM