Cardinal Bernard Law, who was at the center of the Boston priest pedophile scandal highlighted in the film ‘Spotlight’ has died at age 86. We’ve got the details.
Cardinal Bernard Law, who was the center of the Boston Catholic priest pedophile scandal uncovered by the Boston Globe Pulitzer Prize winning “Spotlight” team in 2002, has passed away at age 86. He died in Rome where he had been working for the Vatican until 2011. He resigned as the Archbishop of Boston after the Globe uncovered the story that pedophile priests had been moved from parish to parish rather that disciplined or dealt with, allegedly with Law’s knowledge. The Associated Press reported that Law had been sick and was recently hospitalized in Rome. and a church official confirmed his passing on Dec. 20.
Law’s story and the paper’s investigation that led to the pedophile priest scandal being exposed was highlighted in the film Spotlight, which won Best Picture honors at the 2016 Academy Awards. The expose itself detailed allegations of sexual misconduct by dozens of priests over decades. One priest alone was accused of raping over 130 children. After heavy criticism of how he handled pedophile priests, he later said “I am indeed profoundly sorry.” In a 2002 USA Today interview after his resignation, he claimed not to have known the extent of the sex abuse crisis, saying “I learned that I didn’t know a lot of things. The extent of this thing — I did not know that. I have learned much more painfully of the impact this has had on others.”
More than 500 abuse victims came forward and the church ended up paying out over $100 million to fund legal settlements. The scandal caused the Catholic church to draw up plans to deal with pedophile clergy instead of covertly moving them to different parishes. Cities worldwide were later rocked by more pedophile priest cases as the story broke, but it was the Boston scandal involving Cardinal Law that got the ball rolling.
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