BY DAVID V BARRETT
CARDINAL Bernard Law, who resigned as Archbishop of Boston 18 months ago over his mishandling of the child sex abuse scandal in Boston, has been given a prestigious post in Rome.
The Vatican announced last week that Cardinal Law will be the new archpriest of the Basilica of St Mary Major, one of the four major basilicas of Rome.
The basilicas of St Peter, St John Lateran, St Mary Major and St Paul Outside the Walls are under the direct jurisdiction of the Vatican. Each hosts major papal liturgies and each basilica is visited by millions of tourists each year. An international group of priests staffs the basilicas, celebrates Masses there and hears confessions in a variety of languages.
The 72-year-old Cardinal Law will oversee the administration and liturgical life of St Mary Major, succeeding 82-year-old Italian Cardinal Carlo Furno, who has retired.
Cardinal Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston in December 2002, following revelations that he had moved priests guilty of child sexual abuse from parish to parish. The scandal filled the headlines for many months, as the cardinal stayed in his post despite increasing calls for him to stand down.
The Archdiocese of Boston paid out an $85 million (£46million) legal settlement to 552 victims of the abuse last year.