Cardinal Brady will not resign over ‘abuse failure’

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BBC Northern Ireland

02 May 2012

The Catholic primate of all-Ireland says he will not resign as Church leader despite revelations in the BBC’s This World show. Footage courtesy of RTE

The Catholic primate of all-Ireland has said that he will not resign as Church leader despite revelations in the BBC’s This World programme.

It found Cardinal Sean Brady had names and addresses of those being abused by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

However, he did not pass on those details to police or parents.

Cardinal Brady said he accepted he was part of “an unhelpful culture of deference and silence in society, and the Church”.

“With others, I feel betrayed that those who had the authority in the Church to stop Brendan Smyth failed to act on the evidence I gave them,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“However, I also accept that I was part of an unhelpful culture of deference and silence in society, and the Church, which thankfully is now a thing of the past.”

The cardinal said he was “shocked, appalled and outraged” by Smyth and said he had trusted that those with the authority to act in relation to Smyth would treat the evidence seriously and respond appropriately.

He accused the BBC of exaggerating his authority in the programme.

“The commentary in the programme and much of the coverage of my role in this inquiry gives the impression that I was the only person who knew of the allegations against Brendan Smyth at that time and that because of the office I hold in the Church today I somehow had the power to stop Brendan Smyth in 1975.

“I had absolutely no authority over Brendan Smyth. Even my Bishop had limited authority over him. The only people who had authority within the Church to stop Brendan Smyth from having contact with children were his Abbot in the Monastery in Kilnacrott and his Religious Superiors in the Norbertine Order.”

He added that he had worked with others in the Church to put these new procedures in place and looked forward to continuing that vital work in the years ahead.

Senior Vatican Prosecutor Monsignor Charles Scicluna has defended Cardinal Brady.

“My first point is that Fr Brady was a note taker in 1975, he did what he should have done. He forwarded all the information to the people that had the power to act,” he said.

“My second point is that in the interest of the Church in Ireland, they need to have Cardinal Brady as the archbishop of Armagh because he has shown determination in promoting child protection policies. You need to have leaders who have learned the hard way and are determined to protect children.”

The BBC investigation centres on a secret church inquiry in 1975 when a 14-year-old boy was questioned about abuse.

Smyth abused him and others in guesthouses on trips across Ireland.

The investigation centres on a secret church inquiry in 1975 when a 14-year-old boy was questioned about abuse, as Mark Simpson reports.

In 1975, Cardinal Brady was a priest and teacher in County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland, when he was sent by his bishop to investigate a claim of child sexual abuse by a fellow priest.

That priest was later exposed as Ireland’s most prolific paedophile, Father Brendan Smyth, who died in prison in 1997, one month into a 12 year prison sentence.

The first child to tell his parents about the abuse was 14-year-old Brendan Boland.

The man tasked with the secret church investigation that followed would later become the most senior priest in Ireland.

Sean Brady’s role in the affair became clear in 2010, when it became known that he had been present when the abused boy was questioned.

He claimed, however, that the boy’s father had accompanied him, and described his own role as that of a note-taker.

However, the BBC This World investigation has uncovered the notes Cardinal Brady took while the boy was questioned.

The child’s father was not allowed in the room, and the child was immediately sworn to secrecy.

What Cardinal Brady failed to tell anyone in 2010 was that Brendan Boland had also given him and his colleagues the precise details of a group of children, some of whom, were being abused by Smyth.

The Catholic Church has been knocked off its pedestal in Ireland, and its leader is battling to hold onto his own position.

Cardinal Sean Brady has been under pressure for some time. But he has always made it clear he will not resign, unless there is specific proof that his failure to act allowed clerical child abuse to take place.

Clearly, he does not believe the evidence in the BBC documentary meets that criterion.

However, with the media spotlight on his past, the Catholic primate is struggling to shift the focus to the present and the future.

That is a very uncomfortable position, for any church leader.

Cardinal Brady did interview one of them and swore him to secrecy.

This World spoke to all of the children who Brendan Boland had identified; they all told the programme that to the best of their knowledge none of their parents or families were warned in any way about the paedophile Brendan Smyth.

Four of them had been abused by Smyth. Two of them continued to be abused after the 1975 inquiry.

One of them – originally from Belfast – told the programme that Smyth continued to abuse him for another year.

He also said Smyth abused his sister for a further seven years and then in turn, his four younger cousins, up to 1988.

Cardinal Brady did consider his position as Primate of all-Ireland when his role in the secret inquiry was first exposed.

The Catholic Church has said that “the sole purpose of the oath” signed by Brendan Boland in Cardinal Brady’s presence was “to give greater force and integrity to the evidence given by Mr Boland against any counter claim by Fr Brendan Smyth”.

The church also points out that in 1975, “no state or church guidelines for responding to allegations of child abuse existed in Ireland”.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said it was a matter for Cardinal Brady to reflect on his decision following the BBC documentary.

Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the programme’s revelations were “tragic and disturbing”.

Abuse victims’ campaigner Marie Collins, who was raped at the age of 13 by a hospital chaplain in Dublin, said Cardinal Brady should resign.

“I’m amazed no bishops have come out and said he should go,” she said.

“We have priests and theologians being silenced by the Vatican – they can act against people whose views they feel are liberal, but they will not act against someone who not only endangered children but let them be abused.

“If Cardinal Brady came out and espoused the view that women should be ordained, he’d be gone within hours.”

Andrew Madden, abuse survivor and author of a memoir, said: “He’s not a wounded healer – he’s a spineless self-serving careerist and that’s why he kept his mouth shut all the years Brendan Smyth was abusing children”

Gary O’Sullivan, editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper, said Cardinal Brady had questions to answer.

“If a child can see the need to save other children, how come priests, ministers of Christianity, cannot have the same awareness?” he said.

“If he wants to stay in this leadership position, he should show leadership and come out and answer these questions because this culture of silence failed children.”

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Evidence: Pa. pastor punished for raising concerns

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Fox News

Published May 02, 2012

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA –  A Roman Catholic pastor was punished by the Philadelphia archdiocese for raising concerns about a priest being assigned to his parish, jurors learned Wednesday in a clergy-abuse trial.

Prosecutors offered the evidence to suggest the archdiocese blamed the messenger rather than address its brewing clergy-abuse problem in the 1990s.

Monsignor Michael Picard was punished for complaining when the priest was assigned to his Newtown, Pa., parish in 1996. Picard said he had heard disturbing information about the priest from reliable sources — and acted for the sake of his parish.

The late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, angry that Picard was rejecting his decision on the placements, ordered him to apologize and take a two-week retreat to reflect on his actions.

“Cardinal Bevilacqua noted that he will not tolerate even the appearance of disobedience by any priest,” states a memo of a disciplinary meeting read in court Wednesday.

Monsignor William Lynn, 61, is charged with child endangerment for allegedly helping the archdiocese keep predators on the job. Lynn was secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, most of it under Bevilacqua. Defense lawyers argue that Lynn took orders from the cardinal.

Prosecutors are detailing about 20 priest personnel files to try to convince the jury that church officials covered up sex-abuse complaints or admissions.

Picard continues to lead St. Andrew, but was not made a monsignor until 2010 — a title often bestowed on pastors within a few years.

The priest who was the subject of Picard’s concern was sent to another parish in 1996. The archdiocese agreed he was “no angel,” but said they had received no serious complaints about his work in three parishes over 15 years.

According to documents read in court, Picard told his superiors, “There are so many problems today for priests and the church, he thought he would stop this one.”

In 2005, the priest rejected by Picard was accused of sexually assaulting a minor in 1982, according to prosecutors. The priest died in 2006.

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Announcement may be at hand on accused priests

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philly.com

02 May 2012

By John P. Martin and David O’Reilly

Inquirer Staff Writers

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput plans to meet Wednesday with hundreds of Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests, stirring hopes that he may announce the fates of nearly two dozen clergy suspended last year over child sex-abuse or misconduct allegations.

The e-mail invitation sent to priests Monday did not disclose the purpose of the afternoon gathering at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Delaware County. Archdiocesan officials did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The meeting comes days before Chaput’s stated deadline for deciding whether some or all of the suspended clerics will be restored to ministry.

“Some of these cases are very near conclusion,” Chaput wrote in his March 8 newsletter. “My hope is that most will be completed and announced over the next eight weeks.”

The Rev. Christopher Walsh, a leader of the Association of Philadelphia Priests, a support group formed last year, said many hope to hear news about the priests on leave.

“These priests, their accusers, their parishes, and the faithful of the archdiocese have been waiting many months for information on these cases,” said Walsh, pastor of St. Raymond of Penafort in Mount Airy.

Resolving the suspensions was one of the most vexing and controversial tasks facing Chaput after his installation last September as leader of the region’s Catholic Church.

His predecessor, Cardinal Justin Rigali, placed 27 priests on administrative leave after a February grand jury report recommended criminal charges against three active priests and accused the archdiocese of allowing dozens of others to remain in ministry despite what it called “credible” past allegations of misconduct or sexual abuse.

The report detailed just three cases, but all of the suspended clerics were ordered to leave their church-owned residences and barred from publicly celebrating Mass or ministering the sacraments.

The mass suspension, an unprecedented step by any church leader since the clergy-sex abuse scandal exploded a decade ago, roiled Catholics across the region. Church officials scrambled to staff depleted rectories, parishioners struggled to accept the abrupt and unexplained disappearance of their pastors, and hundreds of unaccused priests banded together for support and to assert their rights to the church hierarchy.

Rigali hired a former sex-crimes prosecutor to reexamine the allegations, which allegedly ranged from sexual abuse to “boundary violations” such as giving presents, talking about sex, or showing pornography to minors. A review that officials first said would take six to nine months has lasted more than a year, frustrating the affected priests, their supporters, and parishioners.

One suspended priest, the Rev. Daniel Hoy, who had been living at Our Lady of Assumption in Strafford, Chester County, died last summer. Another is Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former pastor of St. Joseph Church in Downingtown, now being tried for endangering children when he was the archdiocese secretary of clergy.

In recent months, archdiocesan officials have repeatedly declined to discuss the status of the other priests or their internal investigation. They contend that to do so would violate a gag order issued by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, the judge in Lynn’s landmark trial.

Reinstating any of them is fraught with pitfalls, particularly if archdiocesan officials decide not to disclose even allegations that have been discredited.

“People are going to want to know: Why was this priest on leave? Are my children safe?” said one Catholic pastor, who asked not to be identified discussing the matter.

The archdiocese must “also ask itself how it’s going to restore the good name” of priests who were falsely accused or guilty of conduct that doesn’t warrant their removal, he said.

“If it were me,” the pastor said, “I would go before my parish and say ‘Let me tell you my story.’ ”

Bernard Gutkowski, a parishioner at Sacred Heart Church in Swedesburg, Montgomery County, said he would happily welcome back his pastor, the Rev. Andrew McCormick.

Gutkowski, who heads the parish men’s group, said McCormick has been left largely in the dark about the status of the investigation. He talked to the pastor as recently as last week, Gutkowski said, “and he didn’t know anything about anything.”

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Married Catholic priest to out others

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9NEWS (Australia)

10:29 AEDT Wed May 2 2012

A former Catholic priest who married secretly says pedophiles join the church to hide behind the cloak of celibacy.

Father Kevin Lee, a priest at Padre Pio parish in Glenmore Park, says he’s speaking out against the church because he believes it should relax its rigid rules on celibacy.

“There is a connection between the fact that the church commits people to celibacy and yet there’s so many abuses and scandals that have been hidden behind that cloak of celibacy,” he told the Seven Network.

