Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Cardinal Brady "Failed in His Duty", But Vows to Stay On

The head of the Irish Church's own child protection watchdog has found that Cardinal Brady clearly failed in his duty to safeguard children. Even so, the Cardinal has vowed to stay on.

From the Irish Times:

CATHOLIC PRIMATE Cardinal Se├ín Brady was wrong in his handling of 1975 child sex abuse investigations, the head of the church’s child protection watchdog said yesterday.
Ian Elliott, chief executive of the the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), also said it “would have been helpful” had the cardinal disclosed details of the matter sooner than their disclosure in newspapers last March.
In 1975, the then Fr Brady conducted a canonical investigation into child sex abuse by Fr Brendan Smyth in Kilmore diocese and swore to secrecy the two teenagers involved, whom he believed.
He passed a report on the matter to his bishop, but did nothing more. Smyth continued to abuse children for a further 18 years.
Asked yesterday whether he believed the then Fr Brady had dealt with the matter correctly, Mr Elliott said: “No. He didn’t handle it properly from the safeguarding of children point of view. You could not say that the action taken prioritised the safeguarding of children.”
He was “quite sure if you posed the situation to the cardinal today . . . other actions would have been taken.”
Mr Elliott said he had written to Cardinal Brady following his request on Monday that the NBSC prioritise Armagh archdiocese in its new audit.
(Read the full report)

Meanwhile, the Cardinal insists he will not resign. From the Belfast Telegraph:

Irish victims of clerical abuse have expressed disappointment that Cardinal Sean Brady is to stay on as Primate despite their calls for his resignation over his role in the 1975 cover-up of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.
Maeve Lewis, executive director of the One in Four support group, said Cardinal Brady had allowed many other children to be sexually abused and their lives to be devastated by his failure to report Smyth to the authorities.
“Cardinal Brady states that he has consulted with survivors,” she said. “He certainly has not listened to what they have said.
“Survivors who are in contact with One in Four are very clear that they need senior Catholic churchmen to be accountable for what they have done — and to resign.”
Ms Lewis said that if Cardinal Brady was genuine about overseeing change, he should challenge responses victims meet when they attempt to bring their experiences to the attention of authorities.

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