Cardinal Law Retires. Now Give a Guy a Break.

I am aware that in saying this, I stand against many of you: people whom I respect, people whose work on behalf of the Church is laudable.

But the vitriol directed against Cardinal Bernard Law must stop!

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class=”alignright home-thumb size-full wp-image-4871″ title=”Cardinal Law” src=”http://kathyschiffer.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Cardinal-Law.jpg” alt=”” width=”225″ />With the news that the Cardinal has quietly resigned from his post as Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the Ethernet is again filling with criticisms and outcries over his reported shielding of abuse perpetrators in the Archdiocese of Boston. The same was true recently when a party

was held in Rome to celebrate the Cardinal’s eightieth birthday. The news was filled with sneering pundits, lipsmacking at the apparent “scoop” that Cardinal O’Malley, in Rome for an ad limina visit, had snubbed his predecessor and would not attend the party. (In actuality, Cardinal O’Malley explained that it was no “snub”—rather, his schedule was filled with events related to the ad limina visit of the bishops from the Northeastern United States.)

We are Christians, my friends—and they’ll know we are Christians by our love. We, followers of the Lord Jesus, who daily ask God to forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Cardinal Law has some shortcomings; at least if he’s anything like me, he does. Setting aside the likelihood that he was following the “best advice” of experts at the time, he has repented for his lack of due diligence and has endured substantial loss of prestige and position. He has resigned in disgrace, and has been effectively banished from the country of his birth. Isn’t it enough that the rowdy SNAP protestors continue to kamagra soft tab harangue him; must we also demand our pound of flesh? Is he to be shown no mercy, allowed no peace, for the remainder of his years?

Let us follow the example of Jesus, who in Luke 7:38 is seen defending the woman who washes his feet with tears and in Mark 14:3-8 permits a prostitute to adorn his head with expensive nard. If Jesus, our sinless Savior, could turn to a sinner on the Cross and promise him salvation—can’t we just get over it and permit Cardinal Law a modicum of peace during his senior years? Let our merciful Savior alone judge Cardinal Law; it’s time to drop the stones, pick up our rosaries, and go about our business.

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

–Romans 12:19-21

 


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15 Responses to “Cardinal Law Retires. Now Give a Guy a Break.”

  1. amen, Kathy. Well said.

  2. Jay McNally says:

    Kathy,

    This kind of nonsense you write here fuels the white-hot rage against the Catholic Church that goes on unabated, nine years after the Boston meltdown started in 2002.

    When you write that Cardinal Law’s well-document deceit and fraud was merely “reported shielding of abuse perpetrators,” you spit in the face of the thousands of children that Law allowed to be savaged by priests in his diocese. Frs. Shanley and Geoghan alone account for more than 400 victims.

    The refusal of the Church to even try to fix itself in the wake of this scandal is destroying the Church and our Western culture. I suspect it’s going to spin out even worse than the Reformation.

    Ireland last month cut off its diplomatic ties to the Vatican in rage at the blase attitude of the Vatican to the deceit of the Irish bishops.
    A young woman in her mid-20s who just returned from Ireland where she worked in the pro-life movement told me a few days ago that ordinary, typical Catholics there are sputtering with anger at the Church. The Irish used to love the Church.

    Yet, Benedict seems paralyzed and refuses to do anything in Ireland to show that the Church is capable of reform. It would begin, obviously, with putting civilized men into positions of authority.

    In Germany, where there is an official record of people who belong to the various religions, Catholics are leaving by the tens of thousands. Only two months ago when he was in Germany Benedict admitted that there are “bad fish” in the Church. But he won’t match that admission with administrative courage and just throw those “bad fish” out of office, which he could do with the snap of his fingers.

    Here’s the link:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/8781169/Pope-admits-Church-contains-bad-fish-on-Germany-visit.html

    The main response of American bishops to the public learning what they were doing to our children has been a cya project all along. No American bishop has yet gone to prison for these crimes, and only a few resigned. Most of the bishops who openly lied about how they were facilitating the abuse are still in office and the worst of their chancery bureaucrats get rewarded with a mitre.

    Law’s underling Fr. Robert Banks recommended that known pedophile Fr. Shanley be incardinated to another diocese AFTER he knew the priest was a child-rapist. He even said Shanley has “no problem that would be a concern to your diocese.

    This link has a copy of the notorious letter.
    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/docs/requested/1990_01_16_Banks_ShanleyToCA.htm

    In a civilized world, Kathy, Banks would have been fired immediately when this deceit was discovered. Yet, Banks went to Green Bay to be a bishop!

    If they will know we are Christians by our love, don’t we have a responsibility to show our love for our own children and take to heart what Jesus said about those who offend their innocence:

    “Whoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

    — Matthew 18:6

  3. Kathy Schiffer says:

    Jay, Be angry, but sin not. You are telling me that there is nothing– NOTHING– that should deflect your wrath, nothing that Cardinal Law can ever do to be restored in the Kingdom. It’s a good thing that Jesus doesn’t take that tack– with the Cardinal, or with the rest of us poor sinners.

    I stand by what I’ve written.

  4. bob says:

    Oh how the pope longs for the good old days when anyone would dare challenge the church. They would torture until a written confession. Break every bone except one hand so could sign. Then burn them at the stacke to distroy the evedence. And then we have these (kathy) pious but naive hippocrites that can pick and chose passages out of a story book that will back up there arguments but leave out passages that refute these same arguments. Is this what are called cafeteria catholics. In this same book it says “there is no redemption for anyone harming even one hair on the head of child”. I think this even applies to anyone “just driving the get-away car”. these types have no conscience (soulless). As a cradle catholic have seen local catholics gleefully distroy a local family because they thought the lady collection counter was stealing from the Sunday collection. The self satisfaction that they thoiught she was guilty. It was almost evil self satisfaction. But when presented with daily guilt of uncountable priest’s, bishops, cardinals and even the pope sodomising children, This is ok. Almost thought of as a career benefit. This is paganism. A cult in Aztec times and some acient Indian, Chinese and Roman times. Even when the popes had concubines and small children for there evil pleasures.

  5. Old Line Dad says:

    Kathy:

    Perhaps some of the vitirol agaisnt Cardinal Law would abate if he were to offer a sincere apology for his actions, or inactions, as it were. Of course, an honorbale man would also return to the United States and face the consequences. Isn’t that part of true repentance? I assume that priests instruct criminals who confess that they must turn themselves in to demonstrate sincere remorse for their actions. What Cardinal Law did was evil, and then he fled the country to escape possible prosecution. As long as the Vatican keeps him out of harms way in self-imposed exile, I cannot believe that they are truly serious about addressing the sex abuse scandal. Instead they have been harboring someone who aided and abetted monsters.

  6. donbtex says:

    Kathy:

    A sensible, well constructed post.

    People seem to forget that at one time it was thought by the psychiatric community that sex-offenders could be cured with therapy – and religious (and secular) leaders followed this advice. The pastoral approach at the time was to send accused abusers to therapy and then when they were pronounced “cured” send them to another assignment. Is there no amount of blame for the treatment centers that declared these people to be “cured”?

    The whole issue of the sex-abuse scandal is much more complex than simply blaming bishops who tried to take a pastoral approach to the issue. The complexity is evident by the number of alleged victims with ‘released repressed memories’ of incidents that supposedly happened decades ago and by such websites as ‘Bishops Accountability’ which posts stories and pictures of priests who have only been accused but not found guilty of a crime (and fails to remove the posting if the priest is found to be innocent). And lets not forget the drum beater for victims SNAP which is calling for reporting everything and yet their president failed to report his own brother who was a priest accused of sex abuse.

    Like Kathy said, it is time to give Cardinal Law a break. If we continue to call for his pound of flesh, how will God treat us when it is our time to be judged? No one is asking you to invite Cardinal Law into your home for a visit, but we could pray for him. And I have no doubt that in the end, God will appropriately punish those rogue priests and religious who have betrayed the trust of their office.

  7. DPierre says:

    Well, said, Kathy. This is an excellent, and brave, post.

    1. Old Line Dad wrote, “Perhaps some of the vitirol agaisnt Cardinal Law would abate if he were to offer a sincere apology for his actions, or inactions, as it were.”

    Cardinal Law HAS apologized for his actions NUMEROUS times!

    2. Old Line Dad also wrote that “an honorbale man would also return to the United States and face the consequences.”

    What “consequences” would those be, sir? To be tarred, feathered, and beaten in public? People fail to realize that Cardinal Law WAS NEVER formally charged with a crime. And, believe me, if Att’y Generals Reilly and Coakley could have charged him, they would have.

    The truth is that Cardinal Law DID remove and laicize a number of abusers before 2002 (Geoghan and Paquin, to name two at th etop of my head).

