April 12, 2005

A world away from Boston, Law says Mass


Tuesday, April 12, 2005
VATICAN CITY -- Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston who resigned for mishandling the clergy sex abuse scandal, celebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica yesterday despite a small protest by advocates of abuse victims, who contended Law didn't deserve the honor.

Two leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests flew to Rome to complain that allowing Law such a prominent pulpit was like adding salt to a wound.

Law presided at one of the daily memorial Masses during the no vemdiales, the official nine-day mourning period for Pope John Paul II, who died April 2. Last year, John Paul named Law to the ceremonial post of archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based SNAP, was escorted by Italian police from St. Peter's Square and behind some traffic barriers when she attempted to distribute fliers to pilgrims and tourists in the square.

The small protest attracted mainly attention from the media and curiosity from tourists, but it showed the American branch of the Catholic Church continues to be haunted by the issue of abusive priests.

Blaine accused the Vatican -- and Law's 10 fellow U.S. cardinals who will participate in the election of the next pope -- of being insensitive to victims of clergy sexual abuse and of overlooking Law's admitted mistakes.

Posted by kshaw at April 12, 2005 07:53 AM