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Former Boston archbishop to lead a Mass of mourning for pope
Boston Herald ^ | Thursday, April 7, 2005 - Updated: 01:45 PM EST | By Associated Press

Posted on 04/07/2005 4:09:47 PM PDT by StoneColdGOP

VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in disgrace as archbishop of Boston over his role in the clergy sex abuse crisis, has been given a role of honor in the mourning for Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican announced Thursday he will lead one of the daily Masses celebrated in the pope's memory during the nine-day period that follows the funeral, called Novemdiales. The service will be held Monday at St. Mary Major Basilica, where Law was appointed archpriest after leaving Boston.

Some Catholics in his former archdiocese immediately protested.

Suzanne Morse, spokeswoman for Voice of the Faithful, a Newton, Mass.-based reform group that emerged from the abuse scandal, said Law's visibility since the pope's death has been ``extremely painful'' both for abuse survivors and rank-and-file Catholics.

``It certainly shows and puts a spotlight on the lack of accountability in the Catholic Church, that the most visible bishop in the clergy sexual abuse crisis has been given these honorary opportunities,'' she said.

John King, 40, of Metheun, Mass., was a victim of the Rev. Ronald H. Paquin, a convicted rapist who was defrocked by the Vatican.

``It's a sad state of affairs,'' he said. ``They're just trying to make this go away, but I don't see how there's going to be any change now.''

David Clohessy, national director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called it ``terribly insensitive.''

``It rubs salt into the already deep wounds of victims and it allows the best-documented complicit bishop to exploit the pope's death for his own selfish purposes,'' Clohessy said.

Law did not respond to a phone message left at the basilica.

He stepped down as archbishop 11 months after a judge unsealed court records in January 2002 that showed he had allowed priests with confirmed histories of molesting children to continue working in parishes.

Among the records were letters Law had written to some of the predators expressing support and thanks for their service to the church.

Many Boston Catholics already were upset about the pope's decision to appoint him to the basilica. The post is ceremonial but highly visible; the church is one of four basilicas under direct Vatican jurisdiction.

``I don't know what right he has saying a Mass of any kind, never mind for the pope,'' said Alexa McPherson, 30, who settled a lawsuit against the archdiocese alleging she was molested by the Rev. Peter Kanchong at St. Margaret's church in Dorchester. ``He shouldn't even be there. He should be in Boston behind bars.''

Chester Gillis, an expert in Catholicism at Georgetown University, said celebrating a Mass during the mourning period is not only an honor, but a position of influence.

In their homilies, cardinals usually indicate what they think are the key issues for the church ahead. Observers scour the speeches for clues to how a cardinal will vote.

``This is an ability to express oneself to one's colleagues all at one time,'' Gillis said.

Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney who has represented more than 200 people who sued the church over alleged sexual abuse by priests, said Law's resurfacing has brought a new round of pain to victims.

``It clearly is an insult and a slap in the face,'' he said. ``Apparently the Vatican has taken the position that the clergy sexual abuse scandal must be swept under the rug.''

Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick said he did not know why Law was chosen, but said it was likely because the basilica is one of the great churches of Rome.

``It would be a natural selection,'' McCarrick said. ``The choice was certainly not made for any reason except to honor St. Mary Major.''

Asked if it was a Vatican signal that Law should be forgiven, McCarrick said, ``I think we feel we are all Easter people ... We look at the light rather than the darkness.''

The fourth-largest U.S. diocese has been shaken not only by Law's resignation after 18 years, but also by settlements of more than $85 million with more than 550 victims.

Law's successor, Archbishop Sean O'Malley, has also had to oversee a series of painful parish closures as the archdiocese adjusts to a shortage of priests and drop in collections.

O'Malley, in Rome for the pope's funeral, declined to comment on Law.

``We're here to talk about the pope,'' he said. In Boston, Ronald Lacey, 35, was among those who said Law's resignation as archbishop was irrelevant to his role in memorializing the pope.

``I think it was right for him to leave the Archdiocese of Boston,'' said Lacey, who was attending midday Mass at a downtown chapel. ``But if he grieves the death of the Holy Father, I think that's right, too.''


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bernardlaw; cardinal; johnpaul2; mccarrick; pedophiles; pope; sexabuse
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This is such bullsh**t.

Law ought to be in prison, not given an honored position in the Pope's funeral. Did no one have a sense of shame in having Law do this?

