Priest Scandal Questions Church

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BOSTON?Cardinal Bernard Law’s decision to continue as leader of the Boston archdiocese has spawned broader questions about the Vatican’s response to the sexual abuse scandal engulfing the church.

“The deeper story here is the gulf between the Vatican and the American church, not just the American hierarchy,” said Jason Berry, the Louisiana Catholic journalist who first made molesting by clergy a national issue.

While an archdiocese spokeswoman would not comment on the Vatican’s role?if any?in Law’s announcement, supporters of the embattled cardinal say this kind of decision would not be made without consulting Rome.

Law rebuffed widespread calls for his resignation Friday with the release of a letter, addressed to his “brother priests,” pledging to serve the archdiocese “as long as God gives me the opportunity.”