Abuse scandal was 'great trial' in life of former Primate
Published 04/01/2010 | 05:00
REVELATIONS of the sexual abuse of children by priests were a "great trial" in the life of Cardinal Cahal Daly, a senior churchman revealed.
The Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, Gerard Clifford, said the extent of child abuse by priests marked a sad chapter in Irish history.
He said the revelations caused "unmitigated sadness and sorrow for the cardinal". "This was without doubt one of the great trials of Cardinal Daly's ministry," he added.
Bishop Clifford was speaking last night at the reception of the cortege carrying the remains of the 92-year-old cardinal to Armagh from Belfast, where he died of heart failure on New Year's Eve.
Bishop Clifford told the large congregation, led by Cardinal Sean Brady, that he believed the pain felt by the Cardinal was well-captured in his portrait hanging in the cloisters of Maynooth College.
"He looks distressed and tired," continued Bishop Clifford. "I believe it sums up the awful effect the whole sad story had on his life. But Cardinal Daly was a man of faith. He believed deeply in the power of God to heal and rebuild lives."
Bishop Clifford praised the efforts that the elderly cardinal had made to establish child protection procedures in churches, parishes and schools.
"As President of the Irish Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Daly worked tirelessly to ensure that policies would be put in place," he said.