Father Lee said he read the story about himself a newspaper on Wednesday and was not surprised to see in the same report that another priest had been charged with sex offences.

“I read the paper this morning and it said ‘Catholic priest gets married, in an unrelated issue a priest was charged with pedophilia’.

“It’s not unrelated, the fact that priests can’t marry has been the opportunity for… pedophiles to enter into the church and ply their trade.”

Father Lee was ex-communicated by the church after he went public with the fact that he’d married in secret a woman he met in the Philippines last year.

He has also admitted to having girlfriends during his 20 years as a priest.

“The celibacy becomes something that encourages the corrupt people in society to become priests,” he said, adding that he intended to reveal the names of people in the church who have lived a double life.”

“There are more like me, in fact most of them.”

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Brendan Smyth – the evil predator who sparked crisis in Church and State

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The Belfast Telegraph

02 May 2012

By Fergus Black

Leering chillingly into the camera lens, the face is that of perhaps the country’s best-known and most notorious of paedophile priests.

The fallout from the controversy surrounding the case of serial sexual predator Fr Brendan Smyth continues to resound almost 15 years after his death.

A member of the Norbertine Order, Smyth’s litany of abuse going back to the 1940s led to the collapse of a government and the exposure of widespread clerical child sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Born in Belfast in 1927, Smyth joined the Norbertines in 1945, but decades would pass before his hidden life as one of the most notorious Irish clerical sex abusers was to be revealed.

He targeted vulnerable children living in orphanages and boarding schools and even molested youngsters in their family homes while their parents were in another room.

His favoured tactic was to befriend his victims’ families and gain their trust. Once he had adopted the persona of a “friendly uncle”, he was able to bring them away on trips and abuse them, sometimes in his car, other times at a hotel, a cinema, a boathouse and an abbey.

During his time as a priest in the Falls Road area of Belfast, Smyth targeted four children from the same family — their reporting of the abuse to the police leading to his first conviction.

It wasn’t until June 1994 that the scandal finally broke when Smyth appeared before a Belfast court. He was sentenced to four years in jail following his conviction on 43 charges of abuse.

Within months the case was to have reverberations south of the border after outrage erupted over a delay in extraditing Smyth to Northern Ireland to face abuse charges. It led to the collapse of the Fianna Fail-Labour government over divisions between the coalition partners over the Irish Attorney General’s handling of the extradition requests.

Upon his release from Magilligan prison, Smyth was immediately arrested and extradited to Dublin. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to 74 charges of sexually assaulting 20 victims over a 35-year-period.

A month into his 12-year sentence Smyth died of a heart attack at the Curragh prison in Co Kildare.

In a pre-dawn ceremony in August, 1997, Smyth was buried at his order’s Kilnacrott Abbey in Co Cavan. The lights of the hearse were used to illuminate the graveside as his coffin was lowered shortly after 4am.

Smyth’s family stayed away and, in a statement, the Norbertine Order said it had been requested by his family to conduct the burial service in private.

Source Irish Independent

 

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Fr Greene’s child sex abuse featured in explosive BBC documentary

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The Donegal Democrat

Published on Wednesday 2 May 2012 10:34

Paedophile Priest Fr Eugene Greene. (NO credit)Paedophile Priest Fr Eugene Greene. (NO credit)

The extensive abuse of children in west Donegal by Father Eugene Greene was dealt with in an explosive documentary aired last night by the BBC.

The programme, “The shame of the Catholic Church” outlined how decades of clerical abuse and cover up left the Catholic Church in Ireland at breaking point.

Investigative journalist, Darragh MacIntyre, made claims on the programme in relation to Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate of All Ireland, which have stunned the public.

The programme claimed that Cardinal Brady had the names and addresses of children who were being abused or were at risk of being abused by Ireland’s most notorious paedophile, Fr Brendan Smyth, but failed to ensure that they were protected.

