Sunday, December 15

Canadian Archbishop's letter scolding clerics leaked to press

Archbishop Marcel Gervais delivered an unprecedented rebuke to the Ottawa archdiocese's priests and deacons last week.In a copy of a letter that was accidentally faxed to the Citizen and Ottawa-area Roman Catholic school boards along with a Christmas message, the archbishop said he was "quite angry at the poor turn-out" for a celebration at Notre-Dame Cathedral last Monday."In fact, I was ashamed at such indifference," the Archbishop told the archdiocese's 93 priests and 79 permanent deacons.The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated last Monday, is one of four annual events that Archbishop Gervais has previously told priests they must attend and promote. Permanent deacons have also been told they must promote the events.However, the archbishop wrote in the letter that he recognized this year's event "was held on a Monday night and that, for many of the priests, Monday is a much-needed day off."

Cardinal Law reflects

He was asked if he held any bad feelings toward the news media or the lay and clerical groups that had voiced outrage at his mishandling of the abuse crisis, and that contributed to the mounting pressure on him to resign.''I have no hatred in my heart for anybody. I mean that,'' he said.''I really think that what I have done is best for the church and I have to leave it at that,'' he said. ''I think it is best that I return quietly. My statement issued yesterday will have to speak for itself right now. I hope you understand.''....Law did not accept an offer from the Globe for a formal interview, but he did talk briefly about the last tumultuous week in Rome and his feeling of great sadness. He consistently reiterated what he had said in a five-paragraph written statement released by the Vatican Press Office on Friday that his offer of resignation ''was motivated by a desire to do what is best for the archdiocese.''

....He did not discuss his meeting with the pope or any of the legal proceedings that he still faces. Much of the discussion was about other issues, including the Middle East and, specifically, the possible war in Iraq. He mentioned a statement that he had crafted at a US Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in November that outlined the application of the theology of ''just war'' in the current context. Law pointed out that an actual present threat would be required for the United States to fight a just war under Catholic theology.Asked if he was disappointed that such statements of morality by the church on important questions of the day had been muted by the scandal that has shaken the church, he said, ''Of course I am.

Where'd Shanley go? Provincetown.


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