I sure hope the Pope himself didn't designate Law for this. Michael Jackson may as well be a cardinal...

1 posted on 04/07/2005 4:09:48 PM PDT by StoneColdGOP
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To: StoneColdGOP

One other fine citizen of the worlds will be attending as well. Robert Mugabe is ignoring the European travel ban to attend the funeral


2 posted on 04/07/2005 4:13:32 PM PDT by cripplecreek (I'm apathetic but really don't care.)
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To: StoneColdGOP

I agree. I also continue to deplore the mendacity of the Archdiocese of Boston, which told its members (I was one) that Law was residing in a convent in Maryland (presumably doing penance); he was actually jetting back and forth to Rome and living large. Disgusting.


3 posted on 04/07/2005 4:13:59 PM PDT by Boston Tea Party
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To: StoneColdGOP

I agree. This is an outrage.


4 posted on 04/07/2005 4:19:01 PM PDT by trisham (unnngh!)
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To: StoneColdGOP

Reminds me of that old saying, "the gates of hell swing on Vatican hinges". What a shame.


5 posted on 04/07/2005 4:19:34 PM PDT by Sabatier
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To: StoneColdGOP

Not even going to comment, otherwise I may be labeled as an "anti-Catholic bigot". But, I hope my silence speaks my words for me.


6 posted on 04/07/2005 4:20:27 PM PDT by richmwill
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To: StoneColdGOP

Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick said he did not know why Law was chosen, but said it was likely because the basilica is one of the great churches of Rome.

``It would be a natural selection,'' McCarrick said. ``The choice was certainly not made for any reason except to honor St. Mary Major.''


How is this a natural selection? How does it honor St. Mary Major? I don't get this reasoning. I'm NOT bashing, just inquiring.


7 posted on 04/07/2005 4:20:56 PM PDT by kalee
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To: StoneColdGOP

This is an absolute outrage and a major slap in the face to those that suffered through the abuse scandal here in Boston, one of the victims died "mysteriously" after the scandal - we believe suicide is the mystery. I doubt JP2 left word for criminal law to preside over the Mass. Someone in Rome still doesn't get it and law should be ashamed of himself.


8 posted on 04/07/2005 4:25:51 PM PDT by rockabyebaby (If you're not part of the solution, YOU ARE the problem.)
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To: Boston Tea Party
living large

You must be a Howie fan!

9 posted on 04/07/2005 4:27:03 PM PDT by rockabyebaby (If you're not part of the solution, YOU ARE the problem.)
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To: StoneColdGOP

If there's one thing the Pope tried to teach it was forgiveness. Humans have failings, but God never holds a grudge. I pray that Cardinal Law has repented for his sins.


10 posted on 04/07/2005 4:27:35 PM PDT by jbarkley
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To: jbarkley

Law never repented, he never admitted he did anything wrong.


11 posted on 04/07/2005 4:29:56 PM PDT by rockabyebaby (If you're not part of the solution, YOU ARE the problem.)
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To: kalee

Well, because Law is basically the head priest of the church now. So if you want to hold a mass for the pope in that church you probably need to have Law do it. Of course, God knows why they allowed him into that high position in the first place.


12 posted on 04/07/2005 4:30:13 PM PDT by marsh_of_mists
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To: richmwill
Not even going to comment, otherwise I may be labeled as an "anti-Catholic bigot". But, I hope my silence speaks my words for me

**************

As a Catholic, I appreciate your discretion. However, one doesn't have to be anything but a human being to understand that this is a dreadful mistake. I am completely perplexed by the support shown to Cardinal Law by the Church.

13 posted on 04/07/2005 4:30:29 PM PDT by trisham
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To: richmwill

I don't think you would be labeled at all. I don't think you should be. The entire situation with Cardinal Law is beyond perplexing to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.


14 posted on 04/07/2005 4:34:25 PM PDT by Bahbah (Something wicked this way comes)
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To: kalee
How is this a natural selection? How does it honor St. Mary Major?

St. Mary Major is a major church in Rome. That's where they stuck Law, right under the eye of the Vatican.

But since they're having a Mass there, Law would be the natural choice to preside, since it's his new turf.

It's really not the symbol that the professional victims make it out to be. Life goes on, and Law is still a Cardinal. He was actually a good Cardinal in many ways but his negligence regarding the abuse was a terrible failure, to say the least. IMO too many people spend their time consumed with hatred for him when Jesus said we should love even our enemies, never mind a fellow sinner.

