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Cardinal To Testify Before Grand Jury Tuesday

Feb 25, 2003 | AP

Cardinal Bernard Law is expected to return to Boston Tuesday to answer questions from a grand jury investigating the clergy abuse scandal.

The grand jury convened by Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly has already taken testimony from several of Law's former top aides. The Boston Globe says the probe is winding down, with no indication whether any indictments might result.

Law resigned as archbishop of Boston in December and plans to take up residence in a Maryland convent.

Meanwhile, the archdiocese has reinstated a Wayland, Mass., priest who had been suspended last year after an accusation that he sexually abusing a minor about 30 years ago.

Church officials said their investigation of the Rev. Ronald Bourgault was unable to substantiate the allegation. Bourgault is pastor of St. Zepherin Parish in Wayland.

Meanwhile, the Boston archdiocese, wounded by a yearlong clergy sex abuse scandal, is offering a program of healing and reconciliation for the season of Lent.

In a letter sent to parishes over the weekend, interim leader Bishop Richard Lennon outlined plans for a "Lenten Program of Prayer and Conversion."

Lennon plans to celebrate Mass on Ash Wednesday, March 5, the start of the Lenten season, at Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. He will also preside over an afternoon service of reconciliation on Holy Thursday, April 17. And he has scheduled five regional services on different weeks during Lent.

Lennon is also asking each parish to have a special program of prayer and healing during Lent.

Bill Gately, a spokesman for the New England chapter of the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, said the Lenten program is a nice gesture, but the archdiocese still needs to do more to help victims.


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