Pedophile-Enabling Catholic Cardinal Dies At 86

CBS News reports:

Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former archbishop of Boston whose failures to stop child molesters in the priesthood sparked what would become the worst crisis in American Catholicism, has died, the Vatican confirmed on Tuesday. He was 86.

Law had been sick and was recently hospitalized in Rome. The Vatican Press Office confirmed his death in a brief email to CBS News.

Law was once one of the most important leaders in the U.S. church. He broadly influenced Vatican appointments to American dioceses, helped set priorities for the nation’s bishops and was favored by Pope John Paul II.

But in January 2002, The Boston Globe began a series of reports that used church records to reveal that Law had transferred abusive clergy among parish assignments for years without alerting parents or police. Within months, Catholics around the country demanded to know whether their bishops had done the same.

NBC News reports:

Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who represented dozens of people who say they were sexually abused by priests, said Law’s death has reopened old wounds.

“Bernard Law could have prevented many children from being sexually abused,” he said in a statement to NBC News. “He knew what Father John Geoghan had done and he refused to notify the public. He refused to protect the innocent. Law’s death is a reminder — his name is salt in the wound of many victims.”

Alexa MacPherson, who says she was a victim of clergy sex abuse for six years as a small child, had no words of sorrow at the news of Law’s death.

“Good riddance to bad rubbish. I hope the gates of hell are swinging wide to allow him entrance,” she told The Associated Press. “I won’t shed a tear for him — I might shed a tear for everyone who’s been a victim under him.”

  • Karl Dubhe 2

    It’s a shame, really, that there isn’t a hell to welcome him.

    • Reality.Bites

      The shame is that he didn’t face justice while alive.

      • Karl Dubhe 2

        I was going to add that he got away with everything…

        But Law’s not alone in getting away with his crimes, is he? 🙁

        • Reality.Bites

          No he isn’t. The Catholic Church is the worlds largest criminal organization. And as such, if you’re part of the Church, you’re a criminal in my books. There is no reform, no change from within. If you are a decent person you get the hell out and denounce it for what it is. Period.

          • DN

            I just can’t for the life of me understand how anyone – ANYONE – still adheres to this church.

          • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn

            Catholics (and all evangelicals) are like Trump supporters – brainwashed cult members.

          • Nowhereman

            I feel that way about ALL churches. Why not just live in the real world? That’s all there is.

          • Emily

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          • JT

            And the fundygelicals who are just trying to kill us all with their madness and stupidity are as nothing in comparison with them?

          • Nowhereman

            I’m sick of all of them. They make it a lot harder for those of us who live in the real world. Trump/Kushner just blew up the Middle East because of these fundamentalists’ religious fantasies. Trump’s base is cheering because they believe that moving our embassy to Jerusalem will bring about Armageddon and the raptures. Seriously. They believe that shit is real.

          • jeffg166

            And don’t join the heretics. They’re just as bad as is every other religious cult.

          • There can’t be real reform because there’s no mechanism for the members to demand change other than to leave. There can be no change from within because those in power control who gets promoted to powerful positions. They aren’t going to let that happen. It’s not going to get better.

          • Reality.Bites

            Exactly. It’s the emerging model for the US government as well.

          • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

            Psst. I met a high ranking Catholic priest at a party last weekend. The kiddie table had star-shaped pbj sammiches. This guy said, “I want to sit at the kid’s table.”

            I thought that was a really awkward thing for a guy in a dog collar to say in public. Also, if you turned the sammiches upside down, HAIL SATAN! Little pentacle sammiches!

      • Ninja0980

        He should have been put in prison and left to rot.

    • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn

      It’s a shame he couldn’t have been burned at the stake when he was alive.

      • Karl Dubhe 2

        No, not burnt at the stake. Send him to his gawd the way Jesus was sent on. I’ve heard it’s the worst way to go…

    • skyweaver

      The only hell that actually exists it the one he helped create for the poor children (now adults) who had to deal with the abuse and then leaders like him enabling it

      • Nowhereman

        Abuse as a child stays with you for the rest of your life.

        • skyweaver

          And it’s so much worse if the adults around you don’t believe you or drive it deeper by outright not believing you or blaming you for the situation

  • Reality.Bites

    Alexa is a lot more generous of spirit than I am.

