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JULY 30, 2003

Law to skip O'Malley's installation

By Eddy Ramirez, Globe Correspondent, 7/21/2003

Cardinal Bernard F. Law has declined an invitation to attend the July 30 installation Mass for Archbishop-designate Sean Patrick O'Malley, the Archdiocese of Boston said yesterday.

''Cardinal Law did not want to be the focus of attention on a day when the focus should be on the installation of the archbishop,'' the Rev. Christopher Coyne, an archdiocesan spokesman, said in a telephone interview yesterday. ''He was looking forward to being there but he is aware that some would be distracted by his presence.''

Law could not be reached for comment yesterday at the Maryland convent where he moved to shortly after resigning as archbishop last December.

Coyne said he received Law's response late Saturday. Some 2,500 people have been invited to the two-hour ceremony for O'Malley, including some of the victims of the sexual abuse scandal that led to Law's resignation.

Others invited include the archdiocese's 600 priests, 300 priests from the Fall River diocese where O'Malley served as bishop from 1992 until last year, and more than 800 lay people from the archdiocese's 426 parishes. Church officials have said O'Malley's installation is scheduled to be a half-hour shorter than Law's, and will be more modest.

This story ran on page A6 of the Boston Globe on 7/21/2003.
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