Cardinal Bernard Law Dies at Age 86

There has been perhaps no one figure that epitomized the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal the last 15 years, than Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Archbishop of Boston.  Law resigned in 2002 after it was revealed he had extensive knowledge of abuse.  He  remained in the inner circle at the Vatican until 2011.    He is of course de-cried by victims and now the plans for his funeral have outraged his accusers (See the CNN post below).    Pope Francis will preside at Cardinal Law's funeral as reported below by the Catholic News Agency.

"Chop him up" Accusers Seethe Over Vaticans's Funeral Plans
By Jason Hanna and Emanuella Grinberg

Alexa MacPherson says very little about Cardinal Bernard Law's death gives her peace of mind -- including the Catholic Church's plans for a full cardinal's funeral at St. Peter's Basilica.
The Boston-area native says she is a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest. 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.
"With his passing, I say I hope the gates of hell are open wide to welcome him," MacPherson said Wednesday.
Survivors including MacPherson are outraged over the Catholic Church's plans for a full cardinal's funeral for Law in Vatican City on Thursday, saying he deserves no such dignity. <more>
    Pope Francis and Bishops Respond To Law's Death as Funeral Plans Are Finalized
    Hannah Brockhaus

    The Vatican announced Wednesday that the funeral Mass of Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston who died Dec. 20, will be held Thursday.
    As is customary for cardinals who most recently resided in Rome, the Mass will be held at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, and will be presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, alongside other cardinals and bishops.
    After the Eucharistic celebration, Pope Francis will preside over the rite of Last Commendation and the Valediction, as is usual. Law will be buried in a tomb at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major, which is customary for the priests who have served there. <more>


    1. An update to the story on the Pope Francis participation at Cardinal Law's Funeral. When I first read the AP Headline, "Pope prays for a merciful final judgement for Cardinal Law", I was thinking, "Appropriate". Then there were two parts of this that I am sure angered Law's accusers even more:

      "....freed from death, reconciled to the Father, carried into the arms of the Good Shepherd, he man deserve to enter fully into everlasting happiness...."

      "Sodano eulogized Law without make any mention of the scandal .... Revising history, Sodano said Law had been 'called to Rome' to serve"

    2. I was in Boston when Bernie came to town. At the risk of sounding prescient I said at the time ('84, you remember 1984!), "nothing good will come of his tenure here". I certainly did not predict the abuse scandal and it's coverup. I was merely thinking of Law's rather arch- views on the role of the church, rolling back Vatican II, etc.

      When the scandal did break, thanks to Spotlight, ... my solution to the national scandal, was to go thru Bernie's black book, and de-throne the hundred plus diocesan seats he'd been the prime mover on filling.

      The worst thing he did wasn't to hide the scandal in Boston, it was to perpetrate it throughout the land.

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