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 Latest coverage

March 23
Law's words frame new play

March 2
Wary Catholics return to church

January 25, 2004
Churches report attendance up

January 4, 2004
Dot parish struggles to survive

December 28
Hudson fill-in priest welcomed

December 12
Law prays daily for diocese

November 22
Assignment for Law expected

November 20
Policies on VOTF reconsidered

September 19
Crisis issues in church's future

September 18
Meeting ban at parish is lifted

August 4
O'Malley given warm welcome

August 1
Lawmakers see shades of gray

July 31
An angry protest, and prayers
Voices of protest and support
Three in crowd bound in hope
At BC, optimistic students watch

July 29
Lay group to engage O'Malley

July 24
Many outraged after AG's report

July 21
Law to skip bishop installation

July 18
O'Malley invites Law, victims

July 11
Bishops seek private opinions

Earlier stories

Spotlight Report

Cardinal Law and the Laity

     When Pope John Paul II accepted Cardinal Bernard F. Law's resignation as Boston archbishop in December 2002, it was the culmination of a year of mounting outrage and anguish in the Boston Archdiocese -- and a sign of the power wielded by a newly energized laity.

     From the early days of the abuse scandal, a drumbeat for Law's resignation grew steadily louder. In Wellesley, a small group of parishioners meeting in a church basement grew into Voice of the Faithful, a nationwide lay reform movement 25,000 members strong.

     In some parishes, the removal of trusted priests prompted allegations of a church "witch hunt," but the prevailing reaction from lay Catholics was a call for reform at the highest levels of the church.

     Cardinal Law apologized for his past mistakes and repeatedly vowed to weather the storm, even as he faced multiple civil lawsuits over his handling of abusive priests. Ultimately, he could not withstand the pressure exerted by a once loyal flock, now betrayed.

See the story list to the left for the latest coverage of Cardinal Law and lay Catholics.

Cardinal Bernard Law at a meeting in Dallas. (Globe Staff Photo / Evan Richman)

A scene from the Voice of the Faithful convention held in Boston in July 2002. (Globe Staff Photo / Dominic Chavez)

Cardinal Bernard Law
Coverage of Law's resignation as Boston archbishop

Coverage of the cardinal's career in Boston

Cardinal Law through the years

Career timeline: From priest to cardinal
Law's changing statements on clergy abuse

Parish at the crossroads The rise of Voice of the Faithful
A small group of parisioners gathering in the basebment of a Wellesey church blossomed into Voice of the Faithful, a nationwide lay reform movement 25,000 members strong.

Special report
Parish at the crossroads Canton church pulls together in a time of crisis
Shaken by the clergy abuse scandal, parishioners at St. Gerard Majella Church in Canton have found strength in their own congregation.   Images of St. Gerard's parish

Message boards
DECEMBER 13, 2002
Share your thoughts on the cardinal's resignation

DECEMBER 5, 2002
Share your thoughts on the bureoning church scandal

APRIL 10, 2002
What steps should the church take to address the scandal?

JANUARY 26, 2002
Are you satisfied with Cardinal Law's response to the scandal?

Globe / WBZ-TV Polls
Poll results APRIL 17, 2002
65 percent of Boston-area Catholics want Law to resign

FEBRUARY 10, 2002
Catholics say church should ordain women and noncelibate men

FEBRUARY 8, 2002
48 percent of Boston-area Catholics want Law to resign

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