The death of Cardinal Bernard Law creates a real moral dilemma for many people. Good Christians are supposed to forgive those who seek forgiveness for their sins even if it is impossible to forget the transgressions of the sinner.

Cardinal Law was at the center of the clergy sex abuse scandal that brought the Catholic church to its knees when it was exposed by The Boston Globe 15 years ago. Using church records the Globe was able to show how Law had transferred dozens of abusive priests from parish to parish where they would offend again rather than informing police or the parents of the victims. The reports showed how Law put the interests of pedophile priests ahead of the interest of their child victims.

Upon resigning in disgrace in late 2002, Law seemed to comprehend the severity of his actions;

"It is my fervent prayer that this action may help the archdiocese of Boston to experience the healing, reconciliation and unity which are so desperately needed.

To all those who have suffered from my shortcomings and mistakes, I both apologize and from them beg forgiveness."

The Boston Herald reports;

"Since 1950, more than 6,500, or about 6 percent of U.S. priests, have been accused of molesting children, and the American church has paid more than $3 billion in settlements to victims, according to studies commissioned by the U.S. bishops and media reports."

Cardinal Law, who became the face of the clergy sex abuse scandal passed away last night. He was 86.

Christians are taught to forgive those who seek redemption for the sins even if they cannot forget. Forgiving Cardinal Law might be tough if not impossible for me to do. How about you?

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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