Tuesday, December 10, 2002

58 priests end up signing that letter asking Law to resign

Some said they believe the letter is a mistake.''I don't think it's my role to demand the resignation of the cardinal,'' said the Rev. Robert J. Carr, parochial vicar at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. ''This is a problem that cannot be solved just by the resignation of the cardinal - it goes deeper than that - and those people who are calling for his resignation do not understand that. It's the wrong tactic.''

Several of those who signed the letter said they felt under pressure from members of their parishes to show they shared parishioners' concern about Law, whom many have criticized for failing to remove abusive priests from ministry.''I felt pressure over the past two weeks from the parishioners, who were beginning to say that my silence was being interpreted as approval of the cardinal's actions,'' said the Rev. Charles E. Collins, pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in North Cambridge. ''When I mentioned to the people [over the weekend] that I had signed the letter, there was applause at the four Masses. There were tears in some people's eyes, but they still shook my hand and said it was something that needed to be done.''

Priests are also speaking up about other issues. The leaders of the Boston Priests Forum sent Law a letter yesterday opposing the possibility that the archdiocese would file for bankruptcy.''For the church, it will be like a virus; it will take on a life of its own; it will become our predicate: The Church is bankrupt,'' the letter said. ''Already damage has been done. The cartoons, parodies, and ridicule are now in force. It will be a stigma, a mark of shame we will all have to carry.''

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