Media Release: CMSM Statement on the Occasion of the Death of Bernard Cardinal Law

Jesus with the Children


With the passing in Rome of the former Archbishop of Boston, Bernard Cardinal Law, the Major Superiors of Men of the United States again affirm their wholehearted support for the victims of sexual abuse by clergy and religious, and apologize for the sins and crimes of our brothers. 

CMSM urges it members to reach out to victims and to continue tirelessly to focus efforts to prevent abuse in all of its forms in the Church, in religious communities and in their ministries.

Father Brian Terry, S.A., President of CMSM, stated that the passing of Cardinal Law “is a milestone in an era.  However, we see no end to our deep, vigilant commitment to prevent further abuse nor any weakening of our day to day accompaniment of those who have been abused and are in need healing.”

CMSM also echoes the words of Cardinal O’Malley of Boston:  “I recognize that Cardinal Law’s passing brings forth a wide range of emotions on the part of many people. I am particularly cognizant of all who experienced the trauma of sexual abuse by clergy, whose lives were so seriously impacted by those crimes, and their families and loved ones. To those men and women, I offer my sincere apologies for the harm they suffered, my continued prayers and my promise that the Archdiocese will support them in their effort to achieve healing.

As Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Law served at a time when the Church failed seriously in its responsibilities to provide pastoral care for her people, and with tragic outcomes failed to care for the children of our parish communities. I deeply regret that reality and its consequences. Since the day I arrived in the Archdiocese of Boston, my primary objective has been to work for healing and reconciliation among survivors, their families and the wider community of Catholics for whom the abuse crisis was a devastating experience and a great test of faith. In the midst of these groups that were most affected have stood priests and religious sisters of the Archdiocese who have tried to minister to any and all seeking assistance, even when they have been deeply challenged by the crisis that unfolded in the Church.”

Media Contact: Office for Child Protection, Fr Jerry McGlone, SJ, Associate Director:

Download this media release.