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Boston cardinal reported ready to resign

Cardinal Bernard Law will offer his resignation when he meets with Pope John Paul II today, according to an international news agency.

"I cannot confirm this report," said National Catholic Reporter Rome correspondent John Allen. "But .. some of my Vatican sources indicated that there may be movement in that direction, given the letter from 58 of Law's priests."

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls has confirmed that a face-to-face meeting has been scheduled between Law and the pope today.

"I was told by Navarro-Valls that if there is a decision, there will be an announcement of it [on Friday]," Allen said.

Meanwhile, Law has reportedly been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury looking into possible crimes by church officials who supervised priests accused of child sexual abuse.

"I think that the focus in Rome has been so much on the two questions -- bankruptcy and then Law's personal future - that the potential implications of that subpoena haven't yet registered." Allen said. "However, I would say that it doesn't help from the point of view of what ought to happen to Cardinal Law."

Law and five of his former bishops reportedly have received subpoenas to appear before a state grand jury investigating whether crimes were committed in their supervision of priests accused of sexually abusing children.

The cardinal is said to be returning to Boston on Saturday. If he resigns, there is a possibility that the Vatican will wait to announce it until he gets a chance to inform his own people and his own archdiocese first.


Cardinal Law Offers to Resign (Fox News)
Clergy sex abuse was biggest religious news of the year (Catholic News Service)
Cardinal Law resigns as chairman of Catholic University board (Catholic News Service)
Cardinal Law Meets Pope Friday; Resignation Widely Expected (Catholic News Service)
Cardinal Ordered To Testify Before Grand Jury (
Mystery over crisis cardinal's trip (11/12/02)
Exit strategy: Cardinal secretly travels to Rome (Boston Herald)
Rome: Boston cardinal in crisis talks (Independent Catholic News)
58 priests send a letter urging cardinal to resign (Boston Globe)
Vatican may sideline cardinal by naming successor (Sydney Morning Herald)
A church culture draws scrutiny (Christian Science Monitor)
A Law unto himself? US cardinal fights for survival (The Guardian)
Shamed church slow to see the problem (The Guardian)
Catholics blame Vatican as child sex abuse crisis deepens (Financial Times)
Boston's Cardinal Law in Rome for Consultations (Zenit)
Cardinal Under Cloud At Vatican (Newsday)
Boston Priests Urge Cardinal Law to Resign (Catholic World News)
Archdiocese of Boston


A woman who smashed a window at the home of Melbourne's Catholic archbishop yesterday told a court she could not guarantee her protests would stop.

Anne Furness, 45, of South Yarra, caused $500 damage when she threw rocks at the private residence of Archbishop Denis Hart to protest about abuse she alleges against a priest.

The Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard Ms Furness called police. She walked on to the suburban Kew property the next day, telling staff she would not leave until she was arrested.

Ms Furness pleaded guilty to charges of criminal damage and trespass.

Her lawyer, Simon Moglia, told the court his client was remorseful for causing damage that may have placed anyone in danger. "She herself has been harmed and does not wish to visit harm on anyone else," he said.

But Ms Furness did not apologise for trespassing and could not promise she wouldn't do it again.

Magistrate Helen Spooner fined Ms Furness $300 without conviction and urged her to be more restrained. "I hope . . . there are certainly no incidents in the future where anyone is placed in any jeopardy of being harmed by your behaviour."


Woman smashes archbishop's window (News Interactive 6/12/02)

13 Dec 2002