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Child abuse survivors blast Brady for refusal to resign over cover-up

THE refusal of Cardinal Sean Brady to resign his position as leader of the Irish Catholic Church over his role in the cover-up of notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth has been met with anger by survivors of child abuse.

Cardinal Brady became embroiled in controversy when it emerged that he had sworn two of Fr Smyth's teenage victims to secrecy in 1975 after recording their statements in a church inquiry.

Dr Brady has now announced he has no intention of resigning, and is asking Pope Benedict for an assistant bishop he says will help him engage with child abuse survivors and implement child protection procedures.

In a statement, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland (70) said he wanted to "continue the vital work of healing, repentance and renewal, including engagement with survivors of abuse".

But survivors of clerical child abuse have criticised Dr Brady's decision to stay on.

Abuse survivor Marie Collins accused Dr Brady of having allowed Smyth to continue abusing for 18 years. She said Dr Brady had expressed no regret to her for his role in the cover-up in 1975.

The abuse survivor added that she was not surprised by the Cardinal's decision, and criticised his failure to mention in last night's statement the swearing to secrecy of Smyth's two victims.

John Kelly of the Survivors of Child Abuse group also blasted the Cardinal's decision not to resign, saying it was that of "a decent man who had not done the decent thing".

Cardinal Brady's statement follows two months of what was termed "reflection and consultation" about his future following media revelations that he had kept the gardai in the dark about Smyth's abuse.