Wednesday 22 October 2014

Abuse victims urge Pope to let Cardinal go quickly

Sarah McDonald

Published 15/08/2014 | 02:30

Irish cardinal Sean Brady stepping down presents the church with a chance for a fresh start. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Irish cardinal Sean Brady stepping down presents the church with a chance for a fresh start. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images

VICTIMS of clerical sexual abuse have called on Pope Francis to accept Cardinal Sean Brady's resignation immediately.

They spoke out after the Cardinal confirmed he had asked to stand down from his role as Primate of All Ireland, traditional for cardinals on their 75th birthday.

Dr Brady has faced criticism over his role in the Church's handling of abuse claims against paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

Abuse survivor Marie Kane, who met Pope Francis last month, said she would be surprised if the Pontiff didn't allow the cardinal to leave his position soon.

"I would hope for a quick response from Pope Francis. I would be so disappointed if it even took months," she said.

"After all that was said in those meetings in Rome with the Pope and the feeling I got from him, I would hope that he would actually carry it out straight away."

Brendan Boland, a victim of Smyth, detailed in his book how the then Father Brady had sworn him to silence following a canonical investigation by the Church.

Clerical team

The three-member clerical team, in which the then Fr Brady was the most junior member and in respect of which he acted as a note taker, investigated Smyth's abuse of teenager Boland.

A BBC documentary team later revealed how the families of other potential victims were never told of Smyth's abuse.

"Sean Brady needs to read Brendan's book and so does Pope Francis," said Ms Kane.

"So I would be hoping for a very quick response on that.

"If I thought it was going to take six months to a year I would think that is not right after all that has been said. And the tears that were shed over in Rome."

In a direct message to Pope Francis, she added: "Act now - now you have the power to do something. Let him (Cardinal Brady) go.

"If it does take months I would write a letter to the Pope. I would be insulted if it took months. And my kids would be disappointed, after everything. There is pressure on the Pope to follow through.

"I don't want to look like an eejit after putting my hope in him. And the belief that he would follow through."

She was backed by campaigner Marie Collins.

"I called for Cardinal Brady's resignation four years ago. I can see no reason why his resignation shouldn't be accepted now," said Ms Collins

Irish Independent

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