  • gaycuckhubby

    “Good riddance to bad rubbish”
    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • Reality.Bites
  • Stogiebear

    You can tell from his complexion that he never overindulged in alcohol or children.

    • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn

      No, those spots on his face were just the sores of his soul, rotting from the inside.

  • Gustav2

    Just one is not enough.

  • Ninja0980

    If there is a hell, may this bastard be waking up there.

  • Kruhn

    “Hello, I’m Beelzebub Lucifer, your concierge. Mr. Law, would you please follow me to the NAMBLA Suite where we’ll provide you with extra pineapples to shove them up your nether regions. Enjoy your stay in Hell. “

  • Reality.Bites
  • Michael R
  • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]
  • gaycuckhubby

    The grace and emotional strength of victims of this kind of crime, like Alexa, astounds me.

  • Reality.Bites

    I for one am profoundly dismayed by this news.

    Why, God, oh why?

    Why the fuck couldn’t it have been Trump?

    • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

      There is good news, but its hard to suss out under the Tsunami of crap that is our current administration.

      Virginia Democrats appear to have ended Republicans’ 20-year grasp on
      the state House of Delegates by the margin of a single vote.

      • Reality.Bites

        Sure, but you can’t throw a massive street party over that.

        • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

          Why not? I’m not in Virginia, but I suspect there are lot of happy Democratic Virginians today.

          • Reality.Bites

            Yeah, but with Trump we’d have Muslims dancing on rooftops!

            (and of course people of any, all or no faith as well)

          • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

            A lot more than Muslims would be dancing on rooftops. I’d be one of them, and so would you.

    • yes b’y
  • Tawreos

    I never want to take joy in the death of another human being even for someone like Law, all I can do in this situation is ask “Why did it take so long?”

    • olandp

      Only the good die young.

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    Law had been sick…

    For most of his miserable fucking life I’d wager.

  • Ninja0980

    Next time you hear anyone from the Catholic Church or who is Catholic saying LGBT folks are bad for children, remind them of Alexa and all the other boys and girls this bastard and others let be abused for the sake of power.

  • greenmanTN

    Just looking at that POS wearing a fucking CROWN in top photo makes me want to hurl.

    I’m not a fan of any religion, but the way they drape themselves in jewels and elaborate robes and promote themselves as intermediaries to a judgmental and omnipotent god is particularly galling.

    • Sam_Handwich
      • greenmanTN
        • carrot festival

          This is the earliest television program I remember. Yikes, I’m old!

          • greenmanTN

            Foreshadowing? The first non-kiddie record I ever bought was Heart’s Little Queen, and I always assumed it was a sign.

          • yes b’y

            me too

          • D. J.

            We’re only half old…I remember that show too….

      • Boreal

        That thing creeps me out. It reminds me the Dr Who, ‘The Girl in the fireplace’ episode.

      • Reality.Bites

        OT: What on earth were they thinking? And what were they thinking when they made more than one commercial with the creepy stalker King?

        • DN

          I can’t help it – I loved the campaign 🙂

        • Ben in Oakland

          I’m glad you thought it was creepy. Any moment…out comes the slashing implement.

      • Gerry Fisher

        Ha! Love it.

      • Nowhereman

        That is one of the creepier mascots out there.

    • Tawreos

      It is even worse when the same guys that wear the crowns and the jewels then claim poverty when it comes to paying out settlements to their victims

      • Dk

        not to mention all of that pricey real estate they hold. bitches are living in the world’s best cities rent free.
        it’s ending though. nothing warms my heart more than seeing all the old churches here in brooklyn converted into apts/shops

        • killreligion

          The original business model was real estate. It’s where the rcc wealth comes from.

    • DN

      It’s more important to have gold than to feed children I guess?

      • greenmanTN

        It’s the golden rule: those with the most gold rule.

        • DN

          And that, for me, is the heart of it. For centuries the church (in particular, the Catholic church) was a political organization with a religious facade (still is imo).

          What better way to motivate the uneducated than by telling them, “do exactly as I say and your reward will be eternal and unimaginably blissful. Deviate from what I say and your my payment will be eternal and unimaginably painful.”

        • Christopher
      • netxtown

        During my stint in the Navy, I was stationed at Lajes Field, Terceira, the Azores. The island is dotted with many, many small churches – and pretty much all of them had huge altars all brimming in gold what-nots.

