Back to homepage Arts | Entertainment Boston Globe Online BostonWorks Real Estate Sports digitalMass Travel The Boston Globe Spotlight Investigation Abuse in the Catholic Church
HomePredator priestsScandal and coverupThe victimsThe financial costOpinion
Cardinal Law and the laityThe church's responseThe clergyInvestigations and lawsuits
Interactive2002 scandal overviewParish mapExtrasArchivesDocumentsAbout this site
2014 update

Crux, a Catholic news site

A new site from the Boston Globe includes news updates on clergy sexual abuse and other Catholic news stories.
 Latest coverage

December 28
Hudson fill-in priest welcomed

August 18
Contrasts in O'Malley's area

July 31
'Good priests' moved to tears

July 21
O'Malley seeks prayers in Fla.

July 13
Residence may indicate style

July 6
O'Malley reflects a change

July 3
Bishop cares for immigrants

June 6
Support for same-sex unions

June 5
Priest claims unfair dismissal

May 25
Amid decline, 9 are ordained

May 19
Pastor pushes social services

May 17
Audit noted expense accounts

May 15
Priest who spoke out resigns

April 16
Lennon appeals to priests

March 19
Priest tells parish he's 'sinned'

Earlier stories

Spotlight Report

Letter from priests to Cardinal Law

The following is the text of the letter signed by 58 Boston-area priests and sent to Cardinal Bernard F. Law on December 9, 2002:

Dear Cardinal Law:

It is with a heavy heart that we write to request your resignation as Archbishop of Boston. We have valued the good work you have done here in Boston, including, but not limited to: your advocacy for the homeless, your outreach to the Jewish community, your opposition to capital punishment, and your leadership in welcoming immigrant peoples. However, the events of recent months and, in particular, of these last few days, make it clear to us that your position as our bishop is so compromised that it is no longer possible for you to exercise the spiritual leadership required for the church of Boston.

As leaders of many parishes that make up this Archdiocese, we hear from the people their call for a change in leadership. The revelations that have come to light a few days ago challenge the credibility of your public statements. The people of this Archdiocese are angry, hurt, and in need of authentic spiritual leadership. We believe that despite your good work in the past you are no longer able to provide that leadership.

While this is obviously a difficult request, we believe in our hearts that this is a necessary step that must be taken if healing is to come to the Archdiocese. The priests and people of Boston have lost confidence in you as their spiritual leader.


Rev. Richard C. Beaulieu, St. Mary, Winchester
Rev. James Bertelli, St. Eulalia, Winchester
Rev. Paul W. Berube, St. Mary, Chelmsford
Rev. Louis Bourgeois, St. Paul, Hamilton
Rev. Emile R. Boutin Jr., Immaculate Conception, Stoughton
Rev. Robert J. Bowers, St. Catherine of Siena, Charlestown
Rev. James M. Broderick, Sacred Hearts, Haverhill
Rev. Thomas J. Buckley, Holy Family, Amesbury
Rev. Timothy A. Butler, chaplain, U.S. Air Force
Rev. Robert W. Bullock, Our Lady of Sorrows, Sharon
Rev. Charles E. Collins, St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge
Rev. Francis M. Conroy, St. Ann, Wayland
Rev. Ronald D. Coyne, St. Albert the Great, Weymouth
Rev. Richard J. Craig, St. John the Evangelist, North Chelmsford
Rev. Walter H. Cuenin, Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton
Rev. Francis Daley, St. James of Apostle, Arlington
Rev. Phillip B. Earley, St. Thomas of Villanova, Wilmington
Rev. Alfred J. Ellis, O.S.A., St. Augustine, Andover
Rev. Harry J. Erdlen, O.S.A., St. Augustine, Andover
Rev. Scott A. Euvrard, St. Joseph, Needham
Rev. John P. Fitzpatrick, Deaf Community Center
Rev. Austin H. Fleming, Our Lady Help of Christians, Concord
Rev. John W. Gentleman, Holy Family, Amesbury
Rev. Francis M. Glynn, St. Anthony, Lowell
Rev. Ronald A. Gomes, senior priest
Rev. Richard E. Gribble, C.S.C., Stonehill College
Rev. Msgr. Michael F. Groden, St. Cecilia, Boston
Rev. Roger D. Haight, S.J., Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Rev. Timothy A. Harrison, St. Ann, Gloucester
Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J., Boston College
Rev. Roger N. Jacques, St. Joseph, Waltham
Rev. Lawrence A. Jerge, C.S.C. Bridgewater State College
Rev. Stephen S. Josoma, St. Susanna, Dedham
Rev. William P. Joy, St. Angela, Mattapan
Rev. Thomas A. Kane, C.S.P., Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Rev. James F. Keenan, S.J., Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Rev. Timothy J. Kelleher, Blessed Sacrament, Walpole
Rev. Paul E. Kilroy, St. Bernard, Newton
Rev. William M. MacKenzie, senior priest
Rev. Thomas A. Mahoney, Sacred Heart, Middleborough
Rev. Francis X. Mawn, St. James, Haverhill
Rev. Sean M. McCarthy, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Acton
Rev. Richard R. Messina, St. Mary, Winchester
Rev. Richard S. Moran, St. Bernard, Newton
Rev. Robert E. Nee, chaplain, Children's Hospital
Rev. Scott C. Ness, O.S.A., St. Ambrose Friary, Andover
Rev. Francis E. O'Brien, St. George, Framingham
Rev. Francis P. O'Brien, St. Matthias, Marlborough
Rev. David M. O'Leary, chaplain, Tufts University
Rev. Leonard F. O'Malley, St. Malachy, Burlington
Rev. Richard J. Piatt, O.S.A., St. Augustine, Andover
Rev. Marc A. Piche, Sacred Hearts, Haverhill
Rev. Daniel J. Sheehan, St. Brigid, South Boston
Rev. Frank J. Silva, St. Ann, Wayland
Rev. Williams F. Waters, O.S.A., St. Mary-Immaculate Conception, Lawrence
Rev. James A. Wenzel, O.S.A, St. Ambrose Friary, Andover
Rev. William G. Williams, St. Mary of the Assumption, Hull
Rev. Walter J. Woods, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Acton

© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
Advertise | Contact us | Privacy policy