Cardinal Bernard Law dies at 86
The Vatican confirmed that Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Boston archbishop who resigned in disgrace during the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal, has died. He was 86.
Law died in Rome, where he had served as archpriest of the Papal Liberian Basilica of St. Mary Major after he was forced to resign in 2002 as the archbishop of Boston.
Law’s name became known when it was revealed he and other bishops before him had covered for pedophile priests in the Boston Archdiocese.
Law at the time apologized during a news conference 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 insisted Geoghan’s abuse was in the past. 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 multimillion-dollar settlements.
The Vatican early Wednesday issued a one-line news release, reading, "Cardinal Bernard Law died early this morning after a long illness." He died from complications from diabetes.