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Deposition of Cardinal Bernard Law
May 8, 2002, Suffolk County Superior Court

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VIDEO OPERATOR: We're again on the record. The time is 1:04 p.m.

MR. GORDON: I have two documents I'd like to have marked as Exhibits, I think 230 and 231. They're both videotape stipulations, and could you just mark them as exhibits? Then I'll describe them on the record. (Documents marked as Exhibit 230, 231 for identification.)

MR. GORDON: Just so the record is clear, as Exhibit 230, there is a videotape stipulation by George Libbares of National Video Reporters stating that he's read Paragraph 3(b) of Procedural Order IV. This is one of Judge McHugh's earlier order that covered explicitly videotapes, and he says in this stipulation that he's read 3(b), a copy of which is attached to the stipulation, and agrees to the terms of 3(b) of said order, namely that the taped video results from the deposition shall be delivered to the officer before whom the deposition is and retained by him or her until further order of the court. No copies of the tape shall be made nor shall any person, except counsel of record or a party, be permitted to view the tape without further order of the court. Before the deposition begins, a copy of this order shall be delivered to all persons involved in creating the videotape recording and they shall agree to its terms in writing that Plaintiffs' counsel shall retain until the conclusion of this litigation. So I have a videotape stipulation of Mr. George Libbares executed by him and one by Wayne Martin that says the same thing.

MR. ROGERS: You read that very quickly, but I understood we would be able to order a copy of that tape. Is that correct?

MR. GORDON: I don't have a written order of Judge Sweeney, so I wanted to make sure we had at least something in place. If all the parties want a copy, we'll agree to that.

MR. ROGERS: I would like us to have a copy. I thought the understanding when I said to Judge Sweeney the other I day is that I didn't object, provided it could not be released, and by that I mean outside of the folk that are in this room without further order, and she said yes, that would be expressly so.

MR. GARABEDIAN: We can ask her to clarify that, but we wouldn't object to that.

MR. GORDON: We can tell these gentlemen what the understanding is, that we're going to ask the judge that you can give to counsel, but no one else.

MR. ROGERS: And we would ask --

MR. GORDON: Is that your understanding?

MR. ROGERS: -- that the Court then other, incident to that, that we cannot release it to anyone else without approval.

MR. GARABEDIAN: That counsel cannot.

MR. ROGERS, III: Everybody agreed?

MR. MURPHY: Agreed.

MR. GORDON: So let me put 230 and 231 on the exhibit stack.

BY MR. GORDON:

Q. Now, Cardinal Law, we were briefly looking at, before, Exhibit 229, and it's signed by Father Oates. Where is Father Oates now? (Document exhibited to witness.)

A. Father Oates is with the St. James Society, which is a missionary society of priests established by Cardinal Cushing some years ago, and priests are in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. If I'm not mistaken, he's in Bolivia, but I'm not absolutely certain that's where his station is now. But he's working with the St. James Society, still a priest of this Archdiocese, but doing missionary work.

Q. And you still, as his ordinary, have jurisdiction over him a priest?

A. That's correct.

Q. Does he come to Boston every so often?

A. He does, yes.

Q. Okay. Do you know if he's going to be in Boston in the next two or three months?

A. No, I don't know his schedule.

Q. Do you have the authority to request him to come to Boston as Archbishop?

A. Yes, I would.

Q. Okay. And Father Oates served for a while as personnel director for the Archdiocese, didn't he?

A. He did.

Q. For some years while you were Archbishop?

A. That's correct.

Q. And do you know if he was an assistant in that office prior to your coming to Boston?

A. I'm not certain of that. My impression is he was.

Q. Okay. And the personnel office was the office that had the responsibility of recommending to you where to send priests to serve as parochial vicars, assistant priests?

A. That's correct, as well as making recommendations, handling all the matters that related to transfer of pastors, as well to be sure that they would follow the process.

Q. And as is indicated in Exhibit 229, Father Oates would have been some what involved in the process of assigning Father Geoghan to his various assignments over the years?

A. Well, he would have -- this letter would indicate a record keeping function that -- Excuse me. I was thinking of an earlier letter from Father Geoghan acknowledging receipt of the assignment. But this also would be a record keeping function.

Q. But he, as was shown also in this letter to Dr. Mullins, Father Oates was involved in gaining at least some medical statement that Father Geoghan was safe to be sent back?

A. That's correct.

Q. So he was involved in the process of determining that Father Geoghan could be put back in a parish assignment?

A. I would -- yes, he was involved in that process.

Q. Okay.

A. He was involved in that process. But I would say the critical involvement would have been not in his court, but would have been in the court at this point of Bishop Banks.

