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Boston cardinal divulges secret Vatican talks


Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston revealed that he made an unannounced trip to the Vatican in the past few days to "seek counsel and advice" from the Pope and other Church leaders.

Cardinal Law has faced intense pressure to resign after it was alleged that he protected priests accused of sexual misconduct and failed to keep them away from children.

He made his trip to Rome in secret while his home was besieged by protesters and journalists.

Cardinal Law, who is 70, said last week that he had no intention of resigning. He gave no indication that his talks with the Pope and other senior Vatican figures had changed his mind.

"The fact that my resignation has been proposed as necessary was part of my presentation," he said in a statement. "The Pope and those others with whom I met are very conscious of the gravity of the situation. It is clear to me that the primary emphasis of the Holy See, like that of the church in the archdiocese, is upon the protection of children."

Cardinal Law's statement came as the 13 American cardinals prepared to meet the Pope and other senior Catholic leaders in the Vatican next week to discuss the crisis.

The scandal began with the trial of defrocked Boston priest John Geoghan and has grown into the worst controversy which has ever shaken the US Catholic Church.

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles said on Tuesday he was looking forward to talks with the Pope which would be "open, frank and without limitations".

"A healthy dialogue with officials in the Vatican is essential to repairing the past damage and to create a more open and honest way of dealing with any type of misconduct," he said in a statement.

LINKS
Statement by Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston

SOURCE
BBC




18 Apr 2002