The investigation centred on a secret church inquiry in 1975 when a 14-year-old boy, Brendan Boland, was questioned by the church after he had disclosed he had been abused by Fr Smyth. Three priests took part in the process, among them Cardinal Brady, then Fr John Brady – a canon lawyer, bishop’s secretary and school teacher.

Donegal man Paul Breslin, who was abused by Fr Eugene Greene, told the programme: “I thought God was supposed to care and that priests were supposed to care not hurt a person. I thought I’m doing something wrong here. You know, am I not doing a good enough job as an altar boy that he’s punishing me for this.”

He said he had no childhood, no fun, nothing other than pain: “Nothing just pain, pain, pain. Every single week just pain.”

Paul Breslin, a native of Bealtaine who has been living in London for many years, first went public with his harrowing story of clerical abuse after he was approached MacIntyre for a 2002 BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme.

Retired Garda Martin Ridge told the programme: “I don’t believe a week went by in West Donegal where you hadn’t a child or a number of children sexually abused . It’s horrendous.

“Anywhere you look around here which is so hard to fathom: by-roads, side roads, churches, schools – the abuse here was something unbelievable, unbelievable. And the fact that nobody in the public spoke out about this after the total carnage here.”

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Cardinal Seán Brady says he will not resign over failure to pass on Brendan Smyth abuse claims

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rte.ie

Updated: 16:48, Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Cardinal Seán Brady has said he does not intend to resign following new allegations about a 1975 church inquiry into the activities of paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

  • Seán Brady was involved in a 1975 inquiry into the activities of Fr Brendan Smyth
    Seán Brady was involved in a 1975 inquiry into the activities of Fr Brendan Smyth

 

Cardinal Seán Brady has said he does not intend to resign following new allegations about a 1975 church inquiry into the activities of paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

A BBC documentary claimed the failure to pass on details of abuse allegations put the other children at risk.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Cardinal Brady said that the programme misrepresented his role in the case, describing him as an investigator rather than a note-taker.

He also rejected any accusation that he had deliberately refused to take responsibility.

Cardinal Brady said he was “outraged, appalled, and felt betrayed” to find out that this information about Brendan Smyth had not been acted upon.

The new allegations about the secret internal Catholic Church inquiry in 1975 were made in a BBC documentary last night.

Read Cardinal Seán Brady’s full statement here

It emerged two years ago that Cardinal Seán Brady, then a 36-year-old priest teaching at St Patrick’s College in Cavan and a bishop’s part-time secretary, was one of three priests involved in the inquiry.

He was the note-taker who took details of the evidence from 14-year-old Dundalk boy Brendan Boland, who told how Fr Smyth had been abusing him.

Archbishop Brady stated two years ago that after the inquiry was completed he passed on the full details of the evidence to his then bishop, the late Dr Francis McKiernan.

In the documentary, Mr Boland told reporter Darragh MacIntyre that in 1975 he also gave the internal church inquiry details of two other boys, one in Cavan and a second in Belfast, who were at risk from Fr Smyth.

The programme, called ”The Shame of the Catholic Church”, claimed that the abuse allegations were not brought to the attention of the families of those two boys.

The programme tracked down the Belfast boy at the centre of the new allegations.

He claimed that Fr Smyth went on to sexually abuse him for a further year after the internal church inquiry.

The man also told the programme makers that Fr Smyth sexually abused his sister over a seven-year period after the 1975 inquiry, and that the priest was abusing his cousins up to 1988.

When details of Cardinal Brady’s role in the 1975 inquiry became public, he stated that he provided a full report of the claims made to his then bishop.

“I don’t see any reason why he should resign, he what he was asked to do as a young priest … he did precisely what he was asked to do, he made his report,” Bishop Michael Clifford told the Today with Pat Kenny programme this morning.

“We are talking about a different generation. When you were asked to do something by your bishop you did precisely what you were asked to do, and responsibility went to him.”