Q. In Green Bay, Wisconsin?

A. Presently, yes.

Q. Now he's in Green Bay?

A. But then as Moderator of the Curia and vicar general?

Q. Have you spoken to Father Oates about Father Geoghan at any time, do you know?

A. My presumption is I would have had conversations with him in this time frame, but I've not spoken to him since.

Q. Do you remember any conversations you had?

A. No, no.

Q. Let me finish the question so it's clear on the record.

A. That's okay. I've been corrected on that, that I should let you finish the question.

Q. It's not a normal -- I say this to many deponents. It's not a normal conversational exercise we go through. You are sitting in a room, you pretty much know what I'm going to ask, but other people reading this won't know.

A. Yes.

Q. And so that it's clear, I need to finish the question. Do you remember any conversations you had with Father Oates concerning Father Geoghan?

A. I remember no specific conversations.

Q. Do you remember any conversations in general had you had with Father Oates?

A. I remember no conversations in general.

Q. Do you have any impression of what Father Oates thought of Father Geoghan?

MR. ROGERS: Objection to the form.

A. I do not.

Q. Have you ever known somebody by the name of Bill Levada, L-E-V-A-D-A, William Levada?

A. Archbishop Levada?

Q. Maybe. Somebody who was involved with the National Conference of Bishops?

A. Yes, I know Archbishop Levada.

Q. Who is Archbishop Levada?

A. He is the Archbishop of San Francisco.

Q. Did you at one time ask him to convey a message to Father Doyle about Father Doyle working with your committee?

A. I don't recall that.

Q. Okay.

MR. GORDON: Could we have this marked as an exhibit, please? (Document marked as Exhibit 232 for identification.)

Q. Cardinal Law, I'm going to give you a page from the November 2, 2001 Boston Globe which appears to be an article concerning you. It's been marked as Exhibit 232. Have you seen this article before? (Document exhibited to witness.)

A. Yes, I have -- you know, I saw this before. I don't usually read these kinds of articles, but I have seen this.

Q. Is it an accurate quote that is two-thirds of the way down or a little -- close to two-thirds of the way down where it has in quotation -- well, before that, do you see a paragraph that says, "Reflecting on the most difficult issue of his tenure in Boston"?

A. Yes.

Q. "Law said he is pained over the harm caused to Catholic youngsters and their families by clergy sexual misconduct, but he always tried to prevent such abuse." That's something you said to the reporter?

A. I would have no doubt that I said that.

Q. Okay. And it's your understanding that -- well, then there's a quote after that?

A. Again, I would have no reason to doubt Michael Paulson's quote. I don't remember the words I used, so I can't attest to the fact that these were my words. But I'm not, by saying that, questioning the accuracy of the quote.

Q. Well, let me ask you now, is it your understanding that sexual molestation of a child by a priest is a terrible act?

A. Absolutely.

Q. Okay. And you believe that the consequence is a terrible consequence?

A. Absolutely.

Q. And that these people who have suffered this have suffered a great deal of pain and anguish?

A. Absolutely.

Q. And that it's a source of profound pain for you and for the whole church?

A. Absolutely. And all of society.

Q. Okay. Now, you've been aware that the lawsuits regarding Father Geoghan have been going on for several years now; is that correct?

A. I have been.

MR. GORDON: Okay. I'm going to ask that this be marked as an exhibit, and that this be marked as an exhibit. (Documents marked as Exhibit 233, 234 for identification.) (Document exhibited to witness.)

THE WITNESS: Are these the same?

MR. GORDON: They're slightly different. Could I see them for just a second? (Document exhibited to counsel.)

Q. Your Eminence, what has been marked as 233 is a cover letter from Mitchell Garabedian to Wilson Rogers, Jr. and Wilson Rogers, III, your attorneys in this matter, following the psychiatric evaluation of Stephen Pezzone, that's 233. (Document exhibited to witness.)

Q. And 234 is a letter, again to Wilson Rogers, Jr. and Wilson Rogers, III, September 26, 2001, same date as the other letter which was sent by Attorney Mitchell Garabedian and was marked today as Exhibit 234. (Document exhibited to witness.)

A. That's okay. Just flip it.

MR. ROGERS, III: Do you have copies of the other one?

MR. ROGERS: Patrick McSorley.

MR. ROGERS, III: Patrick McSorley is 234.

THE WITNESS: Yes.

MR. ROGERS, III: And Pezzone is 233.

MR. GORDON: Yes.

MR. ROGERS, III: Bill, do you want to mark these as exhibits because they'll become part of the record, these are your clients' psyche evaluations.

MR. GORDON: I understand.

MR. ROGERS, III: Okay. I just raise the question.

MR. GORDON: I understand. BY MR. GORDON:

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