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Former Irish president says American cardinal insulted her

October 08, 2012

Former Irish President Mary McAleese has said that Cardinal Bernard Law angrily rebuked her for supporting women’s ordination while she was visiting Boston in 1998.

Cardinal Law—who at the time was Archbishop of Boston—told McAleese that he was “sorry for Catholic Ireland to have you as president,” McAleese claims. The former Irish president said that the cardinal’s remarks were “utterly inappropriate and unwelcome.” In less formal language she said that she was “gobsmacked by this arrogant man.”

Cardinal Law resigned his post as head of the Boston archdiocese in 2002 because of his involvement in covering up evidence of the sex-abuse scandal there. At the time that he allegedly reprimanded McAleese for her support of women’s ordination, many of Boston’s most prominent Catholic politicians supported the same cause.


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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Oct. 09, 2012 12:52 PM ET USA

    If true, this allegation raises my opinion of Cardinal Law several percentage points.

  • Posted by: Macrojo37490 - Oct. 09, 2012 9:24 AM ET USA

    Well ..... Cardinal Law got that one right ! .... and even a president of a country can be a heretic !

  • Posted by: Biscjim - Oct. 09, 2012 2:38 AM ET USA

    While I may not agree with all of Cardinals Law's actions over the years, if he did indeed say to Mary McAleese that he was sorry for Catholic Ireland to have have her as president, I do certainly agree with him on that. Ms McAleese has, indeed, continued to be an embarrassment ever since. And from a Catholic perspective, the Cardinal was certainly not being inappropriate; he was merely exercising his responsibility.

  • Posted by: williiam ronner - Oct. 08, 2012 6:35 PM ET USA

    Well, it is wonderful that Mary McAleese is going back to school, but she should start with a basic Catechesis class first. According to many popes, neither the new nor the old Catholic Church leaders had the authority to ordain women. Period! End of story! The problem is that Mary has been permitted to spew this rubbish including at Villanova University in Philadelphia. Our clergy had embraced her because she was the Pres of Ireland, not because she was a good Catholic. Reap what you sow?????