15 posted on 04/07/2005 4:34:45 PM PDT by JohnnyZ (“When you’re hungry, you eat; when you’re a frog, you leap; if you’re scared, get a dog.”)
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To: trisham

Hear, Hear! A fair and reasoned statement.


16 posted on 04/07/2005 4:41:30 PM PDT by aBootes
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To: richmwill

Not Catholic either, but it seems many of them here are just as perplexed by this decision. Seems very wrong to me.


17 posted on 04/07/2005 4:48:46 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: StoneColdGOP

Law should be in prison with Jackson.


18 posted on 04/07/2005 4:51:07 PM PDT by Certified Horticulturist
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To: StoneColdGOP

Like many of the perverse stories of the medieval Popes with bizarre, sinful fetish behavior, this kind of crap will be what's written about the current state of the Vatican and read 500 years from now.


19 posted on 04/07/2005 4:52:35 PM PDT by Blzbba ("Under every stone lurks a politician. " Aristophanes, 410 BC)
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To: Boston Tea Party
"...Law was residing in a convent in Maryland (presumably doing penance); he was actually jetting back and forth to Rome..."
If one has to jet back and forth all the time with the only breaks allowed to take an occasional shower at the airport, then it would indeed be doing penance, for sleeping on the airplane is uncomfortable, as is subsisting on bread of penitence and water of sorrow routinely served on the transatlantic flights. It would count as mortification of the flesh, especially with restricted blood flow to the legs in cramped aircraft seats. I wouldn't be able to withstand more than a week of such regimen.
20 posted on 04/07/2005 4:53:54 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: anniegetyourgun

I'm Catholic and I'm perplexed.


21 posted on 04/07/2005 4:55:43 PM PDT by ex-snook (Exporting jobs and the money to buy America is lose-lose..)
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To: StoneColdGOP

"Law ought to be in prison, not given an honored position in the Pope's funeral. Did no one have a sense of shame in having Law do this?"

I agree.

I have been humbled and moved by the coverage and I am not a Catholic basher, as there are on FR. I'm married to a Catholic and my children were both baptized in the Catholic church. I don't have anything but the greatest respect for Jean Paul II. Especially since I had the good fortune to see him in person.

But allowing a person who covered up for pedophilia to be given an honored position at a Pope, who did so much and is loved by so many, is outrageous.

Child sexual abuse leaves lasting scars, and I know what I am talking about.

Anyway, as you said, SCG, it's shameful.


22 posted on 04/07/2005 4:57:31 PM PDT by proud American in Canada
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To: All

pardon me. I meant, an honored position at THE FUNERAL OF a Pope, not an honored position at a Pope. I'm sorry, everyone! I should have previewed.

I'm not even going to go where the obvious logicial conclusion of my stupid typo goes. It is far too distasteful and I love John Paul II too much for that.


23 posted on 04/07/2005 5:00:05 PM PDT by proud American in Canada
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To: GSlob

would you say that if it was michael jackson on the plane?


24 posted on 04/07/2005 5:02:59 PM PDT by drhogan
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To: StoneColdGOP
I've always believed that JP II did not know the full extent of what went on here in Boston and America. He would have relied on people to give him news and information about the Church in North America. After all, he didn't read the Boston Globe, Herald or NY Times on a regular basis. This honor bestowed on Law shows me that these people are still around the seat of power.
25 posted on 04/07/2005 5:03:24 PM PDT by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: StoneColdGOP
"Donatism was the error taught by Donatus, bishop of Casae Nigrae that the effectiveness of the sacraments depends on the moral character of the minister."
- Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry

So theologically, Law's misdeeds have no effect on his official role. The Church is showing pretty much of a tin ear, though.

26 posted on 04/07/2005 5:03:32 PM PDT by Grut
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To: JohnnyZ

maybe michael jackson can help with the celebration


27 posted on 04/07/2005 5:03:57 PM PDT by drhogan
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To: JohnnyZ
It's really not the symbol that the professional victims make it out to be. Life goes on... He was actually a good Cardinal in many ways... IMO too many people spend their time consumed with hatred for him.

Spoken like someone who's never had a priest put his hands on your b@lls, or worse, and then had it covered up for years by this man.

