Cardinal Law Admits He Knowingly Allowed Abusive Priests To Remain In Ministry

In seven hours of videotaped testimony released today in a Boston court, Cardinal Bernard Law admitted to allowing priests accused of sexual abuse, as well as those who had admitted to abuse, to remain in the ministry without informing parishioners. “I did not, as a matter of policy, in 1984, ’85, ’86, ’87, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99, 2000, 2001 go to parishes in the occasion of dealing with a priest against whom an allegation of sexual abuse of a child had been made, ” Law testified. “I see now that that should have been done, but we did not do that.”

The testimony was taped during a two-day deposition in June dealing with charges against Rev. Paul Shanley, who is awaiting trial on child rape charges for boys, ages 6-15, from 1979 to 1989. Law admitted that a complaint against Shanley had been sent to the archdiocese in 1966, but he did not look at Shanley’s personnel file before promoting him to pastor at St. Jean’s parish in Newton, Mass in 1985. Law also said that he appointed Rev. Daniel Graham as vicar, overseeing 19 parishes, after Graham admitted to sexually abusing a boy.

Abuse victims and others have called for Law to resign over his handling of the Catholic Church’s priest pedophile scandal, which began when church documents revealed he and five Boston bishops reassigned priests accused of sexual abuse without warning parishioners or contacting civil authorities about the allegations. Law has apologized repeatedly but has refused to quit.


Washington Post 8/14/02; New York Times 8/14/02; CNN.com 8/13/02

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