Mississippi troubles for Cardinal Law

Mississippi troubles for Cardinal Law

Boston isn’t the only place where Cardinal Law is facing legal troubles. In Mississippi, he’s still got at least one major case, this one involving Fr. George Broussard who befriended the Morrison family in 1969 and allegedly abused their three sons. Cardinal Law was vicar general of their diocese at the time and the Morrisons said they brought their claims of abuse to then Fr. Law and then-Bishop Joseph Brunini. The current bishop of the diocese says Broussard admitted his guilt to Law and Brunini and went to confession with Law. Nevertheless, in depositions last year, Cardinal Law claimed that sex abuse “wasn’t even on my radar screen” until 1984.

Last summer, upon learning of the Morrisons’ story, attorneys representing Boston-area victims asked Law during a deposition if he was aware of abuse during his tenure in Mississippi.

Under oath, Law said, “the sexual molestation of minors wasn’t even on my radar screen. It wasn’t the issue that it is today . . . it didn’t come up.’‘

But when confronted with the specifics of Morrison’s case, he later acknowledged “boundary issues’’ between Broussard and Kenneth Morrison - a statement that particularly angered Kenneth Morrison. “Do you call a naked priest and a naked boy together a boundary violation?’’ said Morrison.

So what’s the difference between what Broussard did and sexual molestation? What other nuances of good and evil, sin and virtue did he look beyond?

I’m tired of bishops referring to “boundary issues.” If you cross the boundrary, you have sinned, committed evil. Period. Use plain language and name it for what it is.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli