Accessibility links

Disgraced US Cardinal to Have Prominent Role in Pope's Funeral

The Vatican has granted a prominent role in the Pope's funeral rituals to a U.S. cardinal who was forced to resign amid accusations that he protected sexually-abusive priests.

Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston, will celebrate Mass on one of the nine days of mourning for Pope John Paul II.

Some American Catholics feel this privilege represents the Vatican's lack of recognition of the abuse scandal that rocked the U.S. Catholic Church.

Cardinal Law resigned from his Boston post in 2002, when it became known that his archdiocese simply transferred priests who had been accused of abuse to other parishes.

Last year, Cardinal Law was granted a post at one of the main basilicas in Rome. It is through this position that he was given a role in the Pope's funeral masses.

He will have also have a say in the selection of the next pope.