He said that at the time, Cardinal Brady could not have been expected to have informed parents of reports of abuse that he had been made aware of as part of his role in the investigation.

“I have no doubt that in this issue Seán Brady would not have been expected to have reported to the parents. He was simply doing one job at that particular time on that particular day, and having done that he passed it on to his bishop.

“That is the line of responsibility, it obviously moved up eventually to his superiors and to Brendan Smyth’s superiors.

“Acting as notary, he was not in a position, and could not be seen to have been in a position to contact the parents. That was a responsibility that lay with his superiors.”

Mr MacIntyre said a canon lawyer informed him that Cardinal Brady had responsibilities as an “investigator” in this case.

In a response to the BBC programme, the Catholic Church said that in 1975 “no State or church guidelines for responding to allegations of child abuse existed in Ireland”.

Kenny says Brady should ‘reflect’ on programme

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said it is a matter for Cardinal Brady himself to reflect on the outcome of last night’s BBC programme.

Speaking in Dublin this afternoon, Mr Kenny said the Government cannot eradicate the tragedies and the horrendous actions that went on in the past, but as head of Government he needed to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

He said that was why the Government appointed a Minster for Children, and had just last week published the heads of the Children First Bill.

Mr Kenny said he had stressed the importance of every organisation dealing with children, including religious organisations, playing their full part in co-operating with Government to set out a system and structure whereby such “horrendous carry-on” can never happen again.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has described as ”tragic and disturbing” the cases outlined in last night’s BBC programme.

He said it was for Cardinal Brady to make whatever comment he deems appropriate in the light of the programme.

Minister Shatter said the documentary illustrated that the reforms that the Government is making in that area under the Withholding of Information on Offences Against Children and Vulnerable Persons Bill, which was published last week, will hopefully mean that this type of tragic situation should not arise in the future.

He added that these are another number of shocking allegations in cases where children were very tragically the subject of abuse.

The minister added that if a report had been made to the civil authorities at the time, some of those who were victims of abuse may never have become such victims, while others would have had an intervention that would have ended their abuse earlier.

The One in Four group says survivors will be heartbroken by what was revealed by the programme.

Spokesperson Maeve Lewis said the revelations require an explanation from the cardinal.

Defending Cardinal Brady’s actions at the time of the inquiry, Monsignor Charles Scicluna said: “I think he fulfilled his duty well.”

The Promoter of Justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith added that he was sure Cardinal Brady was still a fit person to lead the church in Ireland.

When asked on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland if Cardinal Brady had any questions to answer as a result of the BBC documentary, Monsignor Scicluna said: “I don’t think so, no.”

Meanwhile, Irish clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins has said she believes Cardinal Brady should stand down.

Ms Collins said “a 14-year-old boy knew what was right and wrong” and Cardinal Brady should have acted on the information he had.

“Anyone who was in that room that heard those names and addresses should have done something about it,” said Ms Collins.

She added that Cardinal Brady “should have had a conscience”.

She said he failed to act and “on those grounds, he should not be there any longer”.

___________________________

Click here to link to RTE page which has a link to a fairly lengthy videotaped interview with Cardinal Sean Brady (Left-hand column under large picture of Cardinal Brady)

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Cardinal Brady revelations: reaction

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BBC News Northern Ireland

2 May 2012 Last updated at 07:47 ET

As the BBC’s This World documentary offers fresh revelations about the failure of the Irish Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady to protect children from abuse, Church representatives, politicians and victims of clerical abuse respond.

Senior Vatican prosecutor Monsignor Charles Scicluna

“My first point is that Fr Brady was a note taker in 1975, he did what he should have done. He forwarded all the information to the people that had the power to act.

My second point is that in the interest of the Church in Ireland, they need to have Cardinal Brady as the archbishop of Armagh because he has shown determination in promoting child protection policies. You need to have leaders who have learned the hard way and are determined to protect children.

They have learned because they have realised that you have to act immediately.

