VATICAN CITY – Leaders of an advocacy group for victims of clergy sexual abuse said Saturday they were flying to Rome to protest the Vatican’s choice of Cardinal Bernard Law to celebrate a Mass mourning Pope John Paul II.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Law’s presence was painful to victims and embarrassing to Catholics. Law resigned as archbishop of Boston in December 2002 after unsealed court records revealed he had allowed priests guilty of abusing children to move among parish assignments and had not notified the public.
On Monday, he will lead one of the nine daily Masses for the pope at Rome’s St. Mary Major Basilica, the church where John Paul appointed him archpriest. Survivors Network representatives plan to be there to distribute fliers on how Law mishandled abuse cases.
“We certainly do not want to cause any additional pain or suffering to anyone attending the memorial service for the Holy Father,” Barbara Blaine, the group’s founder, said in a phone interview from the United States. “Our concern is that many Catholics going there don’t know the history with Cardinal Law and that’s why we want to inform them.”
Law has apologized for his wrongdoing.