December 14, 2002

Boston Globe

By Charles M. Sennott, Globe Staff, 12/14/2002

VATICAN CITY – For victims and their families, as well as Catholic priests and congregations outraged by what they saw as Cardinal Bernard F. Law’s failure to protect children from sexually abusive priests, the decision was a long time coming.

But when Pope John Paul II accepted Law’s resignation yesterday, the Catholic Church hierarchy showed unusual speed and decisiveness in addressing the sexual abuse crisis that erupted in January in Law’s Boston archdiocese, Vatican observers say.

For an institution that measures time in centuries, not network news cycles, Vatican insiders said it was an extraordinarily swift and forceful response and a profound recognition that the Vatican had finally come to understand the depth of the crisis in the American church.

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