April 12, 2005

Protest at Mass for John Paul

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

VATICAN CITY -- The sermon that Cardinal Bernard Law preached in St. Peter's Basilica was not political but theological, self-effacing and appropriate for a funeral. That did nothing to calm the outrage from victims of childhood sexual abuse by priests, who said that the man who was forced to resign from the Archdiocese of Boston for protecting such priests should not offer one of the nine official Masses for Pope John Paul II.

"The Catholic cardinals from America have stood by and allowed this to continue," said Barbara Blaine of Chicago, founder of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, who arrived in Rome yesterday morning.

"It is not about punishing Cardinal Law; it's just that his presence in such a position brings about pain and suffering" to those who remember that he kept known sex offenders in ministry, Blaine said.

"We are concerned that the cardinals are sending a message that there won't be an emphasis on the sexual abuse scandal in the next papacy."

According to John-Peter Pham, a former papal diplomat and an expert on papal transition, Vatican protocol dictated that Law celebrate yesterday's Mass.

Posted by kshaw at April 12, 2005 08:00 AM