Clerics live it up in Vatican for Law’s 80th

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general emeritus for the Diocese of Rome, arrives at Al Chiostro restaurant for Cardinal Bernard Law’s (pictured at right) 80th birthday celebration yesterday.

Cardinal Bernard Law was treated to a lavish birthday spread, the company of a conclave of clerics and even the music of a mariachi band in a four-star Italian hotel, where guests rolled up in Vatican Mercedes sedans and left singing the praises of the fallen prelate promoted to his Holy City post after decades of covering up clergy sex abuse in Boston.

The resplendent reception that marked Law’s 80th birthday sent shock waves an ocean away in Boston, where the mere mention of his name still sparks seething anger in clergy abuse victims whose attackers he protected during his years as archbishop.

“He’s closing in on his remaining years, and as a man of faith I know he believes in a final judgment. I’m curious if he’s getting nervous,” said Phil Saviano, who was abused by a Worcester priest almost five decades ago.

“I wonder if he looks back on all the good he accomplished and if he thinks that … outweighs so many hundreds of kids on his watch who had to go through so much trauma and emotional pain,” added Saviano, who founded a local chapter of Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests.

The Herald revealed yesterday that Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O’Malley, in Rome on church business, had snubbed Law’s Vatican birthday shindig.

Yesterday, an archdiocese spokesman issued a statement saying O’Malley “does extend his prayers to Cardinal Law on the occasion of his 80th birthday.” With a pair of guards in colorful habits standing silent sentry at the gate, Law and his cloistered concelebrants wined and dined at the Al Chiostro restaurant in the four-star Palazzo Rospigliosi hotel facing the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where Law serves as archpriest. [more]


Boston Herald