Cardinal Brady 'sad' over debt crisis gripping the country
THE Catholic Primate of All-Ireland last night expressed his personal sadness at the banking crisis which has impaled the nation's sovereignty with the financial intervention of the International Monetary Fund and the EU.
Cardinal Sean Brady was speaking to the Irish Independent in Rome where he was attending an unprecedented summit on the clerical child abuse crisis convened by Pope Benedict with 150 'Princes of the Church' from around the world.
For the past decade Cardinal Brady has been at the centre of the paedophile priest scandals that have rocked the Irish Church as devastatingly as the excesses of politicians, bankers and developers ruined 'the Celtic Tiger' economy.
The cardinal said: "I am sad, very sad, about the events in Ireland. Ireland, and the people of Ireland, are in my prayers."
Cardinal Brady looked a lonelyfigure as he walked slowly along the cobbled courtyard towards the Vatican conference room.
There, behind closed doors, he listened to Cardinal William Levada, the powerful American head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with abuse cases, deliver the Vatican's 'Response of the Church to Sexual Abuse'.
Earlier this year Cardinal Brady resisted calls to resign and said he was staying on as "a wounded healer" after it was revealed he had sworn two abuse victims of notorious paedophile monk Brendan Smyth to secrecy 35 years ago.
Last night five abuse victims from Austria, Belgium, England, Germany and the US issued statements deploring the secrecy in which Pope Benedict and his cardinals were debating the crisis.
"We will only know if their meeting is successful if we see action resulting from this meeting," said Lieve Halsberghe, of Belgium.
Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, told the Irish Independent that the day was "not an occasion for decision-making or votes, but for prayer and reflection, sharing useful information and listening to the cardinals' opinions".