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?
I outraged that this man isn't in jail for the pain and suffering he's cuased which no money or time can possibly heal.
I think it's very sad. Nevertheless, I feel that that it is necessary to appease the scapegoat seekers. And enable the church take another step forward to help both the healing of those hurt and the dissolution of a doctrinaire regime.
Now that here is a smoking gun that might implicate the Vatican as being part of the cover-up, I don't think he should have resigned.
I am absolutely outraged that Law would even think of asking for forgiveness. He is not contrite in the least because he did not resign until the boys came forth to tell their stories. Perhaps if he felt remorse and came forward to confess before the scandal, but even then it does not make up for the years of looking the other way. What a colossal embarrassment!
email@example.com 12/13/2002 08:25 AM Cardinal Law isn't the problem. There is a fundamental dysfunction that exists in the Roman Catholic Church. That dysfunction starts in Rome. Perhaps it is time for the American Catholic Church to break away from Rome.
Dave, Atkinson N.H
law had no choice. but let's not forget, this has been going on since archbishop cushing's time and probably long before. it took all this time to be discovered. i wonder how much longer it would have continued if things didn't surface at this time. everyone who covered up in years past, as well as law has sinned. when i think of how many times i would shudder when going to confession for missing mass or cussing or lying. how many of these priests gave me absolution when they had this mess in their personal lives. as a catholic, this won't change my beliefs, but as far as i am concerned there is only one god that i have to answer to - not any priest. i will keep law in my prayers - he needs them.
KITTY, DEDHAM, MA
Let the healing on all sides begin. I do believe that he should be held legally accountable for his actions, or in this case, inaction. That aside, let me say that as a new Catholic, this did not help me in my growth within the church. It was exhausting to have to continue to defend my faith to others - like those here on the board. Anti-Catholics who don't understand the rich history of the faith. It's those few bad apples (priests) who ruin the batch. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to heal the church now. The Catholic faith is not based in buildings, but in its people. By and large, the majority of those believers are good people. To completely disrespect the faith itself is to slap those of us who are Catholic in the face. It is insulting and I, frankly, take that personally. If you don't like the faith, don't practice... find a religion (or not) more suited to your beliefs, but please do not insult those of us who hold on to what we believe. In this world that is quickly losing faith in so many things, I think it is admirable to have a belief in anything positive. The Catholic faith, for me, was a positive addition to my life. Sure, there are some things I don't necessarily agree with, including some of the things that the church has done in the past (ie: the Crusades, the Inquisition and the like), but there is a great deal about the faith that I do enjoy. In response to another post, I don't believe that the pope was informed about what was going on until the scandal broke. He is known for his love of children and to suggest that he would flippantly allow this to happen is just mean-spirited. As I understand it, cardinals rule their own roost and are supposed to handle their own issues. Law failed miserably as a spiritual leader and protector of the most innocent believers. Thank you for your time.
Now all we need is the Pope to resign, as he's been just as guilty in actively hiding these perverts deeds from the public over the last 30 years. Law deserved to go but don't let him become the scapegoat for the rest of the Catholic leadership.
Lazlo, Lazlo, MA
This is a sad day, to see that such a charitable, tolerant, and influential career ultimately has been eclipsed. I know there are those who feel vindictive and have focused on Law, but I don't think that people truly understand his legacy and how greatly he worked for the greater community, for civil rights and racial tolerance, for AIDS sufferers, for religious tolerance, and for ecumenism. I especially don't think people understand how ahead of his time he was, pushing for progress even when Vatican had not made statements or called for action on these issues. Law found him in the tight spot which many idealistic politicians find themselves in - not radical enough for those who wanted greater progress, and too radical for the powers that be, and unfortunately he has ended up, as many politicians are, condemned from both sides. I also think that those who wish for financial censure do not understand how this only hurts the everyday, faithful parishoners - yes, the same folks even who were first touched by these tragic event - who will find their parishes and closed and social services slashed. What other faith is so closely associated with outreach to the poor? With hospitals and schools and other services for those in need and for the benefit of the community? Finally, those who believe that an end to priestly celibacy or other changes to the demographic of the priesthood will solve everything are sorely mistaken. As represented by last Sunday's Globe Magazine article, as only one example, those offenders in this scandal had trouble coming to terms with sexuality long before they ever entered seminary - and no, I don't mean only homosexuals. The truth is, any person who enters the order should ONLY do so because they want to serve God solely, and are willing to give up their live, their family, their possessions, and yes, even the possibility of relationships with others, because they love God so dearly. Have you ever had the chance to know male or female religious who have exemplified these qualities? It is beautiful to see, and these are the people who are forgotten in this whole scandal. The problem at its root is with those who, like Christopher Shiavone, chose the religious life because of what they wanted (status, power, free room and board, an end to family questions about marital status - even a desire to "help others" is alone not enough of a good reason) and not for what God wanted from them. My prayers are with the families, the victims, the church, male and female religious, parishoners like myself, and yes, with Cardinal Law. May he be remembered for the good he brought to Boston.
He should get life in prison.