BOSTON (WHDH) — Abuse survivors and some clergy members are criticizing the Catholic Church for its handling of Cardinal Bernard Law’s death and funeral.

Law’s funeral was held Thursday at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Pope Francis offered a benediction at the end of the funeral and his participation is sparking controversy. Father James Bretzke, who works at Boston College, said the funeral should have been held another church other than St. Peter’s Basilica.

“I think it comes across as being, at best, tone deaf and at worst as being utterly insensitive to the people who suffered so much under Cardinal Law,” said Bretzke.

Law served as archbishop of Boston for nearly 20 years after being appointed in 1984. During his time as archbishop, he reportedly knew about countless cases of sexual abuse by clergy members but allowed those men to stay in the church. An investigation led by the Boston Globe found Law was transferring abusive priests to other parishes.

Law was never criminally charged. He resigned in 2002 and the Catholic Church moved him to Rome, where he served at St. Mary Major Basilica before retiring.

Father James Martin, the editor of Jesuit magazine “American,” said Law’s funeral is standard protocol for a cardinal who dies in Rome. However, he believes there should have been an exception for Law.

“It should not have been standard operating procedure, to send a message that this was a different situation,” said Martin.

Law’s successor as archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, did not attend his funeral. Law was buried in Rome.

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