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Age of reason

• The Catholic Church told me when I came to seven years of age that I had come to the age of reason and understood the difference between right and wrong.

I have two children, aged 11 and nine, and I would view it with great angst if our local curate were to ask them to sign a document of secrecy whereby, as a parent, I was not allowed to know if something serious had befallen them, and especially a crime as perpetrated by Brendan Smyth.

Surely Cardinal Brady -- then Fr Brady (36) and well beyond the age of reason -- knew quite well he was doing wrong by concealing from the children's parents what had happened to their children.

Furthermore, as a legal man, he knew the children's signatures were not worth a spit in the eyes of the law of the church or State as they were too young.

His cardinal sin is almost as grave, for by concealing the facts, it allowed Smyth to continue his wicked deeds on many more defenceless children. All Cardinal Brady and the church wanted was to keep it under wraps.

Shame on the church and on you, Cardinal Brady.

Leo Armstrong
Naas, Co Kildare

• To read the sad attempts of clergy to distance themselves from personal responsibility for the abuse of children in the past is tragic enough.

Surely these men comprehend -- fully, legally and morally -- that the law of the land and the Commandments take precedence over Canon Law or a vow of obedience to a mortal human being, even if he is the Bishop of Rome?

God's judgment of any witness to Christ can only be based upon the tenets of the 10 Commandments.

How long more must this sore on the church fester before it is healed? The great majority of those abused are seeking nothing more than the truth from the Catholic Church.

The old adage "the truth hurts" is causing so much angst among the self-styled, specially chosen, it makes me think they imagine the omnipotent presence is as great a fool as themselves.

Declan Foley
Berwick, Australia

Irish Independent