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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Revelations spark calls for cardinal to step down

Sarah MacDonald

Published 21/07/2014 | 02:30

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REVELATIONS concerning Cardinal Sean Brady's involvement in a 1975 canonical inquiry into Fr Brendan Smyth's abuse of Brendan Boland have sparked fresh calls for the Catholic Church's most senior churchman to stand down.

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Marie Kane, who was one of six survivors who met Pope Francis two weeks ago in the Vatican, has threatened to write again to the Pope if Dr Brady does not offer his resignation.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ms Kane said Mr Boland's book "confirms the conversation I had with Pope Francis and the issues I raised" regarding "cover-ups and secrecy in the Irish church".

"This is a book Pope Francis really needs to read," she said as she called on Dr Brady to make a statement.

However, the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth declined to comment on the book's contents.

Shame

Ms Kane said Mr Boland had suffered "two-tiered" abuse at the hands of the church, first of all the actual abuse by Smyth and then the cover-up and swearing to secrecy.

She expressed frustration that Dr Brady would be allowed to retire in August when he turns 75 "as if he had done nothing wrong".

The mother of two, who was abused by a Dublin priest, said: "He should be leaving his post with his head down in shame."

The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, has given his backing to Dr Brady. Speaking in Knock, he said: "I have not seen the book. But not having seen it, Cardinal Brady has my total confidence, support and respect as a bishop and as a cardinal."

Ian Elliott, the former CEO of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, said the book's revelations raise the question of "how a situation of this nature would be handled today if it occurred within the church?".

Irish Independent

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