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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bernard Francis Cardinal Law, the disgraced Archbishop emeritus of Boston.

As my readers know, I write extensively about the horros of the sexual abuse suffered by so many at the hands of priest in the Catholic Church.  One thing that I find particularly appalling was the cover-up by the Church that went on. By moving priests around, they enabled child-molestation to go on. I know most Catholics are appalled at what went on want to see the Church move forward. But when I read stories like the one today in The Daily Beast, I wonder if the Church has truly moved forward or if they are just continuing the same policies and hiding/rewarding those responsible. Remember we are talking about the systematic sexual abuse of children. This is not small matter!

The Daily Beast has a scathing article today about Bernard Francis Cardinal Law, the disgraced Archbishop emeritus of Boston.  From The Daily Beast;
Cardinal Law is very much the poster priest for the sex abuse scandal that is rocking the Roman Catholic Church right now. He resigned in 2002 after admitting he did nothing to stop the rampant sexual abuse in the Boston diocese. But rather than hiding away in a dark monastery to repent, Cardinal Law is instead an exalted member of Vatican inner circles. He was one of nine chosen prelates to preside over the funeral of John Paul II in 2005 and he is still a voting member of the College of Cardinals. He is also a member of six important Vatican congregations—including the Congregation for the Clergy and the Congregation for Catholic Education—and a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Vatican’s policymakers for Catholic families on issues like marriage preparation and birth control.
Cardinal Law effectively took a bullet for the American Catholic Church during the height of the sex scandal in the early 2000s. By resigning in shame for his mishandling of predator priests, he took the heat off Vatican higher-ups, including then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. Instead of turning the priests in to civil authorities or defrocking them, Law shuffled them around his 2.1 million-strong dioceses, sending vague memos to Rome about what was going on, and admitting the abuse problem only when a legal claim had to be paid. He used an underground railroad-style network that not only protected the offenders, but enabled them to carry on their abuse of thousands of children.
Law’s name started popping up on criminal depositions alleging that he had lied to authorities to cover for the abusers and the Boston dioceses’ legal settlements with victims of abuse eventually topped $100 million. With no other option, Law tendered his resignation to Pope John Paul II and slinked off to Rome. (Cardinal Law declined to be interviewed for this article.)
So what is Cardinal Law doing now?  Has he repented for his sins?

When he’s not preaching to the faithful at the majestic patriarchal basilica of Saint Mary Major, the disgraced Archbishop emeritus of Boston is dashing to curial meetings across town in Vatican City. On Sunday afternoons, he is often spotted at the Cecilia Metella restaurant on the Appia Antica where they know his Eminence Law’s favorite dishes by heart. During the week, he frequents the restaurants along the Borgo Pio outside St. Peter’s square, talking shop over dinner with the Vatican elite.
Abuse victims’ groups say that rewarding the scorned bishops is proof that the Holy See is still conducting business as usual. David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, told The Daily Beast that Law's continuing exalted status in the Vatican sends a strong, clear signal to church employees across the globe. “Conceal child sex crimes and you'll be protected or promoted by the hierarchy. It also sends an equally strong, clear signal to abuse victims: your pain doesn't matter to the church hierarchy,” he says. “Given that he has enabled the sexual abuse of children, Law has no business being a priest, let alone a high ranking Catholic official.”
I couldn't agree more!

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