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You heard it here first

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 27, 2005

Sometime during the first week in May, newspapers in the US-- especially in Boston-- will complain that Pope Benedict XVI is honoring Cardinal Bernard Law by visiting the basilica of St. Mary Major. They'll be wrong again.

The Holy Father will be honoring the Virgin Mary, and you could say that he'll be honoring the ancient Roman basilica. Cardinal Law is the archpriest of that basilica, so it's fair to say he's likely to be on hand for the occasion. But to claim that the Pope is making the trip to show his support for Cardinal Law is simply ludicrous-- a fact that won't stop media outlets from advancing exactly that claim.

If you want to complain about honors bestowed on Cardinal Law, complain about the fact that he is archpriest of the basilica. Don't complain about the particular ceremonial appearances that come with that post.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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