Bernard Francis Law
- Category : 1931-births
- Type : PM
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Four Ways 3
Catholic ecclesiastic, hard-pressed to resign during the early 2002 scandals regarding the church's cover up of pedophile priests. He struggled against a tide of public disapproval about the millions of dollars the Roman Catholic church spent to cover up the extent of child sex abuse conducted by priests.
Law was ordained on 21 May 1961, made Archbishop of Boston on 23 March 1984 and Cardinal on 25 March 1985. His resignation came on 13 December 2002, after his involvement in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston sex abuse scandal became public knowledge. Law was proven to have ignored or concealed the molestation of numerous underage children; church documents demonstrate that he had extensive knowledge concerning widespread child sexual abuse committed by dozens of Catholic priests within his archdiocese over a period of almost two decades, and that he failed to report these crimes to the authorities, instead merely transferring the accused priests between parishes.
Two years after Law resigned from his position in Boston, an act which Bishop William S. Skylstad called "an important step in the healing process", Pope John Paul II appointed him Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome in 2004. He resigned from this position upon reaching the age of 80 in November 2011 and died in Rome on 20 December 2017 at the age of 86.