Maeve Lewis, One in Four

“It will be heartbreaking for survivors to realise that their suffering could have been avoided if only action had been taken.

While on paper the Church now has good child protection practices, this documentary casts a shadow on the credibility of Cardinal Brady as a leader of the new policy. Although the times were very different then, it is unimaginable that any adult had such knowledge and failed to act”

This devastating situation highlights how important it is that legislation is in place to keep children safe. The new Children First Bill and the Withholding Information Bill (in the Republic of Ireland) will, when enacted, prevent such catastrophic failures to keep children safe.”

Peter Robinson, NI First Minister

“Today, my thoughts are with the many victims who have never received justice and who still live with the mental and physical scars. I assure them of my continued support as they seek answers and justice.

In September 2011 the Executive established an inquiry into historical institutional child abuse. The framework of this inquiry was developed through consultation with victims. It is designed to meet their needs and will have the power to compel witnesses and documents.

Whilst many are understandably asking serious questions about the Catholic Church leadership, the position of Cardinal Brady is a matter which the Catholic Church hierarchy and its individual members should determine.”

Alan Shatter, Irish Justice Minister

Mr Shatter said the cases outlined in the programme were “tragic and disturbing” .

The minister added that if a report had been made to the civil authorities at the time, some of those who were victims of abuse may never have become such victims, while others would have had an intervention that would have ended their abuse earlier.

Bishop Gerard Clifford, Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh

“I don’t see any reason why he should resign. He did what he was asked to do as a young priest.

Sean Brady would not have been expected to report to the parents. He passed it onto his bishop. That is the line of responsibility. Acting as notary he was not in a position and could not be seen in a position to contact parents. That was a position that lay with his superiors.”

Martin Ridge, former Garda detective

(He investigated abuse allegations against Father Eugene Green, a priest in the diocese of Raphoe, jailed for 12 years for child sexual abuse.)

“There is so much confusion here, basically where everybody runs when a child is in trouble.

It has taken almost 30 years. Still there is nobody in management held accountable for what happened.

Those files had to be there somewhere. It takes forever it seems for the Church to stand up and say ‘Yes, that happened’.”

John McCourt, abuse victim

“One of the things that was actually said was that there were no Church guidelines back then in child protection, neither were there any civil guidelines.

There is a moral imperative on a priest or any adult who knows that abuse is taking place to report it and, at the very least, to go and inform the families of those concerned that they have suspicions… that the child is being abused.

Cardinal Brady in 2010 said if any of his actions or his failures caused a child to be abused then he would resign. It’s time to stand over that now.”

Seamus Close, former Alliance Party MLA

“Following Cardinal Brady’s silence, following his lack of action, he was elevated to cardinal and regarded as a Prince of the Church… was this a reward for silence?

It’s unbelievable. It is totally and absolutely unacceptable. It’s like a little clique. A little clique protecting each other’s back.”

Aodhan O’Riordan, Labour TD

“If the Church is going to renew itself and have a proper respectable place in Irish society and to accept the damage it has caused to generations of Irish children, then I believe it has to be led by somebody who doesn’t have to look over his shoulder.

Cardinal Brady has to make his statement if he feels he is that person.”

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Cardinal Brady’s statement in full

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BBC News Northern Ireland

02 May 2012

Cardinal Sean Brady

Cardinal Brady was a priest in County Cavan at the time of the investigation

Cardinal Sean Brady has issued his response to the BBC’s This World documentary, The Shame of the Catholic Church.

Here is the full text of his statement.

