April 12, 2005

Small protest greets cardinal's celebration of Mass for pope

VATICAN CITY
Seattle Times

By Steve Kloehn
Chicago Tribune

VATICAN CITY The image must have been jarring for many American Catholics: Cardinal Bernard Law, the embattled former archbishop of Boston, on a throne atop the tomb of St. Peter, where Pope John Paul II so often sat.

Yesterday, Law celebrated one of the nine special Masses at St. Peter's Basilica mourning the late pope, and few of the worshippers in the vast basilica seemed to have any idea who he was.

Vatican officials downplayed his presence, saying that as an archpriest of one of the papal basilicas in Rome a largely ceremonial role he received after resigning the Boston post he automatically was slated to preside over the Mass.

But for some Americans, who have come to regard Law as a symbol of the wrenching priest-sexual-abuse scandal, his presence at the center of one of the church's most-solemn moments, more than two years after leaving Boston in disgrace, provoked strong reactions.

Posted by kshaw at April 12, 2005 07:39 AM