The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church



Law prays for unity


The following is a transcription of the statement read by Cardinal Bernard F. Law yesterday. Law spoke to reporters gathered in the library of the chancery - the headquarters - of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston:

Good afternoon. I hope you will understand that under the circumstances, I think it best that I simply make my statement, because as you know, Bishop Richard Lennon is the apostolic administrator. He holds responsibility for the archdiocese, and I think it best for me simply to say what I've prepared, and I will not be available for questions beyond that, and I hope that you will respect the reasons for this, and I take this opportunity, too, to thank you for your courtesy during these years.

As I said last Friday, it is my hope, and it is my prayer that my resignation as archbishop might help the Archdiocese of Boston to experience healing, to experience reconciliation, and to experience unity. The statement released last Friday really expresses all that I have to say. The course of events in recent months has certainly been different than anything I, or others, would have predicted on the occasion of my installation more than 18 years ago. To all those who have suffered from my shortcomings and from my mistakes, I once again apologize, and from them, I beg forgiveness.

During these past 11 months, decisions have been made, and policies strengthened which ensure the safety of children as the archdiocese moves forward. The commitment to a comprehensive plan to deal with all aspects of this issue has begun to develop and to be implemented. Though I had hoped to be part of that implementation, it came to be ever more clear to me that the most effective way that I might serve the church at this moment is to resign. The Holy Father and those assisting him in such matters were most understanding. I renew my gratitude to the Holy Father for accepting my resignation. I am grateful to God for the grace and for the privilege to have served as archbishop.

My personal plans for the future are not fully developed. I will take a brief vacation with some priest friends after Christmas, and then I will go on retreat at a monastery. Following that, I will take up residence outside the archdiocese and continue my responsibilities as cardinal. Needless to say, I will continue to be available as necessary in the legal process.

The apostolic administrator, Bishop Richard Lennon, has the pledge of my prayers and heartfelt support. May he, and all in the archdiocese, experience the peace which only the Lord can give. As we celebrate this blessed time of hope, which is Advent, may Mary, mother of the incarnate word and mother of the church, intercede for the Archdiocese of Boston that it might experience the spirit's gift of healing and of reconciliation and of unity.

And I thank you very much for your attention and for your presence.

This story ran on page A38 of the Boston Globe on 12/17/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

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