Key events in the life of Cardinal Bernard Law

Key dates in the life of Cardinal Bernard Law, who died early Wednesday at age 86.

— Nov. 4, 1931: Bernard Law is born in Torreon, Mexico; the only child of a U.S. Air Force colonel and a mother who converted to Roman Catholicism from Presbyterianism.

— 1953: Law graduates from Harvard University with a degree in medieval history.

— 1961: Law is ordained as a priest.

— 1968: Law takes a job at the ecumenical office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

— 1973: Law is named bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in Missouri.

— January 1984: Law becomes archbishop of Boston.

— 1985: The Vatican elevates Law to cardinal.

— 1998: Law travels to Cuba to support Catholics in the communist island nation.

— 1999: Law leads a delegation of Catholic and Jewish leaders to Israel.

— January 2002: The Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal explodes when defrocked priest John Geoghan is accused of molesting 130 children; documents show Law and other church officials knew of the alleged abuse, yet gave Geoghan new parish assignments.

— Dec. 13, 2002: Law resigns as archbishop; an earlier attempt to resign was rejected by Pope John Paul II.

— 2003: A report by the Massachusetts attorney general says more than 1,000 children may have been molested by more than 250 priests and church workers from 1940 to 2000.

— February 2003: Law moves into a convent in Clinton, Maryland, owned by the Sisters of Mercy of Alma, a conservative order of nuns based in Michigan.

— July 1, 2003: Pope John Paul II names Bishop Sean O'Malley as the new archbishop of Boston.

— May 27, 2004: The Vatican names Law archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome.

— April 11, 2005: Despite being disgraced, Law leads a Mass for thousands at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome to mourn the death of Pope John Paul II.

— Nov. 21, 2011: Law retires as an archpriest in Rome.

— Dec. 20, 2017: Law dies at age 86 in Rome.