April 12, 2005

Cardinal Law Leads Mass for the Pope, and Some Protest

The New York Times


Published: April 12, 2005

VATICAN CITY, April 11 - Less than two and a half years after he resigned as archbishop of Boston under pressure over his failure to remove pedophile priests from the ministry, Cardinal Bernard F. Law led thousands of worshipers in a memorial Mass for Pope John Paul II on Monday from the altar of the majestic St. Peter's Basilica.

The cardinal, who had been deeply reviled in his own diocese, read a homily praising John Paul, who had been greatly revered in his home diocese of Rome. "In these past few days, we experienced the touching love of the city of Rome for their pastor, a love that the pope returned," Cardinal Law said, in fluent Italian.

But the outrage that drove Cardinal Law from Boston followed him to Rome on Monday. Two representatives of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests held a news conference in St. Peter's Square to call attention to his record.

"He is the poster child of the sexual abuse scandal in America," said Barbara Blaine, a Chicago lawyer who helped found the Survivors Network. "We don't believe it's appropriate for him to be in any position of power or trust in the church."

Television news crews, largely idled since the cardinals decided Saturday to stop granting media interviews, mobbed Ms. Blaine on the square despite a downpour. The police escorted the group to a spot just outside the square's boundaries.

Posted by kshaw at April 12, 2005 08:17 AM