Where to next?

The self made plight of Sean Cardinal Brady, archbishop of Armagh and primate of All-Ireland continues to grow.

Brady, 72, when he was a priest in 1974 was informed by a young boy who was being abused that as well as himself a number of others were being abused.

A New York Times piece notes how Brady failed “37 years ago to report damning evidence against the Rev. Brendan Smyth. That failure allowed Father Smyth to continue abusing children for at least 13 more years”. The claims come after a BBC documenetary “which produced handwritten documents concerning one such interrogation involving Brendan Boland, a 14-year-old who came forward to accuse Father Smyth. In the documents, Father Brady, not yet a prelate, described himself as having been ‘dispatched to investigate the complaint,’ prompting accusations that he bore greater responsibility than he has admitted”. Worse  still, Boland had given the-Fr Brady a list of names and addresses of other children that there, or where in danger of, being abused. Brady did nothing. Brady has continually said that he was only following orders of his bishop, and that he passed the list onto his ordinary, Bishop Francis MacKiernan of Kilmore, and initially said that he did all he could.  Only recently has Brady acknowledged that he could have done more and then publicly apologised.

This comes after a similar incident in 2010 when Cardinal Brady, again when he was a young priest swore two boys to secrecy knowing that they had been abused. It was after this first incident that Brady described himself as a “lame duck cardinal”. Rocco mentions “Brady’s tie to the Smyth case encited controversy when his role as a canonical notary first emerged in early 2010, without the fresh aspect of the additional victims he learned about. The mere disclosure that, in recording their experiences, the future cardinal swore the teenage victims to secrecy — a standard procedure to maintain the integrity of canonical proceedings — made for enough grist in the court of public opinion to foster perceptions that he abetted a cover-up”.

What has been interesting to see is the attacks, albeit warranted, from the Labour Party. The ministers for Education, Social Protection as well as the deputy prime minister have all called for Cardinal Brady to resign. This is the same party that forced the closure of the Irish embassy to the Holy See. Othershave mentioned how the deputy PM has commented that “‘It’s not the case,’ he [Gilmore] told reporters in Dublin yesterday. ‘There is a separation in this country between church and State. It is not the Government’s responsibility to decide who are bishops or who should remain as bishops, or archbishops or cardinals – that’s entirely a matter for the church'”. Yet Gilmore and his associates around the Cabinet are happy to say who should resign or not, especially when the party recieved low poll ratings recently.

It is interesting to see Cardinal Brady relativise his role in the crisis. It is as a direct result of the actions of Cardinal Brady that Fr Brendan Smyth went on to abuse more children. This is from a Church that rightly rails against relativism, yet cannot see it when it concerns itself.

It is now certain that what Brady asked for in 2010 will happen. Reportsnote that the press office of the Catholic bishops said that “said Cardinal Seán Brady had asked the pope ‘for additional support for my work’ in 2010. The office was correcting a newspaper report yesterday, which said that the Vatican had turned down an offer by Cardinal Brady to resign in 2010. At a press conference in Maynooth on March 20th, this request was referred to by Cardinal Brady, who explained that his previous request for episcopal support in 2010 had been put on hold pending the outcome of the apostolic visitation to Ireland last year. That request had been reactivated, he said”.

Related news reports mention how sources “expected a coadjutor bishop to be appointed to the archdiocese of Armagh before the end of the year to aid embattled Cardinal Seán Brady”. The only choice that would restore some credibility to the Church in Ireland is Diarmuid Martin, archbishop of Dublin and primate of Ireland. If the Vatican wanted to let Ireland know it was backed Martin, it could created him a cardinal before Brady turns 80 in 2019. However, there is no guarantee that any of this will occur, as Martin is disliked in the Curia for “stirring things up”, or telling the truth.

Only then would the Church have some hope for a future.


4 Responses to “Where to next?”

  1. A fitting response « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] the actions, or lack thereof, by Sean Cardinal Brady became apparent, reports notes that “Just 20 of 150 priests in the […]

  2. The wrong Martin « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] Cardinal Brady, the untrustworthy and sinful archbishop of Armagh and primate of All Ireland has finally had his request for a coadjutor […]

  3. No shame | Order and Tradition Says:

    […] piece goes on to mention Cardinal Brady, the archbishop of Armagh and his role in protecting priests who he knew were abusing children. The article adds later that Cardinal Danneels “had computer […]

  4. Challenges for Francis | Order and Tradition Says:

    […] This attribute is not something that can be said of the rest of his fellow bishops, not least the primate of All-Ireland. Archbishop Martin was not appointed to succeed Cardinal Brady but Martin’s lack of PEA […]

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