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Cardinal Law to be Deposed on Wednesday

Aired May 6, 2002 - 15:37   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: A developing story in Boston having to do with Catholic church child sexual abuse scandal. For the very latest let's go to our Jason Carroll. He joins us on the telephone. Jason, this has too with Cardinal Bernard Law.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has to do with Cardinal Bernard Law and a civil suit involving defrocked priest, John Geoghan. The archbishop of Boston -- just let me tell you -- had backed out of a settlement, a civil settlement agreement it reached with 86 alleged plaintiffs in the civil case involving defrocked priest John Geoghan. That happened on Friday.

The archdiocese saying that there were too many civil cases that were still out there and therefore they could not pay the settlement which would have ended up costing them $30 million. Today, Judy, a superior court judge, Cosan Sweeney (ph) has ruled that Cardinal Bernard Law will have to then be deposed in the civil case and that will happen on Wednesday.

So that is a major development here in Boston. Just to back track a little bit more in terms of what happened here, apparently the archdiocese finance council overruled Cardinal Bernard Law who wanted to settle this civil suit. He wanted to pay the settlement which would have ended up costing up to $30 million. Today in court, an attorney for the 86 plaintiffs, Mitchell Garabedian said that during the 11 and a half months of negotiations, there is never any mention that a finance council would need to approve this settlement.

Today attorneys for the archdiocese said that that is required by canon law. Well superior court judge said Consan Sweeney said she did some research over the weekend and she couldn't see anything in civil law which mentions anything at all about dealing with a finance council, and she wants to see as early as tomorrow something from the attorneys for the archdiocese which clearly shows that there is some part of canon law saying that this finance council can over-rule a cardinal once he has made a decision.

So once again, superior court judge Consan Sweeney has ruled that Cardinal Law will have to be deposed in a civil case involving John Geoghan early as Wednesday -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. CNN's Jason Carroll reporting from Boston on the very latest there, that Cardinal Bernard Law will be deposed on Wednesday in this case involving the civil suits around the priest John Geoghan.

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