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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
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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

National Catholic weekly urges Law to step down

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 4/20/2002

The National Catholic Reporter, the progressive weekly that first brought the issue of clergy sexual abuse to public attention in 1985, yesterday became the first major Catholic newspaper to call on Cardinal Bernard F. Law to resign.

''Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston must step down,'' the paper said in an editorial in its April 26 edition, which went to press yesterday. ''Vatican insistence that he remain demonstrates how out of touch church leaders are with the extent of damage already done by this scandal and the serious erosion that has occurred to Law's authority. Documents released so far show a prelate who transferred dangerous priests from one assignment to another and whose lieutenants provided to another diocese a clean bill of health for a priest known to have been an abuser. Much of it was done well after any American bishop paying attention should have known that transferring abusers was a dangerous practice. It will be impossible for Law to play any significant role in remedying the scandal.''

The paper said that Law has become ''a symbol for much of the US church - mired in scandal, paralyzed as a leader, unable to function as a moral force in the wider culture.''

Law's spokeswoman, Donna M. Morrissey, did not respond to a call for comment.

The paper also called for bishops to open their files to prosecutors and to meet with victims, for sex abuse prevention programs in all parishes and schools, and for laypeople to be allowed to play a role in the selection of bishops and the appointments of clergy. The paper also called for a study of the priesthood by psychiatrists, criminologists, and others.

The National Catholic Reporter, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., has a circulation of 48,000, roughly one-quarter of whom are priests, monks or nuns, according to publisher Tom Fox.

This story ran on page A11 of the Boston Globe on 4/20/2002.
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