As the American cardinals prepare to visit the Vatican next week, Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, who saw the Pope in Rome on Monday, has issued the following statement: 'For the past few days I have been in Rome to seek counsel and advice. The focus of my meetings was the impact of the (Fr) Shanley and other sexual abuse cases upon public opinion in general and specifically upon the members of the Archdiocese. The fact that my resignation has been proposed as necessary was part of my presentation. I had the opportunity to meet with several officials of the Holy See. The Holy Father graciously received me. The Pope and those others with whom I met are very conscious of the gravity of the situation. It is clear to me that the primary emphasis of the Holy See, like that of the Church in the Archdiocese, is upon the protection of children. As a result of my stay in Rome, I return home encouraged in my efforts to provide the strongest possible leadership in ensuring, as far as is humanly possible, that no child is ever abused again by a priest of this Archdiocese. "It is my intent to address at length the record of the Archdiocese's handling of these cases by reviewing the past in as systematic and comprehensive way as possible, so that legitimate questions which have been raised might be answered. The facilities of Boston Catholic Television and 'The Pilot' (the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston) will assist in making this record available. In the meantime, as I wrote my brother priests last Friday, my desire is to serve this Archdiocese and the whole Church with every fibre of my being. This I will continue to do as long as God gives me the opportunity.
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