I am aware that in saying this, I stand against many of you: people whom I respect, people whose work on behalf of the Church is laudable.
But the vitriol directed against Cardinal Bernard Law must stop!
With the news that the Cardinal has quietly resigned from his post as Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the Ethernet is again filling with criticisms and outcries over his reported shielding of abuse perpetrators in the Archdiocese of Boston. The same was true recently when a party was held in Rome to celebrate the Cardinal’s eightieth birthday. The news was filled with sneering pundits, lipsmacking at the apparent “scoop” that Cardinal O’Malley, in Rome for an ad limina visit, had snubbed his predecessor and would not attend the party. (In actuality, Cardinal O’Malley explained that it was no “snub”—rather, his schedule was filled with events related to the ad limina visit of the bishops from the Northeastern United States.)
We are Christians, my friends—and they’ll know we are Christians by our love. We, followers of the Lord Jesus, who daily ask God to forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Cardinal Law has some shortcomings; at least if he’s anything like me, he does. Setting aside the likelihood that he was following the “best advice” of experts at the time, he has repented for his lack of due diligence and has endured substantial loss of prestige and position. He has resigned in disgrace, and has been effectively banished from the country of his birth. Isn’t it enough that the rowdy SNAP protestors continue to harangue him; must we also demand our pound of flesh? Is he to be shown no mercy, allowed no peace, for the remainder of his years?
Let us follow the example of Jesus, who in Luke 7:38 is seen defending the woman who washes his feet with tears and in Mark 14:3-8 permits a prostitute to adorn his head with expensive nard. If Jesus, our sinless Savior, could turn to a sinner on the Cross and promise him salvation—can’t we just get over it and permit Cardinal Law a modicum of peace during his senior years? Let our merciful Savior alone judge Cardinal Law; it’s time to drop the stones, pick up our rosaries, and go about our business.
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.