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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Cardinal Bernard Law Resigns

Aired December 13, 2002 - 05:57   ET

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

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news out of Rome right now. We understand that Cardinal Bernard Law has resigned and the pope has accepted his resignation.
Let's go to Delia Gallagher. She's live there now -- it happened just a minute ago, Delia.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Carol.

The news just hot off the press, the cardinal offered his resignation, the people accepted that resignation. There will be an interim archbishop. He is Richard Lennon, an auxiliary bishop already in the archdiocese and he will be taking over some of the official duties. He is interim so that will remain to be seen whether he remains as archbishop of the diocese.

But the word, Carol, is that the resignation of Cardinal Law is official -- Carol.

COSTELLO: So what will happen now? Cardinal Law will come back to the United States and make it official here, as well?

GALLAGHER: Well, once it's official it's official everywhere. So he will come back to the archdiocese, obviously. He will have to face the criminal charges beginning next week and presumably will be very busy with some of those issues. So as far as his archdiocese is concerned, there will be some logistical issues to work out because, of course, one does not want to have a cardinal hanging around the archdiocese who no longer is in power there.

So presumably he will attempt to remove himself physically from the Boston area. Where he goes exactly we don't know. But he will need to also be in contact with Boston, of course, to reply to these criminal charges -- Carol.

COSTELLO: You said that the pope named an interim leader. What does that mean? Is he still thinking about a permanent replacement?

GALLAGHER: Well, of course, yes, it will take some time to see who can replace the cardinal. Ideally you need another cardinal. So there are two options. One, you take a cardinal who is already somewhere else in the country and you put him in Boston or the other is you take a bishop and you make him a cardinal. So the pope's interim solution is Richard Lennon, who is an auxiliary bishop there in Boston who knows the situation, presumably, fairly well. And he will take over as a temporary solution and then with time we will see whether the pope chooses to make another cardinal in Boston -- Carol. COSTELLO: All right, Delia, thanks.

We're going to get back to you in the next hour.

We appreciate it.

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