As he celebrates his 75th birthday in Romethis month,  some might see the disgraced Cardinal Law, formerly of Boston, as an exiled figure without much influence.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It now turns out that John Paul never wanted him to leave Boston in the first place.  Like most high-ranking Vatican officials he was convinced Law was hounded out of Boston by a posse of  greedy attorneys and sensationalist journalists who were anti-Catholic to boot.

        The first thing the JPII did when Law arrived in Rome was to appoint him to a sinecure, the archpriest and chief resident of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore an honorific position.  The current pope has kept Law as a member of no less than seven influential Vatican offices including, ironically, the congregation that deal with bishops, the clergy and Religious.  Law also continues to weild enormous influence over the policies and the personell of the American church.

All this seems a curious reward for a prelate who aided and abbetted his priests to sexually abuse little children.



  1. 1
    jim Says:

    Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica is the largest church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Isn’t it sickening that Law would be appointed to this church, aka the Pope’s church. Neil,you probably are aware of it, but St. Ignatius of Loyola celebrated his first mass here.Pope Benedict’s email address is Everyone should ask him why he sets a bad example for our children by maintaining the previous Pope’s poor choice. Remember Your Holiness, sometimes it’s « the appearance » that counts. The strength of my spirituality has not decreased by one iota because of these depraved priests.But I do feel ashamed of my church. Nuff said.

  2. 2
    SUZANNE Says:

    The pope’s email address is only allowed to work during certain occasions. You have to keep an eye out for the pope’s birthday, anniversary of ordination (on round numbers, e.g. 40th, 50th etc). That’s when they take emails.

    If JPII didn’t think Cardinal Law was guilty, that « promotion » makes more sense to me now.

    I thought the Pope was sometimes very naive about the way he managed the hierarchy. I think the Pope tried to be « too nice ».

  3. 3
    Barbara Says:

    The sad part of it was the he was « too nice » to the clergy and not to the victims of abuse. I guess the kindest spin you could put on it was that he was naive.

  4. 4
    SUZANNE Says:

    I understood that his reaction to the abuse case was outrage. I think his way of handling things was to leave everything to bishops. He tried to implement collegiality with ecumenicism in mind, because in order to reintegrate all the other churches, he has to de-centralize the church, and if he’s to de-centralize the church, he has to let the local churches handle their own affairs. Faithful Catholics would love for the pope to come down and clean the augean stables of the Church on a number of issues, but the pope has another agenda, and he doesn’t necessarily have bad intentions.

  5. 5
    Barbara Says:

    I certainly agree that the present Pope has expressed and acted upon his outrage at the shameful behaviour of some of his priests. I would hope he made that outrage clear to the bishops who bear some responsibility for having allowed the shamefulness to continue and even, in some cases, persecuting the victims.
    I was referring to the previous Pope who did not, in my view, demonstrate appropriate Christian compassion for the victims of sexual abuse (e.g. the former Legionaries whose founder the present Pope has sent into penitential silence) and blamed the media for the scandal in which the Church finds itself. I will assume he was terribly naive or ill-advised, for any alternative explanation would find him culpable.

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