Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Boston archbishop who resigned in disgrace during the church’s child sex abuse scandal, has died in Rome, where he served as arch-priest of the Papal Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major after he was forced to resign as archbishop of Boston in 2002
Revealed by the Boston Globe’s investigative reporting team it was uncovered that Law and other bishops before him had covered for pedophile priests in the Boston Archdiocese.
n a news conference, Law apologized to victims of abuse by a priest, John Geoghan, who had been moved from parish to parish, despite Law’s knowledge of his abuse of young boys. Law continually insisted Geoghan’s abuse was in the past even after over 30 former victims came forward.
Geoghan was eventually convicted of indecent assault and battery on a 10-year-old boy
Law never faced criminal sanctions for his role in allowing abusive priests to remain in church parishes. The scandal reverberated through the church, exposing similar allegations worldwide that compromised its moral authority and led to years of multi-million-dollar settlements. After his resignation his second career at the Vatican was a slap in the face to victims of church sex abuse, one that further undermined the church’s legitimacy.
The Vatican issued a press release early Wednesday confirming the death of Cardinal Bernard Law, with one line reading “Cardinal Bernard Law died early this morning after a long illness.”