IN LAW’S OWN WORDS (Exerpts from yesterday’s deposition of Cardinal Bernard Law by plaintiffs’ attorey William H. Gordon)

GORDON:  As of September of 1984, were you aware that Father Geoghan had a history of homosexual involvement with young boys?

LAW:  I was aware that there was involvement because, because of the, of having removed him out of one parish and putting him between assignments before sending him back to another, and then necessitating a letter that would not have been necessary unless there had been a problem.


GORDON:  Now, you indicated you wanted some attestation before Father Geoghan could be sent back at that time.  Where did you learn or when did you come to the understanding that you needed an attestation for a priest who had molested boys to be sent back?  What was that based upon?

LAW:  It seemed -- it just -- it's common sense.  It's not based on any canonical requirement or anything of that kind.  It just seems to me that when you're dealing with something that is a pathology, that you can't act with regard to this person unless people who are competent can indicate to you that a certain course of action is appropriate.  had the letter come saying that this person may not be safely assigned, he wouldn't have been assigned, and I would have assumed that that was the case, and I would have trusted that.  And I, you know, where would that have come from?  It would have come from common sense.


GORDON:  In fact, there was no spoken policy saying, it must be a certain skilled psychiatrist making the evaluation?  You at that point you just wanted to have an expert say to send him back, you didn't really qualify it more than that, a doctor?...

LAW:  I expected a professionally competent person to make that kind of a recommendation.

GORDON:  Had you explained the criteria to Bishop Banks and Bishop Daily what you meant by professionally competent?

LAW:  I don't recall doing that.  It seemed to me that it was obvious.