        And i also recall a little one room house just down the road a bit from one of those churches. Small family, maybe 2 kids. It was framed as one room, dirt floors, and a single light bulb hung by its wires. They had strung up a blanket to make it two rooms.

        And every sunday – they would tithe something to that damned church.

        • jmax

          But according to Mother Teresa, poverty and suffering bring you closer to God. Or something like that.

          • netxtown

            yes – we just can’t know real joy unless we have had lots and lots of pain…. oviously their gawd is so much into pain to show us the way!

          • Ben in Oakland

            Do you have any idea of how much money it cost to keep that woman in ostentatious poverty?

    • Not actually a crown, maybe resembles one.

  • Bluto
  • BearEyes

    Gee and I have a full bladder.

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    What do you call the death of a pedophile priest enabler?

    A good start.

  • DN

    It’s against my religion to do any form of business with criminal racketeering sex abusers. And the government has made clear that religious opinions outweigh civil law.

    Therefore, will the government punish me for telling every person I know who tithes to this church to fuck off out of my life?

  • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

    Swing wide open ye gates of Hell and absorb the soul of your vile and faithful servant, Bernard Law.

  • gaycuckhubby
    • greenmanTN

      Perfect! I’d forgotten about that one. Minchin also authored/sings my favorite atheist Christmas carol, White Wine In The Sun.

      • gaycuckhubby

        I love that one!

    • olandp

      I have that one and Come Home (Cardinal Pell) on my playlist and sing along all the time…

  • liondon#iamnotatraitor

    He was buried with his favorite’s little league uniform,a case bourbon and a DVD of “Lord of the Flies “

  • Mrs. Councillor Nugent

    The Boston Globe online this morning has re-listed (Can one say reprinted for an electronic version?) its trailblazing series on Law’s corruption. I’ve deferred checking the comments to avoid the usual Catholic pro-church hysteria.

    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      As a side note, this is why diversity everywhere is a must. It’s only because they got a non-Catholic outsider editor that this was even considered.

    • Mrs. Councillor Nugent

      The situation for moi: Growing up in the Boston area neither Irish not Catholic but having friends and neighbors who were both. As a sign of maturity I thought being a bigot was a sign of unlearned trash. Now of course, I realize that concern, if not outright hatred, toward the Catholic Church remains valid. One such neighbor, though, gave me a valid lesson on how to disregard the church. She came home from work one day to find her husband of 25+ years gone along with his stuff, and a set of divorce papers in his place. They only had three kids, and hence twin beds. He of course had been getting it on the side for decades. She then met a widower whose first wife had died of cancer or something, fell in love, and got married. The Church wanted thousands to annul the first marriage, she refused. So the faithful Catholic, the one who’d had crucifixes over every bed, sat down one day in our living room chatting with my mother, referring to the communion she could no longer take: “Well, if it didn’t do me any good before, I’m not going to worry about it now.”

      • Gerry Fisher

        Love her attitude!

  • GayOldLady

    He is the guy who plans the assault on thousands of innocent people, drives the person committing the assault to the scene of the crime, then, afterward, takes the assailant to a hiding place while he plans another assault. How he kept from being charged as an accomplice is beyond me.

    • Karl Dubhe 2


    • D. J.

      Religious Racketeering.

    • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn

      For the same reason that crimes against women, gay people and all various peoples of color were allowed or ignored for millenia: religion. Do it in the name of god.

      The name of god is like the name of Smuckers: it’s GOT to be good.

    • PlutoAnimus

      “Cardinal Law had not broken any laws, because the law requiring abuse to
      be reported was not expanded to include priests until 2002.” (Wikipedia)

      Those good Massachusetts Catholic politicians protected their beloved priests well into the 21st century.

      Why are so many Catholics so morally compromised?

      • Nowhereman

        Religious people claim to have the moral high ground, but they won’t actually DO the right thing unless there is a law, and they get caught.

  • Some days I wish I still believed in hell.

  • Fifth-and-a-Half Element
    • Reality.Bites

      And then a rock hit Jesus in the head and he whined, “Aw, mom,”

  • yes b’y sorry its kevin spacey, but you get the idea.

  • RobynWatts

    Gee, I hope they install adequate facilities when all of the church’s victims stop by to pay their final respects.

  • SilasMarner

    It would be nice if he died a horrible, painful death. Wish I’d have been there. I would have slapped his face multiple times.

