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Rigali Only American Cardinal at Bernard Law Mass

Justin Rigali (UPI file photo)


Vatican City – Former St. Louis Archbishop Justin Cardinal Rigali was the only American cardinal to attend Tuesday's Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, celebrated by Bernard Cardinal Law.

Rigali is now Archbishop of Philadelphia. Francis Cardinal George, of Chicago, and five other American-based cardinals stayed away from the mourning Mass for Pope John Paul II.

Clergy sex abuse victims and their advocates were highly critical of the Vatican's decision to give Law the honor of presiding over one of the nine mourning Masses. The Pope accepted Law's resignation as Boston's Archbishop, but Law was later placed in a position at the Vatican.

Aides to Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, of Washington and New York's Cardinal, Edward Egan, say they could not attend because they had other plans. An aide to William Cardinal Keeler, of Baltimore, says he was only planning to attend one of the nine Masses.

There was no comment from George and the two other U.S.-based cardinals. The Vatican does not require attendance.


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