Amid increasing reports of pedophilia among Boston-area priests and the revelation that high-ranking officials in the Catholic church had long-standing knowledge of such abuse, Catholic parishioners are calling for Boston’s highest ranking Catholic official, Cardinal Bernard Law, to resign.
At a news conference last week, Cardinal Law, a staunch opponent of abortion and women’s rights, apologized for “mistakes in judgment” and admitted the Church’s policy regarding sexual abuse was flawed.
In a letter addressed to the archdiocese this Sunday, Law was forced to respond to parishioners’ concerns that he intentionally covered up evidence of allegations and put the well-being of the priests above that of the children. Law has announced a new “zero-tolerance” policy for sexual misconduct by priests and said the archdiocese would now inform law enforcement about complaints of sexual abuses by priests, including past allegations. Clergy are presently exempt from the Massachusetts law that requires police to be notified regarding allegations of child sexual abuse.
Admitting that some have called for his resignation, Law refused for the second time in a week to do so. “I do not believe that submitting my resignation to the Holy Father is the answer to the terrible scourge of sexual abuse of children by priests,” said Law.