    • jmax

      Dude, that’s just evil. Hahahaha.

      • SilasMarner

        I’m normally a nice guy, but I do have a very dark side.

  • shellback

    Finally, a bit of good news.

  • madknits

    I hope he suffered. I hope he died in pain. He was the worst sort of person the RCC has representing it, and I’m very glad he’s dead.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    One of the worst things about religion is that so many people demand that you forgive the unforgivable. I read way too many #ChurchToo tweets where even parents demanded the tweeter (as a child) apologize to their abuser.

  • Luddite

    I am SO glad that this evil piece of shit has finally died. If there is a hell Law is in it.

  • Andymac3

    “Good riddance to bad rubbish. I hope the gates of hell are swinging wide to allow him entrance,”

    Like she said.

  • Jay Silversmith
  • Bambino

    Did someone alert Mark Burnett? He should attached a live feed camera. It should be a hit reality show to watch pedophile roast in hell. Dotard love his reality tv show. I’m sure Roy Moore can watch while holding on to his not conceding grudge.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada
  • JaniceInToronto

    Ding Dong! One more evil bastard buys the farm.
    I wish all of them would follow his example.

  • Charlie In SF

    Now he has the perfect opportunity to explain to God and St. Peter why he butt-raped all those boys in his care.

  • doninkansas

    I knew him when he was in southeast MO. I liked him, but when the shit hit the fan in Boston, we found out he had done the same shit in Missouri. He should have seen jail time.

  • If you haven’t seen this film about the Globe’s exposure of this story, you should see it asap. Beautifully done. The same screenwriter as Spielberg’s The Post.

  • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]


    Law will get a full cardinal’s funeral at the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica on Thursday afternoon, the Vatican added later, with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, presiding. Pope Francis will give a “final commendation,” or blessing, as he has for cardinals’ funerals previously.

  • JAKvirginia


  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    All that fancy stuff he’s wearing…it’s lipstick on a pig.

    My happy fantasy is that Cardinal Law gets inducted into Hell via the ‘fake Heaven Pearly Gate.’ Then we slowly draw aside the veil over time for the reveal…YOU’RE IN HELL, MATE!

  • Ben in Oakland

    But he looks like such a happy guy!

  • Sporkfighter

    Aside from the damage done to the kids who were molested, he’s guilty of many a suicide of many, many gender non-conforming youth hounded to the grave.

  • Gerry Fisher

    All sorts of emotions came up when I saw his pic and read the headline. I lived in the Boston are from ’79 until ’09. He was a fixture in the landscape for so many years. Just kinda speechless.

  • Tor

    He’s dead and that’s good.

  • Nowhereman

    So instead of being arrested and put on trial, he got to spend his final years in a cushy environment at the Vatican. All of these pedophiles and their enablers need to be arrested, jailed, and if they ever get out of prison, they should spend the rest of their lives wearing an ankle bracelet.

  • TheSeer

    I hope his death was painful and not peaceful. And if there is afterlife, I hope it will be the same for him.

  • EDinMCO

    Once again I find myself apologizing to Sinead O’Connor and wondering how much damage could’ve been avoided had we listened to her in 1992.

  • Kissmagrits

    Next on my shit list is Cardinal Roger Mahony formerly of the Los Angeles diocese. Mahony was was even worse than Cardinal Law, moving his short-eyes priests around like chess pieces.

    Check out Amy Berg’s documentary “Deliver us from Evil”, a heartbreaking story of California’s pedophile priests during the ’80s and ’90s.

    • GanymedeRenard

      I hope Poop Benedict will be next. Sick bastard.

      • Kissmagrits

        And you might put Benedict’s brother, Georg Ratzinger, on the same list. He terrorized a famous boy’s choir for over thirty years.

        • GanymedeRenard


  • glass
  • IamSmartypants

    There are moments when this atheist wishes there was an judgemental afterlife.

  • GanymedeRenard
  • CottonBlimp

    With Bernard Law’s death, the vatican lost its final chance to bring that monster to justice as show that it actually cares about fixing and making amends for its child molestation problem.

    Fuck you Pope Francis and fuck you Catholics.

  • JCF
  • HappyDance904

    The highest decorated queen of Kumbaya town!!! RIHPOS!!!!!!!!