Proper Burial? The Death of Cardinal Law

I find it odd that so many people are shocked, shocked that the disgraced Cardinal Bernard  Law will have a proper burial in Rome with Pope Francis overseeing it. Why would we think it would be any different?

In a telegram to the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis wrote:
I have learned of the death of Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, Archpriest emeritus of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, and I wish to express my condolences to the College of Cardinals. I raise prayers for the repose of his soul, that the Lord, God who is rich in mercy, may welcome him in His eternal peace, and I send my apostolic blessing to those who share in mourning the passing of the cardinal, whom I entrust to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani.

This is exactly what one should expect. Regardless of the local Boston media outrage, Cardinal Law did exactly what he was supposed to do in regards to the cover up of clergy sexual abuse. He did exactly what every Bishop and Cardinal around the world have been ordered to do.

Let’s back up to Rev Gerald MC Fitzgerald who started notifying the Vatican of the epidemic of clergy sexual abuse in 1952. Yes, 1952. He finally met the Pope on August 26, 1963. Remember that date.

In his letters he wrote:
“Personally, I am not sanguine of the return of priests to active duty who have been addicted to abnormal practices, especially sins with the young. Where there is indication of incorrigibility, because of the tremendous scandal given, I would most earnestly recommend total laicisation. I say ‘total’ … because when these men are taken before civil authority, the non-Catholic world definitely blames the discipline of celibacy for the perversion of these men.”

He even once told the Vatican they should by a private island and ship all of the pedophile priests there. For a decade Fitzgerald rang the alarm of clergy sexual abuse directly in the ear of the Vatican. In 1962 they responded.

In 1962 the Vatican sent a secret document to every Bishop and Cardinal around the world called Crimine Solicitationies  which means “instruction on proceeding in cases of solicitation”. It has the seal of Pope John XXIII. The instructions in a nutshell were the blueprints of the modern day coverup of clergy sexual abuse.

The following year the Pope finally meets with Fitzgerald and convicts them he will take his assessment under advisement. Knowing the church will do the exact opposite. The plan is already in motion.

The same plan that Cardinal Law followed. Just like every other Bishop and Cardinal.  And it hasn’t changed. Move the priests and avoid the civil authorities. And it hasn’t changed.

In 2016 a new class of Bishops was told that they do not have to report the crimes of sexual abuse to the police.

Their training manual states:
“According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds.”

Just stay on course and you too may retire to a luxurious life in Rome and have your funeral mass said by the Pope. All will end well for you. Just like Cardinal Bernard Law.

As they lay Law to rest, I’m guessing they feel a bit of relief. The face of the scandal is gone. They hope to bury the scandal as well. A proper burial and then move on. Just as they always have.


About skipshea

Horror Filmmaker and Fan
This entry was posted in Cardinal Bernard Law, Catholic, clergy sexual abuse. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Proper Burial? The Death of Cardinal Law

  1. Rhonda Case says:

    Bravo! Excellent truth telling and concise review of the sad/criminal facts. The outraged and grieving mother, Mildred, in the film “3 Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri” gives the local priest some unorthodox teaching about complicity — I love the approving smile she receives from her teen son in that scene. I’m sending you a grateful smile today for preaching it, brother. Blessings.


    Peace Skip,

    Thank you.

    I appreciate your diligence.

    Your tenacity and perseverance in your investigative journalism remind me of I.F. Stone from those days when journalism at least pretended to be more than another form of entertainment.

    Your work in exposing the hypocrisy, mendacity and skullduggery of the Catholic Church with respect to its clergy’s too frequent miscreance casts sanitizing daylight upon an institution hell-bent for leather in abetting the depraved AND criminal predations of some of its clergy for centuries, such aid and comfort sanctioned AND upheld from the very “infallible” top of the organization, speaking “ex cathedra” AND otherwise.

    In my ledger, this institution is corrupt from its top down and bears little resemblance to the basic and simple principles Jesus Christ espoused.

    From the pope down and across through the entire scope of its hierarchy, the Catholic Church has done nothing to dissuade me of my cynicism, distrust of and skepticism toward it in the manner of its egregious mishandling of the criminal activities of some of its clergy.

    But my animus is beside the point.

    Each of us does what he will with the facts and you’ve done good work in exposing those sordid facts to daylight.

    This predatory ecosystem, perturbed as it is with these disclosures of its corruption and malfeasance, is unlikely to reform itself in any way meaningful to its constituents because the people rising to the top would not be so if they were any different than their predecessors.



  3. Ann Hagan Webb says:

    Skip, I didn’t know that someone was ringing the alarm so early. Even my abuse which started in 1957 could have been avoided. That bell ringer should be made a saint. I fear our next round of outrage, or maybe the outrage of our children if they wait a few decades, will be when they make him a saint. After all, he was such a good company man, and took one for the team, becoming the face of the abuse “scandal”. Thanks for this post. Namaste, Ann

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