28 posted on 04/07/2005 5:04:53 PM PDT by Dad2Angels
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To: Grut

maybe donatus was on the something


29 posted on 04/07/2005 5:05:30 PM PDT by drhogan
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To: Grut

this sounds like a religious version of letting clinton off because he was president.
evil is evil


30 posted on 04/07/2005 5:07:14 PM PDT by drhogan
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To: StoneColdGOP

"Remember, it's not just a sin. It's a felony!" - Robin Williams.


31 posted on 04/07/2005 5:10:06 PM PDT by Renderofveils ("A is for all the tea they taxed, M is for the minutemen they shellaxed...")
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To: StoneColdGOP

Jesus must be shedding tears at the thought of a pedophile protector celibrating His Mass.


32 posted on 04/07/2005 5:10:33 PM PDT by Jeff Gordon (Recall Barbara Boxer)
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To: Dad2Angels

"Spoken like someone who's never had a priest put his hands on your b@lls, or worse, and then had it covered up for years by this man."

Exactly.

These children had their innocence robbed from them.

The priests who did it and those covering up for them continue living their lives, while the victims pay the price in all kinds of ways.

Sexual abuse of children is more common than we think.


33 posted on 04/07/2005 5:11:24 PM PDT by proud American in Canada
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To: StoneColdGOP
Well -the problem still exists. Cardinal Law may be guilty or he may have been hoodwinked BUT the homosexual activist therapists and psychologists that 'aided' the effort to provide cover and suggest 'normalcy' to what was predominantly a homosexual 'thing' are still out there and still doing their work in society right now in schools etcetera...
34 posted on 04/07/2005 5:13:19 PM PDT by DBeers (†)
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To: drhogan
"would you say that if it was michael jackson on the plane?"
Yes. Remember the legend of Agaspher the Wandering Jew? For offending the Lord he was condemned to wander the world till the end of time, and never to have any rest. Air travel was not invented at the time, but punishment in itself is pretty serious. MJ would deserve it squarely.
35 posted on 04/07/2005 5:16:29 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: thegreatbeast
I've always believed that JP II did not know the full extent of what went on here in Boston and America. He would have relied on people to give him news and information about the Church in North America. After all, he didn't read the Boston Globe, Herald or NY Times on a regular basis

We have to assume, I guess that JPII never read the extensive portfolios on every abuse incident sent by Fr. Tom Doyle, Secretary to the US Catholic Bishops' Conference to the Congregation for the Clergy from 1982-1984. The scandal was just beginning to bubble, and Rome knew every gruesome detail.

It will be left to the next pope to come to the United States, to meet with the victims of these abusers, publicly and privately, apologize publicly, and celebrate a Mass of Reconciliation with the victims at his side. Only the Successor of Peter can offer the healing of the Universal Church to victims of an abomination perpetrated by representatives of the Church itself.

JPII is a saint. He apologized for Galileo, for the Church's role in the Holocaust, and for the Crusades.

He never could quite bring himself to squarely confront the sexual abuse scandal caused by his brother priests and bishops.

36 posted on 04/07/2005 5:17:39 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: Jeff Gordon

"Jesus must be shedding tears at the thought of a pedophile protector celibrating His Mass."

Yours is a very moving post. Yes, I think that Jesus would be shedding tears at this apparent corruption.

I am sure that Jesus would forgive Cardinal Law (and then tell him to sin no more!).

Just as Jean Paul II would have, or did (I'm not fully knowledgeable on this, but since JPII forgave his assasin, he would probably forgive Law).

But that doesn't mean that here on this earthly plane, that we (or the Church) should implicitly condone Law's actions by allowing him to have such an important role in the funeral mass of such an incredibly important man.

But, perhaps we are wrong. Or maybe human beings are just not "there" yet.

I think this brings up the razor's edge that lies between spirituality and earthly reality. I have discussed this often with my friends regarding going to war. I've fully supported GW Bush in Iraq (how long can we turn the other cheek).

On the other hand, I can understand why people would dislike the idea of war, period.

It is a very difficult issue. In some ways, I think that human beings are like spiritual toddlers, we continually grow towards development.

But it is not an easy path.

We spill our sippy cups or stick our fingers in the electrical socket almost every day. ;)


37 posted on 04/07/2005 5:22:36 PM PDT by proud American in Canada
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: sinkspur
JPII is a saint. He apologized for Galileo, for the Church's role in the Holocaust, and for the Crusades.

He never could quite bring himself to squarely confront the sexual abuse scandal caused by his brother priests and bishops.

