Thursday 14 December 2017

'It's hideous that Brady silenced abused children'

Breda Heffernan

VICTIMS of clerical sex abuse last night reacted with disappointment and frustration after Cardinal Sean Brady indicated that he had no plans to resign.

In his St Patrick's Day homily in Armagh Cathedral yesterday, the cardinal said he would be reflecting on his position over the Easter period and asked the congregation to pray for him.

However, survivors of abuse said he should step down immediately over his handling of the inquiry into paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Marie Collins, a victim of clerical abuse in Dublin, said: "He's a good man, but he did allow children to be abused after a person had been discovered to be a paedophile.

"If he is admitting that he hasn't always upheld the values he believes in, then he must do the honourable thing and step down."

Andrew Madden, who was one of the first people to lift the lid on abuse within the Dublin archdiocese, said: "If the Catholic Church in Ireland is to be led by a man who accurately reflects it in its current state, then perhaps it is only right and fitting that it be led by a man who participated in the cover-up of the sexual abuse of children by a priest."

Sam Adair, who was abused by Smyth as a boy in Belfast, was adamant that Cardinal Brady should go.

"He has no credibility," he said. "This has had to be dragged from the church. It's hideous to think that he silenced two children who were being abused."


However, Garry O'Sullivan, editor of 'The Irish Catholic' newspaper, said he believed Irish Catholics would accept the cardinal as a "wounded healer" -- but only if he first sought the forgiveness of Smyth's victims.

He said: "Cardinal Brady's call for the bishops to 'own up and take responsibility' is welcome, but it is a pity that he had to be dragged to that level of accountability for the truth of his own past."

He added: "As he also said, we desperately need to stop this 'drip, drip of revelations of failure' and that can only happen if each and every bishop comes out now and owns up to the fullness of truth."

Irish Independent

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