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Monday 20 January 2020

Cardinal Brady looking forward to Pope's acceptance of resignation

Cardinal Brady
Cardinal Brady

Sarah MacDonald

CARDINAL Sean Brady has revealed he is looking forward to the Pope's acceptance of his resignation offered ahead of his 75th birthday which falls today.

The Primate of All Ireland confirmed he wrote to Pope Francis several weeks ago as he approached the birthday on which bishops are required by canon law to tender their resignations.

"I look forward to the day when my resignation will be accepted and when Archbishop Eamon (Martin) will take over as archbishop," he stated yesterday.

As revealed by the Irish Independent on Thursday, the cardinal will not seek to have his term of office extended.

His letter to the Vatican coincided with a call from Irish clerical abuse survivor Marie Kane, who met Pope Francis on July 7, for the cardinal to stand down immediately.

Within the past month, Brendan Boland, who was abused by the notorious serial paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth, published his account of the church authorities' handling of his abuse in his book 'Sworn to Silence' .

The book reproduced for the first time transcripts signed by the then Fr John Brady, who was a notary in the 1975 canonical process, and the oath of secrecy which Mr Boland was made to sign and which Fr Brady oversaw.

"Last month I offered my resignation to Pope Francis in accordance with the requirement of canon law," the cardinal said. "I did so in anticipation of my 75th birthday."

Recalling that on January 18, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Dr Martin as Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, Cardinal Brady said this meant that "as soon as Pope Francis accepts my resignation, Archbishop Eamon will become Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland."

Dr Brady, who has been Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland since 1996, said he believed Archbishop Martin was "excellently prepared" for the role.

"He has worked tirelessly in getting to know its priests, religious and lay faithful, as well as by becoming involved in every aspect of the life of the Church in Armagh and beyond," Cardinal Brady said of his 52-year-old successor.

Abuse survivor Marie Collins told the Irish Independent: "As far as I am concerned he should have resigned before now.

"It would have a lot more meaning for survivors if he had stepped down in the first place when he was thinking about it," she added.

She was referencing the pressure the cardinal came under in 2010 and 2012 to resign as details of his role in the canonical investigation into Fr Smyth's abuse of Brendan Boland and other children began to emerge.

"I think it would have had a lot more meaning at that point," Ms Collins said.

In May 2012, Cardinal Brady issued an apology to one of the teenagers abused by Smyth but said he had no intention of stepping aside.

Irish Independent

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