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MESSAGE BOARD

Cardinal Bernard Law resigns

Facing mounting outrage from Boston-area Catholics and clergy over the priest sexual abuse crisis, Cardinal Bernard Law announced today that he would resign as head of the Boston Archdiocese after 18 years in the post. Share your thoughts on the cardinal's resignation and his career in Boston. How will he be remembered? What effect will his departure have? And what comes next for the archdiocese?

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It is about time that he took responsibility for his actions. If Law were the head of a corporation, the press would have been calling for the Board of Directors to take his scalp a long time ago.

richard, stamford, ct


I wish the media would stop referring to this as "a sex abuse scandal". That might be an accurate description if the circumstances consisted of priests ignoring the vow of celibacy by engaging in consensual sex with adults. Let's be clear about it. We're talking about child molestation and rape. I wonder if the media would have been any less accurate if another group of adults (e.g., schoolteachers) were involved.

Gerry, Medfield


Finally, he acknowledges his mistakes. However, he is a coward, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the LAW, as in his name. It looks to me like Jay Leno was right, The 10 Commandments turned into a "To Do" List. This has become a momumental problem, with more priests involved everyday. When is the list going to stop? From the beginning of time, the Church has had problems, and it was kept a secret. Deception is what has turned me away from the Catholic religion. I travel a much different Path these days, The Old Ways of pre-Christian Europe, known in Italy as "LaVecchia" Streghia. "Harm to None, do as ye will" Key words, Harm none. All we can hope for is for healing for all victims, as we all have become victims, we have all been violated indirectly, as well as directly.

Lorraine, Watertown MA


Law's horrid deed is clear: he reassigned child molesters to new parishes without letting the parishoners know about the priest's past, but instead only sending glowing praise. Law's concern was not with church people. His concern was to avoid scandal, inconvenience, and tarnishing the image of his diocese.

Joseph Czapski, Arlington


We all know that Cardinal Law resigned only after he secured a comfy retirement package from the Vatican. That's a shame. That is the Holy See equivalent of a golden parachute for a bad CEO. It was extraordinary how he was able to argue that he needed to remain in-charge in order to clean-up what he helped cause. Obviously, he was just playing for time so that he could retire in Italy. I was never a fan of this Cardinal. He was always too involved in politics, he had zero compassion, and was shamelessly pro-Republican (perhaps he was a sign that Massachusetts was turning away from its Liberal tradition, as it is now). Let's not use this event to criticize Catholicism in general (although many of us here are critics of the Church's teachings). This is a criminal scandal, and we should fight on to see that those responsible are brought to justice.

Brendan, Brooklyn, NY


His resignation means nothing!! What about the Pope? What about all the other people who knew and stood by and did or said NOTHING!!! When will they all resign? I think its sick that these people can be acessories to crimes and walk away free!!! Resigning doesnt absolve what you did!! You still need to face the music like everyone else who is guilty of a crime. You and all the other croonies!!! I could care less that you were the Cardinal!!! I just have one question, at what point did to STOP caring about the welfare of your parishners??? Was it after the first case of abuse or the 100th?

rwood, boston


The resignation of Law and the cleaning up of the mess brought on by the myriad of dysfunctionl priests, is but the first of many, many steps that need to be taken...not only at the local level but at the level of the papacy itself. Deep changes are needed on all fronts if the Catholic Church hopes to continue. It's time for the Church to come out of the Middle Ages and into the 21st century. Ordain women, give your followers more credibilty and responsibility and acknowledge the rightful place in society of both birth control and divorce. Has anyone given any thought to the fact that this incredibly deep scandal within the Church may be retribution for the Church's leadership role in the torture and burning at the stake of thousands upon thousands of innocent women during the witch trials of the Middle Ages?

Nancy, Jamaica Plain


fieldwrap@boston.com 12/13/2002 08:05 AM Rarely before have we seen such a dramatic illustration of this statement. This whole crisis was not about sex but about power, both in the case of the priest-abusers and the treatment by the hierarchy. As of now, the hierarchy of the Church is on notice that we, the people of the church, will tolerate no more leaders like Bernard Law. Let them know that the power that they hold derives from our faith in God. May God have mercy on Cardinal Law and may he find, once again, the call to serve rather than be served. We continue to pray that his brother bishops who have participated in this abuse of power may join him in submitting their resignations and help the Church put an end to this tragedy.

Patrick, Gloucester


It's about time!

Martha, Brockton


Although we all know it is the right thing for him to do, it is still a very sad day when a Cardinal has to resign because we hold them to such a high standard and to realize that they betrayed us in order to protect the church is very disheartening. So yes he needed to resign but it is the reason he had to that makes it so hard.

Mo, Stoughton


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