Bernard Law, former archbishop of Boston, dies in Rome at 86


Law, 86, died Wednesday, 15 years after he resigned as Boston's archbishop amid allegations that he covered up for pedophile priests like the one accused of abusing MacPherson.

An announcement by the Vatican said Law died in Rome following a lengthy illness. We highly doubt there is a single victim of abuse who will ever receive the same attention, pomp and circumstance by Pope Francis.

Amid a groundswell against the cardinal, including rare public rebukes from some of his own priests, Law asked to resign and the pope said yes.

Moreover 48 of those priests were said to have abused children while Law was leader of the Boston archdiocese. From 1984 until he resigned under pressure 18 years later, he was a spiritual leader in Boston, the nation's fourth-largest archdiocese, with 1.8 million Catholics.

Like those of all cardinals who die in Rome, Law's funeral is likely to be held in St Peter's Basilica. "I deeply regret that reality and its consequences", O'Malley said.

He was named bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in Missouri, then archbishop of Boston, one of the most prominent and important posts in the U.S. He gained a group of devoted followers in his archdiocese, who continued to support him even after his reputation was tarnished by the scandal.

After standing down, Law withdrew to Rome, where in 2005 he officiated at the Requiem Mass for the late pope, now Saint, John Paul II. Law was 86 years old and, as Reuters has pointed out, has died in a hospital in Rome because of complications of a hard diabetes that suffered.

Mitchell Garabedian says Law was "an enabler of clergy sexual abuse".

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The Cardinal, born in 1931 in Torreón (Mexico) and ordained a priest in 1961, remained under umbrella of church in Vatican and never testified in American courts despite huge scandals he had starring.

— February 2003: Law moves into a convent in Clinton, Maryland, owned by the Sisters of Mercy of Alma, a conservative order of nuns based in MI.

An investigation by the Boston Globe Spotlight team (portrayed in the 2015 award-winning film Spotlight) led to the conviction and imprisonment of two former priests, John Geoghan and Paul Shanley.

O'Malley said he visited and prayed with Law while in Rome last week, and it was evident that he was dying. "I am particularly cognizant of all who experienced the trauma of sexual abuse by clergy, whose lives were so seriously impacted by those crimes, and their families and loved ones", said the cardinal, who heads the pope's commission for the protection of minors. He was reviled by many Catholics for shielding priests he knew had engaged in sexual abuse.

Many victims were reminded of the pain of being sexually abused upon learning of Mr. Bernard's death.

Garabedian said Law "turned his back on innocent children and allowed them to be sexually abused". "That is because victims usually don't come forward until many years after the abuse has occurred and by that point it is no longer possible to criminally charge the priests".

On December 6, 2002, Law was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, which was investigating possible criminal violations on behalf of Law and other diocesan officials in the abuse scandal.

"One of the sad consequences of these instances of abuse, a effect which pales in comparison to the harm done to these most innocent of victims, is that they have placed under a cloud of suspicion the faithful priests who serve the mission of the Church with integrity".