April 12, 2005

Disgraced cardinal leads Mass for pope

Albany Times Union

By RACHEL ZOLL, Associated Press
Last updated: 11:36 p.m., Monday, April 11, 2005

VATICAN CITY -- Cardinal Bernard Law, whose failures to stop sexually abusive priests sparked the worst crisis in American church history, led a Mass for thousands mourning Pope John Paul II at St. Peter's Basilica on Monday after police whisked away a victim protesting outside.

Law celebrated the Mass without disruption, saying in his homily that Italian, Polish and other pilgrims were inspiring in their huge tribute to John Paul. Nearly 3 million mourners flooded Rome for the pontiff's funeral last week.

"In these incredible days, the pope continues to teach us what it means ... to be a follower of Christ," Law said, reading slowly in Italian. "Our faith has been reinforced."

After the service, several worshippers from Europe said they had never heard of Law. American parishioners said they recognized him, but questioned whether the protest was appropriate right after the pope died.

"It's not the time or the place," said Mary Beth Bauer, who lives in Maine and had followed the abuse crisis and Law's resignation.

Posted by kshaw at April 12, 2005 07:32 AM