Scandals must kickstart new era for Church
A CHILLING sense of witnessing the end of an era was as sharp as the cold Armagh air yesterday as the body of Cahal Daly was laid to rest. It was articulated by his successor, Cardinal Sean Brady, who said that the clerical child abuse scandals had brought the Catholic Church in Ireland to a defining moment in its history.
A notable absentee, Cardinal Desmond Connell, would have winced on hearing his fellow Prince of the Church castigate not only the horrific rapes by paedophile priests of the little ones in their care, but also "the shameful mismanagement" of church leaders in covering-up the litany of abuse chronicled in the damning reports into the diocese of Ferns, industrial schools run by religious orders and the Archdiocese of Dublin.
The revelations of these scandals have wrought such damage on those who were abused, Cardinal Brady readily acknowledged, adding in his quivering Cavan accent, that they caused "justified anger and outrage on the part of the faithful and damaged trust profoundly in the integrity of the leaders of the Church".