Friday 6 December 2019

Brady should have walked out long ago

I did not want to write to a newspaper, but having listened for the past three or four days to the emerging story of Cardinal Sean Brady and paedophile priest Brendan Smyth I felt it was the only way to release the anger that I have felt.

I feel rage that church authorities could go to the extent of making innocent children swear oaths of silence in order to cover up the brutality of people like Smyth and others of his ilk.

It is totally irrelevant now whether Cardinal Brady resigns or not.

The day he should have resigned was the day he was sent by his superior to browbeat two innocent and damaged children into signing an unlawful document. That was the day he should have had the moral courage to walk out of that building taking those children with him to a place of safety. In my opinion, the Catholic Church that I grew up in, and the religion I practised for over 80 years, is finished as an institution.

It is no longer relevant to the ordinary person and the ordinary person has no longer got any time for the pomp and ceremony that is central to the institution.

The only relevant way the Catholic faith will survive in modern Ireland is by a total rejection of all those big pompous ceremonies with the ornate vestments and red hats, mitres and other trappings.

Do away with bishops' rings. The recent line-up for ring kissing in Rome was an embarrassment and I think a couple of the Irish bishops thought so too.

These men were basically branch managers and as such could they not have met their CEO wearing a dark business suit and sat around a boardroom table to do their business without all the nonsense?

Two things are required of our bishops if the Catholic faith is to survive in this country. Give up the arrogance that is evident in every statement and adopt a practical spirit of humility.

Leave your bishops' palaces and live like your people, get a modest car, get out and walk among your people. Talk to them as your founder did 2,000 years ago.

There are two bishops who give some signs of hope -- Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and Bishop Willie Walsh of Killaloe. For many of the rest, there is little hope of change. It is time to get back to fundamentals.

We live in hope.

Peter R Cullen
Maynooth, Co Kildare

Irish Independent

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