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Key Events In The Life Of Cardinal Bernard Law

Cardinal Bernard Law leads a Mass celebrated in the Pope John Paul II's memory, at the St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome in 2005. Cardinal Law resigned in disgrace as archbishop of Boston over his role in the clergy sex abuse crisis. He died Dec. 20, 2017. (Luca Bruno/AP)
Cardinal Bernard Law leads a Mass celebrated in the Pope John Paul II's memory, at the St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome in 2005. Cardinal Law resigned in disgrace as archbishop of Boston over his role in the clergy sex abuse crisis. He died Dec. 20, 2017. (Luca Bruno/AP)
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Key dates in the life of Cardinal Bernard Law, who died early Wednesday at age 86.

- Nov. 4, 1931: Bernard Law is born in Torreon, Mexico; the only child of a U.S. Air Force colonel and a mother who converted to Roman Catholicism from Presbyterianism.

- 1953: Law graduates from Harvard University with a degree in medieval history.

- 1961: Law is ordained as a priest.

- 1968: Law takes a job at the ecumenical office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

- 1973: Law is named bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in Missouri.

- January 1984: Law becomes archbishop of Boston.

- 1985: The Vatican elevates Law to cardinal.

- 1998: Law travels to Cuba to support Catholics in the communist island nation.

- 1999: Law leads a delegation of Catholic and Jewish leaders to Israel.

- January 2002: The Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal explodes when defrocked priest John Geoghan is accused of molesting 130 children; documents show Law and other church officials knew of the alleged abuse, yet gave Geoghan new parish assignments.

- Dec. 13, 2002: Law resigns as archbishop; an earlier attempt to resign was rejected by Pope John Paul II.

- 2003: A report by the Massachusetts attorney general says more than 1,000 children may have been molested by more than 250 priests and church workers from 1940 to 2000.

- February 2003: Law moves into a convent in Clinton, Maryland, owned by the Sisters of Mercy of Alma, a conservative order of nuns based in Michigan.

- July 1, 2003: Pope John Paul II names Bishop Sean O'Malley as the new archbishop of Boston.

- May 27, 2004: The Vatican names Law archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome.

- April 11, 2005: Despite being disgraced, Law leads a Mass for thousands at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome to mourn the death of Pope John Paul II.

- Nov. 21, 2011: Law retires as an archpriest in Rome.

- Dec. 20, 2017: Law dies at age 86 in Rome.

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