Law's prominence at Pope John Paul II's requiem mass underscored the extent to which child abuse in the U.S. branch of the Catholic church barely registered in the Vatican, the New York Times reported.
"It's yet another example of the gap between how the Vatican sees things and how the U.S. church sees things," said the Rev. Keith F. Pecklers, an American Jesuit who is a professor at the Gregorian, a pontifical university in Rome.
"This kind of thing can open the wounds for people just when the healing was beginning."
Though disgraced in his native United States, he was honored in the Vatican. After Law stepped down in 2003, he was given a spacious apartment and a prestigious although honorary post in Rome as archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major.