Faith In Their Father?

A TIME journalist goes home to witness a priest testing his parish's loyalty

He's trying to save his a__," the Rev. D. George Spagnolia told me. He was speaking of Bernard Cardinal Law and the Boston prelate's crackdown on priests who stand accused of child abuse. Cardinal Law had turned over 90 names of area clerics to the district attorney's office; 10 of the clerics were still active in the priesthood but were quickly put on administrative leave. Father Spagnolia, the 10th to be suspended, had become the first to proclaim his innocence, loudly, insisting that he would fight the charges "all the way to Rome."

His defiance had electrified Lowell, Mass., the Catholic...

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