April 12, 2005

Catholics protest against cardinal's role in papal rites

Globe and Mail


Tuesday, April 12, 2005 Page A17

VATICAN CITY -- The two quiet, middle-aged American women walked unnoticed into the expanse of St. Peter's Square yesterday, handed a few pieces of paper to passersby and were promptly escorted out by security guards.

With that, a deep fissure cutting the Roman Catholic Church in two, and splitting most North American Catholics from the rest of the flock, made its first appearance during the long and otherwise peaceful interregnum between popes.

The subject of the women's mild but heavily televised protest, Cardinal Bernard Law of Massachusetts, was inside St. Peter's Basilica delivering a requiem mass for Pope John Paul II, who died on April 2 at age 84.

Cardinal Law is one of only nine cardinals permitted to deliver such a service. His brief homily, delivered in Italian beneath the expansive dome, was devoted entirely to John Paul's memory and did not mention the scandal that has come to define Cardinal Law's career.

Posted by kshaw at April 12, 2005 08:26 AM