VOTF National Statement — Nothing Has Changed at Vatican as Cardinal Law Leaves Basilica Post

NEWTON, Mass., Nov. 21, 2011 – Nothing in the Vatican’s response to clergy sexual abuse has changed with the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law from his post as archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome, according to Voice of the Faithful, the worldwide Catholic Church reform movement.

At the epicenter of the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002, Law was forced to resign as archbishop in 2004 because of the outrage of many faithful Catholics and unprecedented appeal from diocesan priests. Having kept clergy sexual abuse secret and transferred perpetrators to unsuspecting parishes, and then having been appointed to a prestigious position in Rome, Law has become an international symbol of the Catholic Church’s mishandling of the scandal.

VOTF is pleased that Law has left his privileged position at one of Rome’s major basilicas and will no longer hold positions of authority at several Vatican congregations, or offices, including the office that helps the pope assign bishops, but is disheartened that he has held these positions for so long after his role in clergy sexual abuse became clear.

The Vatican announced Law’s successor as archpriest at St. Mary Major, according to news reports, without mentioning Law or his resignation. Without reading too much into the Vatican’s action, VOTF hopes its constant calls for the Vatican to hold bishops accountable for hiding clergy sexual abuse are being heard.

VOTF has said for nearly a decade and still firmly believes that Law and other bishops worldwide who have helped cover-up clergy sexual abuse and shuffled pedophiles from parish to unsuspecting parish, and who, therefore, have put countless children at risk of abuse, must be held accountable by the Church through removal from office or similar disciplinary action.

Voice of the Faithful
Voice of the Faithful is a worldwide movement of concerned mainstream Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and shape structural change within the Church. More information is at https://www.votf.org.

Nick Ingala, 781-559-3360, 617-291-3495 Cell