    Of course, Cardinal Law could have done MUCH more, muck quicker. The result is that victims were irreparably harmed.

    We must continue to demand justice and compassion for victims of clergy abuse. This is not optional.

    But we can also ask that there be more fairness, perspective, and honesty in the reporting of the Catholic Church narrative.

    DPierre
    TheMediaReport.com

    -

  8. Stephen E dalton says:

    Give Cdl. Law a break?! It’s the children who were molested, raped, and abused under his watch who deserve and needed the break, not this do-nothing!

  9. Felix says:

    A lot of the anger about Cardinal Law’s case was about the fact that he didn’t just resign and live quietly. Instead, he was offered – and accepted – a prime post in Rome.

    He’s now had to retire from this because of age, and I suspect that the Church’s rules would have allowed him to have been given an extension but that Pope Benedict (a holy and canny guy) would not agree to this.

  10. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Kathy, have you read about the sex-abuse crisis within the Penn State football program? What exactly is the moral difference between Cardinal Law, and Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz?

    May I remind you that God is not only a God of love. He is a God of righteousness, holiness and justice. He expects those who bear authority in His name to act accordingly.

    Cardinal Law and his “brother bishops” did more than protect child molesters. In doing so, they dragged God’s holy, righteous name through the mud. They stood with the morally misfeasant rather than with the God who hears the cries of the innocent and venges for them. They disregarded God’s standards for holiness in favor of group membership and group think. In short, they put the politics of the ecclesiastical institution over God.

    Do you think a holy, righteous God does not notice? Perhaps He has and has already taken action. Read the account of Pope Leo XIII’s vision and you’ll see the destiny of this corrupt, apostate entity known as Catholicism.

  11. stephanie says:

    Wow. Your absence of empathy or compassion for victims coupled with the glib “Why don’t you just get over it” attitude indicate to me that you belong to precisely the right religion. Every time there is a birthday gala, or Law is honored by officiating at an event, or allowed to lead a church, imagine another nail being driven into Christ on the cross; the blood dripping from his wounds represents the tears of the victims of Law’s crimes. If the Cardinal never enjoys another moment’s peace on this earth, he will be reaping the harvest he has sown, himself, in the lives of 1000’s of innocent people who trusted him. I am not angry at him. I care more about victims than cronied-up criminals. The fact that you are seeking relief, not for them, who seem to annoy you by talking about what your church did to them, but for the bad guy in the story, has more to do with your own anxiety on the issue than pleasing our just and righteous God. The anxiety is, if you and the thousands of people I am sure you really do speak for, acknowledge what the Church has and continues to do to innocent people, you would have to do something. And, as far as I can tell, you really don’t want to.

    • Kathy Schiffer says:

      Stephanie, I’m sorry you so misunderstood my heart on this matter.

      Nothing I’ve said suggests that I don’t care about the victims of abuse. What has happened to them is very disturbing, and my sincere prayer is that they find peace. But caring for the victims does not negate the need for forgiveness– in fact, the victims, too, must learn to forgive if they are to find the peace and happiness that they deserve.

      Forgiveness is not just an option– it is an imperative. We ask God to forgive us “as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If we do not forgive, they we will not be forgiven. Can forgiveness coexist with venomous anger? I don’t think so.

      Years– probably many years– have passed. Holding onto this anger will simply poison your spirit.

    • Kathy Schiffer says:

      Stephanie, I’m sorry you so misunderstood my heart on this matter.

      Nothing I’ve said suggests that I don’t care about the victims of abuse. What has happened to them is very disturbing, and my sincere prayer is that they find peace. But caring for the victims does not negate the need for forgiveness– in fact, the victims, too, must learn to forgive if they are to find the peace and happiness that they deserve.

      Forgiveness is not just an option– it is an imperative. We ask God to forgive us “as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If we do not forgive, then we will not be forgiven. Can forgiveness coexist with venomous anger? I don’t think so.

      Years– probably many years– have passed. Holding onto this anger will simply poison your spirit.

  12. D Thomas says:

    I think you are forgetting how many boys felt so betrayed that they are now dead from suicide. How would you feel if two of your boys were dead because of Law’s lies and disregard for the members of the church? If hell exists there is a place for law. May he get there sooner than later

    • Kathy Schiffer says:

      Oh, Thomas– I don’t know your personal experience, but I do know these words which Jesus directed us to pray: Forgive us our trespasses, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE TRESPASSED AGAINST US. Without ourselves forgiving, we will not be forgiven.

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