Church is facing 'historic challenge'
THE next steps for the Catholic Church in Ireland will be among the most critical and most challenging of its history, Cardinal Sean Brady warned yesterday.
Speaking at the Requiem Mass for Cardinal Cahal Daly, Dr Brady said the church had to proceed along the path -- initiated by the late cardinal -- of working with civil authorities and communities to ensure the best practice, co-operation and accountability in safeguarding children in all church activities.
The abuse scandals had caused "justified anger and outrage" on the part of the faithful and profoundly damaged the trust in church leaders, Dr Brady said.
None of the bishops named in the damning report on the abuse of children within the church were present at Cardinal Daly's funeral at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh yesterday. Cardinal Desmond Connell also did not attend, though he did attend a special Mass for Cardinal Daly in Belfast last Sunday.
A spokesman for the church confirmed that the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Jim Moriarty; the Bishop of Galway, Martin Drennan; and the two auxiliary bishops, Eamonn Walsh and Ray Field, were not present at yesterday's ceremony.
In his homily, chief celebrant Dr Brady, who was acting as Pope Benedict XVI's personal legate or representative, said Cardinal Daly "would have been well aware that the next steps for the Catholic Church in Ireland will be among the most critical and most challenging of its history".
"The abuse of children and its shameful mismanagement by those charged by God to protect his 'little ones' have wrought such damage on those who were abused," he said.