ONE of Ireland’s most conservative and respected Catholic theologians has said that Cardinal Sean Brady has lost his moral authority and should resign.
Fr Vincent Twomey has pleaded with the church to reexamine its role and asked where is the humanity to connect with the pain of children who have been abused.
The retired Professor of Moral Theology at Maynooth, told Primetime on RTE 1, that there were issues about the failure to alert parents to other victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth, that the church must address.
“For the good of the church, it is really tragic, but I’m afraid I am of the opinion that he should resign,” he said.
The cardinal was locked in meetings with advisers yesterday amid a growing chorus of calls for him to stand down over his handling of child rape allegations against the paedophile priest in 1975.
Government ministers on both sides of the Border have ratcheted up the pressure on Cardinal Brady to resign.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness both called on him to consider his position.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny held firm on his call for the cardinal to "reflect" on the BBC programme that contained new revelations on the handling of clerical abuse.
But the Labour Party went further with strong statements from Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Mr Quinn.
Bishop Leo O'Reilly of Kilmore, which covers Co Cavan, where Smyth's order was based, said: "I find it incomprehensible that Abbot Smith did not take effective action to stop Brendan Smyth committing further abuse against children."
He said he wanted to express his "deep sorrow" to all victims of paedophile priests and described the abuse of victims featured in the BBC programme as a "betrayal of their faith and trust in priests".
The BBC 'This World' programme claimed Cardinal Brady's role in the investigation of Brendan Smyth was greater than he had made out.
It also raised questions over why the parents of abuse victims identified by Brendan Boland were never contacted by the church.
In the North, the PSNI confirmed it was "studying the contents of the programme".