Friday, April 08, 2005

Rule of Law

During the week I wrote how any consideration of Pope John Paul II's legacy must account for his role in the child abuse scandals in the U.S. The most shocking was his treatment of Boston's infamous pedophile shuffler, Cardinal Bernard Law. Instead of being held criminally liable for his role in shuttling pedophile priests around the country to "shepard the flock," Cardinal Law resides safely within the confines of Vatican City,appointed by none other than the recently deceased to archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major and, according to the NYTs, "given a spacious apartment." That same article dropped this bombshell:
Cardinal Bernard Law, who was forced to resign in disgrace as archbishop of Boston two years ago for protecting sexually abusive priests, was named by the Vatican today as one of nine prelates who will have the honor of presiding over funeral Masses for Pope John Paul II.
Worse, this abettor of pedophilia will have people hanging over his every word, looking for clues as to who will ascent to Peter's throne.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)responded with this statement regarding the Vatican's choice of Law to preside over the Pope's funeral:
Law should have the courtesy, decency, and humility to step aside voluntarily, out of deference to the well-being of clergy sex abuse victims, their loved ones, and the laity in the US. If he doesn't, we can only hope that bishops and cardinals around the world will vehemently object to this hurtful decision and insist that Law be replaced.
When Laurie Goodstein of the NYTs asked if Law's record in Boston factored at all in the Vatican's decision, an anonymous official said he "didn't think so," adding "Cardinal Law was not acting as a former Boston archbishop in celebrating the Mass but in 'another capacity - he's one of the senior cardinals.'"

Will Catholics once again look the other way?