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Cardinal Bernard Law resigns

Facing mounting outrage from Boston-area Catholics and clergy over the priest sexual abuse crisis, Cardinal Bernard Law announced today that he would resign as head of the Boston Archdiocese after 18 years in the post. Share your thoughts on the cardinal's resignation and his career in Boston. How will he be remembered? What effect will his departure have? And what comes next for the archdiocese?

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Page 32

It is about time. Its hard to know whether Cardinal Law was part of an intentional cover-up, or whether he just made a human mistake, misjudging the importance (and severity) of the crimes by the various priests he re-positioned. When you make a mistake, the adult thing to do, the dignified thing to do, is to accept responsibility for the mistake. But Cardinal Law did not. By refusing to resign and denying his guilt in the matter, whatever level of guilt that might have been, he further aggrivated the problem and cast off all credibility and dignity he might have otherwise retained. His guilt is now double. His resignation is too little too late, and both his honor and the honor of the catholic church have been diminuated drastically. Why do adults in prominent and powerful positions act like children? Cardinal Law's insistence on keeping his position shows the maturity of an adolescent. He demonstrates the same attitude as a teenager who wrecks his father's car and then denies responsibilty. He demonstrates the same attitude as an Enron Executive. Society needs to take this as an opportunity to set a precedent that has somehow been overlooked. The value of personal honor needs to be more forcefully impressed upon Americans, and perhaps if the public can use opportunities like this one to accentuate that, this can be a positive.

Devin, Wakefield

Is there any studies out there that show the percentage of children abused by people. I know that people in authority, such as clergymen, teachers, etc., are a part of this problem, but how about the relatives (both male and female), neighbors, family friends, boyfriends, etc. I have to believe that those abused by the clergy are only a small part of a larger problem. Heh, Boston Globe, where are you reports on studies such as these? Lets get some balance in the reporting!

Nancee, Wilmington

I am deeply saddened by this, however, I feel this was the only solution for the Cardinal. Cardinal Law is a good man with a good heart who dedicated his life to Christ. Due to the church policies, policies that come down from Rome, on handling those priests that have committed crimes against children, the Cardinal is taking the fall. It is a step that needs to be taken, but it is also a sad time for all involved.

Shelley, Easton

What mercy and what forgiveness are people talking about ? He has been abusing kids years and years, he should go to the electric chair! What a wise man ! ... washing people's brain and getting advantage of them. His departure is a great decision but why wait this long ? He will be remembered as an evil soul. Where is people with the kids...speak up !

T., Reading

Law's resignation is long overdue. He is still a Cardinal, however. It's time for him to leave the priesthood altogether, go to court and tell the truth, go to jail and then people will see him as redeemed. As long as he continues down the trail of "I don't remember - I didn't know - My records we're poorly kept - I have no recollection" then he won't be redeemed in our eyes nor in the eyes of God. He knew all these many years what was going on, and he was aiding and abetting the priests by sending them to different parishes with letters of recommendation. I used to have great respect for priests, but that respect is now long gone.

Lucy, Novi

I must say God will forgive us all no matter what the sin. Cardinal Law is not the only one at fault. We must begin to look at how the catholic religion forbids a healthy sex relationship between adults. This is not normal. It is time for a change.


This should just be the beginning, not the end. The catholic church is just another organized crime family and needs to be investigated and prosecuted as such. In case all you catholic faithful are wondering how it ever came to this, reflect on all your years of blind, uncritical, absolute faith in the men in robes and the medieval spells they chanted; think of all the cops who helped cover this up; look at the state legislature which repeatedly passed up opportunites to make it easier to prosecute the church and its clergy; and don't forget the Globe and the Herald, who until very recently were just as much a part of the coverup as anyone else. Many former catholics like myself have been trying for years to call attention to the hypocrisy and moral bankrupcy of the church. It's tragic that it takes a crisis of this magnitude to open the eyes of the brainwashed faithful.

Jerry, Brookline 12/13/2002 03:02 PM

Brian, Chesapeake, VA

There is something rotten to the core in the Catholic Church, all around the world (Ireland, England, France, Germany, Australia, South Africa and Brazil) there are stories about priests and nuns molesting the most vulnerable people in their community - the children. Sadly it turns out that there is an institutional mindset about the whole situation. Ignore, deflect, deny, and repeat as necessary. The fact that these events are not isolated means that ultimately the pope is also responsible. Unfortunately the church also has a 2000-year history of hypocrisy and arrogance and is morally bankrupt. Reports of the church declaring bankruptcy are offensive, I donít believe that the diocese should declare bankruptcy - not until after it has sold off all the property it owns and has mortgaged every church it has. The church has a moral obligation to see to the needs of its victims. The pain this institution has inflicted en-mass must be addressed before anything else can be done. I stopped being a catholic many years ago, the churchís dictates and dogma are out of step with normal life, and now I feel that every Cardinal, bishop and monsignor should be indicted f or conspiracy and accessory before and after a crime. Because when Bernie-above-the-Law let these priests return to a parish, he must have known that this would happen again. I also stopped being religious because this problem is not isolated to the Catholic Church. There are stories in every religion; in each one some leaders are the least worthy of leading. Itís just that the Catholic Church banked up decades of sin in a blanket of silence but now like a boil everything has burst out.

Mike, Framingham

Each and every one of us is a Child of God, forgive and so you shall be forgiven. Cast the first stone he without sin. Pray for the victims, who in turn might have abused others because they were abused.

One of God's Children, Waltham

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