Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former archbishop of Boston whose years of shielding sexually abusive priests caused a generation of pain, has died at the age of 86, the Vatican said.
Law served as archbishop of Boston from 1984 until his resignation on Dec. 13, 2002, after church documents revealed he was deeply involved in the shielding and moving of priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children — stunning Catholics and community leaders who had known him as a relatively progressive archbishop deeply concerned about racial issues, youth issues and outreach to Cuba, while also a doctrinal church loyalist.What, you might ask yourself, was so important a problem that it convinced him to shuffle priests like Father Stanley from parish to parish? It was the shortage of priests.
And so to keep one more (or a few more) parishes open and covered by a priest, (then) Archbishop Law turned a blind eye to the predators attacking our children. Short term gain, right there.
The long term loss, of course, if the massive loss of trust (dare we say loss of faith) in the Church? I don't believe that the Catholic Church in general and the Archdiocese of Boston in particular have regained that trust. It didn't help by having the Vatican give asylum to Cardinal Law for these 15 years.
What a monumental, tragic miscalculation. While I hesitate to speak ill of the dead, this is indeed his epitaph.