April 12, 2005

Cardinal Law Is Snubbed

Los Angeles Times

By Larry B. Stammer and Richard Boudreaux, Times Staff Writers

VATICAN CITY The scandal over sex abuse by American priests intruded on the mourning for Pope John Paul II here Monday as all but one U.S.-based cardinal avoided a Mass led by Boston's disgraced former archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Law.

Three of the seven cardinals Edward M. Egan of New York, Francis George of Chicago and Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles snubbed the Mass in St. Peter's Basilica out of concern over Law's notoriety, three American church sources said.

"There was a general feeling it was best not to be there," said a source familiar with one cardinal's thinking. He said there had been an understanding among at least some of the cardinals to stay away.

Another source said the absence of most U.S. cardinals sent a message of protest. "You'd have to be blind not to see that," he said. "The fact is, they voted with their feet." A third source said the no-shows were part of a "pattern."

All three sources spoke on condition of anonymity two days after the Vatican announced a gag order on the 115 cardinals who are to meet Monday to elect John Paul's successor. None of the American cardinals would comment.

Posted by kshaw at April 12, 2005 07:50 AM