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Cardinal Law tells priests' meeting he considered resigning
By Associated Press, 10/23/02
ARLINGTON, Mass. -- Cardinal Bernard Law said Wednesday that he considered resigning because of the Roman Catholic church's sexual abuse scandal.
Law, who has come under intense criticism since the scandal erupted in Boston in January for allegedly failing to remove sexually abusive priests, has said repeatedly that he felt it was his duty to stay on and he would not "walk away" from the controversy.
Law, meeting with hundreds of Boston Archdiocese priests for the second consecutive day Wednesday, was asked to consider resignation, said the Rev. Robert Bullock, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows in Sharon, and head of a priests group that has been critical of Law's leadership.
But while Law insisted he would stay on, he did acknowledge that he had considered stepping down.
"I indicated that it would not take a rocket scientist to realize that that is an option that someone in my circumstances over the past 10 months would need to have considered, and I did consider that," Law said.
Law said in April following a meeting with Pope John Paul II that he raised the possibility of resigning, but came away determined to stay on and repair the damage to the archdiocese.
"He's here and that's a fact and that's what we've got to work with," said Bullock, who attended Wednesday's meeting and came away feeling optimistic about "a kind of new relationship with ..." Law.
Law met behind closed doors with about 400 priests at St. Camillus in Arlington. He met with about 300 priests in Medway on Tuesday.
The meeting was wide-ranging and sometimes emotional, priests said.
"Today was a very important meeting, and it was also in many ways a painful meeting, because many of the men were able to express the pain that they feel, first of all for the victims and their families," said the Rev. Richard Clancey, the archdiocese's director of campus ministry.
As they had Tuesday, priests brought up the question of due process for priests who face abuse allegations.
Law and the priests also discussed relations with the lay reform group Voice of the Faithful.
Law said he intended to meet with the group's leadership soon, Bullock said.