Cardinal Law Should Be In Chains

Instead, the man leads a funeral observance for the Pope, and will live out the rest of his days in comfort.

There are times I badly want to believe in heaven, just so I can believe in hell. Just so that I can believe someday he will answer for his crimes. He destroyed the lives of hundreds and the faith of thousands.

I read this back when the scandal started. Go read it all; McGrory is as right as he is righteous in his rage:

And now there is no possibility of reform, no measure of organizational penance, no ability for the thousands of victims to reconcile the past until you are finally done and gone. So please, cardinal, for the sake of a city and the church that in many ways dominates it, pack up and get out of our town.

You should have done this two months ago. You should have done it after this paper made it stunningly clear for the world to see that you knowingly, insidiously transferred a predatory priest, John Geoghan, from one parish to another, endangering a new community of children.

It was obvious that you cared not for the flock as much as you cared for the shepherds, though your main concern, then and always, seems to be about yourself. Pass off the problem. Demand silence. Pay whatever it takes to lawyers and victims to keep the crimes out of the public eye.

Still, Geoghan was one priest, your treatment by no means excusable, but possibly aberrant. Since then, though, we’re seeing a tawdry routine, with you at the front and center.


There are still priests out there who feed the hungry, who clothe the poor, who wash the sick, and who house the homeless. But even as they do God’s work, they’re relegated, for now, to a quiet world of unnecessary shame, tarnished by their association with a church led by someone as misguided as you.

You are the problem, cardinal. And for that reason, you will never be the solution. Every day you insist on hanging onto your job is another day of negative revelation, another day of heartbreak, another day of elusive reform.

Think of of someone other than yourself. Think of all the people who need a religion that is good, if not pure. And step aside in a Christian act toward a church you’re no longer qualified to lead. Enough, cardinal. Enough.

The truth is, Law’s kind of crime doesn’t end with resignation, as this disgusting display in Rome demonstrates. It stains families, parishes, neighborhoods, cities, forward and onward, forever and ever. It continues as long as he continues to walk free and wealthy, rewarded by the church he betrayed. He should live out his old age in a dark cell, without so much as a rat to comfort him. He should have to strain to see daylight. Decent people should spit when they see him.

There’s a bumper sticker on the car of a fundie who lives near me, says, “If you’re gambling that there is no God, you’d better be right.”

You’d better be right, Cardinal. You’d better be right.