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Rome Reports

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Cardinal Bernard Law to be buried in Rome

Fifteen years after the scandal that forced his resignation from his position as archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law has died at a hospital in Rome. He was 86 years old and will be buried this week in the Eternal City. 

In January 2002, the Boston Globe revealed stories like that of Fr. John Geoghan, who had abused more than 130 children over a span of 30 years. 

The cardinal was accused of not taking enough measures to stop the abuse. He thought transferring the priest to another parish was enough. Geoghan was moved each time he was accused of abusing a minor, eventually passing through a total of six parishes. 

The publication of these stories forced Law to step down from his post in December 2003 and move to Rome. In 2004, John Paul II named him archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Mary the Major, a mostly formal role with little decision-making power. 

Nevertheless, Cardinal Law attended Curia meetings and participated in the conclave that elected Benedict XVI pope. 

After his death, Pope Francis expressed his condolences in this telegram to the dean of the College of Cardinals. 

The pope says he prays Law rests in peace and that “the Lord God, who is rich in mercy, may welcome him in His eternal peace.”