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Spotlight Report

More priests ask to sign letter to Law

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 12/11/2002

More than a dozen priests yesterday sought to add their names to a letter demanding Cardinal Bernard F. Law's resignation, as a leader of the Boston Priests' Forum said he would try to put together a second letter with more signatures.

The Rev. Robert W. Bullock, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Sharon and a leader of the priests' forum, said he expects the organization to discuss a second letter that would be more widely circulated.

Fifty-eight priests signed a letter calling on Law to resign that was delivered to the cardinal's residence Monday.

The signers were a mix of diocesan and religious order priests, some of whom had had disputes with Law or the church over various religious issues. One of the 58 signers, the Rev. Roger N. Jacques of Waltham, in October was suspended by the archdiocese pending an investigation of an allegation that he sexually abused a minor two decades ago.

Bullock and the Rev. Walter H. Cuenin said they did not see a problem with Jacques signing the letter since he is still a priest and has not been found guilty of anything. Jacques has also been attending meetings of the forum.

Some priests said they were eager to add their names to the list of those calling for Law to resign.

''There are many more of us who want to sign a letter asking for the cardinal's resignation,'' said the Rev. Robert F. VerEecke, pastor of Saint Ignatius Loyola Church in Newton. VerEecke, a Jesuit, said some Jesuits were waiting for a letter prepared by the priests' forum, rather than the letter that was circulated more informally last weekend.

''I know that there are many of us who want to have our voices heard as well,'' he said.

This story ran on page A39 of the Boston Globe on 12/11/2002.
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