Pope to Administer Final Rites at Cardinal Law Funeral

FILE – In this Aug. 2, 2002 file photo, Cardinal Bernard Law, of the Boston archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church, testifies in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. Law was answering questions about his knowledge and handling of the Father John Geoghan child sex abuse case. An official with the Catholic Church said Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, that Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former archbishop of Boston, has died at 86. Law recently had been hospitalized in Rome. (George Martell/Boston Herald via AP, Pool, File)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is set to preside over the final rites in the funeral for Cardinal Bernard Law, symbol of the Catholic Church’s failure to protect children from pedophile priests and its arrogance in safeguarding its reputation at all costs.

The dean of the college of cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, is celebrating Law’s funeral Mass Thursday in St. Peter’s Basilica. Following the typical protocol, Francis will preside over a final prayer, a blessing of incense and the sprinkling of holy water around Law’s coffin.

Law, who died Wednesday at age 86, resigned in disgrace as Boston archbishop in 2002 after revelations that he covered up for dozens of priests who raped and molested children.

The scandal, exposed by The Boston Globe and immortalized in the film “Spotlight,” spread throughout the world.

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