******************

I agree. In all fairness, our Pope was likely too ill by that time to be fully involved in this issue. He may also have been badly advised by those surrounding him.

39 posted on 04/07/2005 6:00:58 PM PDT by trisham
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To: seamole
Law was one of the few bishops to try to confront the problem before its full scope came to light. He was targeted because he was a conservative, because he opposed Margaret Marshall's appointment as chief justice, and because he opposed homosexuals. Voice of the Faithful, the group along with SNAP which harassed parishioners at Boston's Holy Cross Cathedral and threatened to violently remove Law from the pulpit, is intrinsically liberal. It is aligned with a splinter group of dissenting, pro-homosexual priests, who sponsor such things as gay group trips to go pray vespers with Bishop Robinson.

******************

This is the first I've heard of this. If it is correct, it puts a completely different perspective on the subject. It sounds to me as though you may have a more direct knowledge of the events than I, who only know what was reported in the local news, which was not terribly sympathetic to Cardinal Law.

40 posted on 04/07/2005 6:07:35 PM PDT by trisham
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To: seamole
Your attempted defense of Law is weak.

Why would a cardinal write a letter of praise for the "ministry" of a priest who had abused multiple young men? Did Law think that was no big deal?

And I'd be careful denigrating SNAP. These are abuse victims, most of them in psychological counseling with their lives ruined by these predator priests.

They linked up with CALL TO ACTION because all the conservative organizations in Boston were defending Law and making arguments like yours, that these victims were in it for the money.

Oh, and Law was "targeted" because he had more abusers, who had abused more young people, than any of the next two dioceses on the list combined.

41 posted on 04/07/2005 6:09:12 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: Dad2Angels

Why do you have to respond to a very reasonable post in such a manner?


42 posted on 04/07/2005 6:10:26 PM PDT by ndkos
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: StoneColdGOP

while I am hardly a fan of VOTF and other groups who are taking advantage of the sex abuse scandal to further their own liberal agendas, they are 100% on the money this time. Cardinal Law is an absolute disgrace and I am utterly bewildered why anyone would reward him by giving him the job of archpriest at St Mary Major. Why is he even still a cardinal? Is it possible to revoke someone's cardinalship? Law shouldn't have been allowed to even leave Boston in the first place - he should have stayed there to face whatever legal consequences came his way.

I hope the next pope comes down hard on these pervert priests and the bishops who enable them. The Church needs a major house-cleaning in this area. I too am inclined to think that John Paul's advanced age and illness contributed to his weak response to the scandal. He probably wasn't even aware of just how bad it was. Had the scandal come to light 15 or 20 years ago, I imagine the Pope's reaction to it would have been much stronger and more decisive.


44 posted on 04/07/2005 6:22:33 PM PDT by sassbox
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: sinkspur
Oh, and Law was "targeted" because he had more abusers, who had abused more young people, than any of the next two dioceses on the list combined.

**************

The abuse went on for many, many years. Seamole lives in MA, and may have some personal experience with those involved. I don't, so I can't speak to that, but I have met someone who knew Cardinal Law personally and thought he was a great man. Which may or may not mean anything.

46 posted on 04/07/2005 6:27:26 PM PDT by trisham
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To: StoneColdGOP

Archpriest Bernard "Bunny" Law is the Ted Kennedy of the Catholic church.

Nice that the prime symbol of the Pope's greatest church crisis will be celebrating his memorial mass.

There HAS to be a special place in hell for the likes of Law.


47 posted on 04/07/2005 6:37:39 PM PDT by SpinyNorman (Moral relativism is, by definition, the polar opposite of having values.)
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To: richmwill

I'm Catholic and am more than disturbed by this decision. I believe in forgiveness as much as the next guy (only God can judge Law's soul), however I believe having Law participate in the funeral will leave a bad taste in the mouths of all those watching on what would otherwise have been on the great, momentous celebration of the Pope's life.

What message is this sending to the world? I hate to ponder.


48 posted on 04/07/2005 6:37:59 PM PDT by Caravaggio
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To: Dad2Angels
Spoken like someone who's never

And you speak like a self-righteous pr1ck who's ready and willing to caste the first stone, the second, and as many more as are necessary.

Are you at all familiar with the Catholic faith?

49 posted on 04/07/2005 6:39:33 PM PDT by JohnnyZ (“When you’re hungry, you eat; when you’re a frog, you leap; if you’re scared, get a dog.”)
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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