We are sure that many people will have mixed feelings about the death of Cardinal Bernard Law.
Survivors of child sexual assault in Boston, who were first betrayed by Law's cover-up of sex crimes and then doubly betrayed by his subsequent promotion to Rome, were those most hurt. No words can convey the pain these survivors and their loved ones suffered.
Our only hope is that the Vatican keeps these survivors in mind when it comes time for the cardinal’s funeral. We highly doubt there is a single victim of abuse who will ever receive the same attention, pomp and circumstance by Pope Francis. Every single Catholic should ask Pope Francis and the Vatican why. Why Law’s life was so celebrated when Boston's clergy sex abuse survivors suffered so greatly? Why was Law promoted when Boston’s Catholic children were sexually abused, ignored, and pushed aside time and time again?
This celebratory focus on abuse enablers like Law must end. It is time for the Vatican to refocus on change: protecting children and those who have been hurt.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)