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Pope Francis may send Cardinal Bernard Law back to Boston

US Cardinal Bernard Law attends Mass for electinew pope celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano not pictured inside St. Peter's BasilicVatican

US Cardinal Bernard Law attends a Mass for the election of a new pope celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, not pictured, inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday to elect the next pope amid more upheaval and uncertainty than the Catholic Church has seen in decades: There's no front-runner, no indication how long voting will last and no sense that a single man has what it takes to fix the many problems. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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Updated: April 20, 2013 6:37AM



Back to Boston?

Law’s flaw: Sneed hears rumbles that Cardinal Bernard Law, the most vilified American cardinal in the U.S. pedophile priest probe — who has been living in Rome since 2004 — may find himself doing penance publicly in Boston.

◆To wit: Sneed hears whispers that Law, who was forced to resign as archbishop of Boston in 2002 after it was revealed he was engaged in a clerical sexual abuse cover-up — and now lives in a fourth-century basilica in Rome — may be given a new job by a new pope.

◆The new job? Sneed is told Law may become a “vehicle for healing/public atonement” in the priest scandal, which has rocked the foundations of a church now led by Pope Francis.

◆Backshot: The Massachusetts attorney general declined to pursue cover-up charges against Law in 2003 — but Law’s move to the safety of Rome drew international criticism.

◆Slap shot: A news story from last week claiming the pope had banned Law from living at the Basilica of St. Mary Major was vehemently denied by the Vatican.

The papal file II . . .

Sneed’s “papal observer” and good friend, Dia (nee Stompanato) Weil — who just checked into a hotel 15 steps from St. Peter’s Square, where Pope Francis will celebrate mass on Tuesday — reported Monday afternoon:

“Very quiet. Workers placing chairs in the square. The altar is very simple — echoing the pope’s white vestments. I understand that they are expecting over 150 countries to be represented.”

The Jonylah case . . .

Sneed is told that Jonathan Watkins, 29, whose 6-month-old daughter, Jonylah, was shot to death while sitting in his lap in a minivan last week, has given the police new information about the case.

◆To wit: “He finally gave up the pass codes for the two cellphones found at the crime scene,” said a top police source. “But it was too late. We had already sent them to the FBI in Quantico, Va., after he was unwilling to give us the pass codes earlier,” the source added.

◆Meanwhile, police are still trying to determine the identification of the shooter and whether the shooting was a retaliatory response.

◆Baby Jonylah’s funeral is being held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at New Beginnings Church in Woodlawn.

The snitch patrol . . .

Sneed is told that Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s “Redefine Snitching” program to combat the “no-snitch” code of silence protecting shooters is gaining steam.

Word is sports nabobs Reggie Smith, Otis Wilson, Sam Hill,Richard Dent, plus the Rev. Michael Pfleger and investment guru Jim Reynolds, all have indicated a willingness to participate in a public service campaign to redefine “snitching.”

◆Stepping up to the plate? Uh, where are Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose???

I spy . . .

Basketball’s Andre Iguodala, team captain for the Denver Nuggets, was spotted dining at Gibson’s Steakhouse Sunday night... Ditto actor Christian Slater Thursday night.

Pew news . . .

Bible banter: History Channel’s blockbuster hit “The Bible” was co-produced by actress Roma Downey and husband, Mark “Survivor” Burnett, who told the New York tabloid press he was raised by a Catholic father and a Presbyterian Church of Scotland mother. Now there’s a combination.

Lohan lore . . .

◆Sight scene: Bent out of shape actress Lindsay Lohan, who was ordered to spend 90 days in a lockdown rehab facility, showed up in court wearing a religious cross necklace and a rosary.

◆Sight scene: Lohan’s attorney, Mark Jay Heller, drives a Hummer with a license plate that reads “IMTRYNG.”

Wright or wrong . . .

Snipshot: Chicago hairstylist Johnny Wright, who is permanently in Washington, D.C., snipping first lady Michelle Obama’s bangs . . . zips his lips when it comes to her tresses. But Sneed hears a tress makeover is in the offing for a new summer ’do. Bangs begone?

Sneedlings . . .

Happy 25th wedding anniversary to Gary and Christine LaPaille . . . Tuesday’s birthdays: Bruce Willis, 58; Glenn Close, 66, and Harvey Weinstein, 61.



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