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Friday, 13 December, 2002, 12:43 GMT
Cardinal Law's resignation statement
Cardinal Bernard Law
Cardinal Law asked for forgiveness
Archbishop Bernard Law of Boston has resigned amid a child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in America.

The following is his resignation statement, issued after he held talks in Rome with Pope John Paul II.

I am profoundly grateful to the Holy Father for having accepted my resignation as Archbishop of Boston.

It is my fervent prayer that this action may help the Archdiocese of Boston to experience the healing, reconciliation and unity which are so desperately needed.

To all those who have suffered from my shortcomings and mistakes I both apologise and from them beg forgiveness.

To the bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity, with whom I have been privileged to work in our efforts to fulfil the Church's mission, I express my deep gratitude.

My gratitude extends as well to so many others with whom I have been associated in serving the common good; these include those from the ecumenical, Jewish, and wider interreligious communities as well as public officials and others in the civil society.

The particular circumstances of this time suggest a quiet departure. Please keep me in your prayers.

The Church has been rocked by recent abuse revelations

Boston cardinal quits

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