April 11, 2005

Disgraced cardinal says memorial mass


By Philip Pullella and Claudia Parsons

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The disgraced former archbishop of Boston has said a memorial mass for PopeJohn Paul at the Vatican as a few protesters outside remind the world of the sexual abuse scandal thathas rocked the Church.

Cardinal Bernard Law, who said the mass in his capacity as archpriest of a Rome basilica, praised the Popeas a teacher who managed to influence people's lives when he was young and strong but no less so when he wasold and frail.

Law celebrated the Mass on Monday as Catholic Cardinals started their last week of preparations beforemany of them will seal themselves off from the world in a secret conclave entrusted with the task of choosing anew pope.

"In these (recent) days we lived, almost touched, the love of the city of Rome for their pastor, a love that thePope returned a hundred fold," Law said, speaking in Italian and referring to the millions who turned out to seethe pope's body.

Outside the basilica, two leaders of a group representing victims of child clerical abuse protested, saying theChurch was "rubbing salt in an open wound" by having allowed Law to say the memorial mass.

Posted by kshaw at April 11, 2005 05:23 PM