Catholic group calls on cardinal to step down
Published 17/03/2010 | 05:00
A GROUP of lay Catholics has called on Cardinal Sean Brady to resign, saying he has been compromised by the culture of silence within the church.
Voice of the Faithful Ireland (VOTFI) said the cardinal's failure to challenge that culture means he no longer has the full confidence of Catholics, and especially that of the survivors of clerical sex abuse.
Sean O'Conaill, acting co-ordinator for the group, said there has been a mixture of shock and bewilderment among the laity after hearing that the leader of the church in Ireland was implicated in the cover-up for notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.
"There is a good deal of shock about the revelations regarding Cardinal Brady. On the one hand, people can react by saying this was an awful long time ago, but, on the other hand, children were being sworn to silence and a silence lasting almost two decades before any light was thrown on the Smyth case."
In a statement, the group said that in light of the cardinal's statement last December that he would resign if a failure to act on his part meant more children were abused, they could not understand why he would not now follow through on that declaration.
It added that much suffering could have been prevented had churchmen like Cardinal Brady acted differently.