VATICAN CITY (AP) The Vatican says Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former archbishop of Boston, has died at 86.
He is the ex-bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese.
Law recently had recently been hospitalized in Rome. The Holy See said in a statement that Law died early Wednesday following a long illness.
Law was the Boston archbishop in 2002 when court documents revealed he had failed to stop priests who molested children.
Law and other church leaders had moved guilty clergy from parish to parish in Massachusetts without alerting parents or police. He resigned amid a public uproar over his actions.
Vatican officials later appointed him to run a major basilica in Rome. Critics condemned the appointment as a reward for the cardinal.
Law was named bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in 1973.