“On Tuesday 1 May 2012, the BBC ‘This World’ series broadcast a programme entitled ‘The Shame of the Catholic Church’ on the BBC Northern Ireland network. In the course of the programme a number of claims were made which overstate and seriously misrepresent my role in a Church Inquiry in 1975 into allegations against the Norbertine priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

“In response to the programme I wish to draw attention to the following:

“Six weeks before broadcast (15 March 2012) I drew the attention of the programme makers to a number of important facts related to the 1975 Church inquiry into Brendan Smyth, which the programme failed to report and which I now wish to restate for all other media who report on this matter:

  • “To suggest, as the programme does, that I led the investigation of the 1975 Church Inquiry into allegations against Brendan Smyth is seriously misleading and untrue. I was asked by my then Bishop (Bishop Francis McKiernan of the Diocese of Kilmore) to assist others who were more senior to me in this Inquiry process on a one-off basis only;
  • “The documentation of the interview with Brendan Boland, signed in his presence, clearly identifies me as the ‘notary’ or ‘note taker’. Any suggestion that I was other than a ‘notary’ in the process of recording evidence from Mr Boland, is false and misleading;
  • “I did not formulate the questions asked in the Inquiry process. I did not put these questions to Mr Boland. I simply recorded the answers that he gave;
  • “Acting promptly and with the specific purpose of corroborating the evidence provided by Mr Boland, thereby strengthening the case against Brendan Smyth, I subsequently interviewed one of the children identified by Mr Boland who lived in my home diocese of Kilmore. That I conducted this interview on my own is already on the public record. This provided prompt corroboration of the evidence given by Mr Boland;
  • “In 1975 no State or Church guidelines existed in the Republic of Ireland to assist those responding to an allegation of abuse against a minor. No training was given to priests, teachers, police officers or others who worked regularly with children about how to respond appropriately should such allegations be made;
  • “Even according to the State guidelines in place in the Republic of Ireland today, the person who first receives and records the details of an allegation of child abuse in an organisation that works with children is not the person who has responsibility within that organisation for reporting the matter to the civil authorities. This responsibility belongs to the ‘Designated person’ appointed by the organisation and trained to assume that role. In 1975, I would not have been the ‘Designated Person’ according to today’s guidelines. As the Children First State guidelines explain (3.3.1):’Every organisation, both public and private, that is providing services for children or that is in regular direct contact with children should (i) Identify a designated liaison person to act as a liaison with outside agencies and a resource person to any staff member or volunteer who has child protection concerns.(ii) The designated liaison person is responsible for ensuring that the standard reporting procedure is followed, so that suspected cases of child neglect or abuse are referred promptly to the designated person in the HSE Children and Family Services or in the event of an emergency and the unavailability of the HSE, to An Garda Síochána.’;
  • “The commentary in the programme and much of the coverage of my role in this Inquiry gives the impression that I was the only person who knew of the allegations against Brendan Smyth at that time and that because of the office I hold in the Church today I somehow had the power to stop Brendan Smyth in 1975. I had absolutely no authority over Brendan Smyth. Even my Bishop had limited authority over him. The only people who had authority within the Church to stop Brendan Smyth from having contact with children were his Abbot in the Monastery in Kilnacrott and his Religious Superiors in the Norbertine Order. As Monsignor Charles Scicluna, Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith confirmed in an interview with RTÉ this morning, it was Brendan Smyth’s superiors in the Norbertine Order who bear primary responsibility for failing to take the appropriate action when presented with the weight of evidence I had faithfully recorded and that Bishop McKiernan subsequently presented to them;
  • “The following statement from Monsignor Scicluna had been made to the BBC programme makers six weeks in advance of its broadcast but was not acknowledged by them in any way: ‘It is clear to me that in 1975 Fr Brady, now Cardinal Brady, acted promptly and with determination to ensure the allegations being made by the children were believed and acted upon by his superiors. His actions were fully consistent with his duties under canon law. But the power to act effectively to remove Brendan Smyth from priestly ministry lay exclusively with the Abbot of Holy Trinity Abbey in Kilnacrott and his superiors in the Norbertine Order. This is where the sincere efforts of Bishop McKiernan and others like Fr Brady to prevent Brendan Smyth from perpetrating further harm were frustrated, with tragic consequences for the lives of so many children. I know that in his role as President of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Brady has worked tirelessly with his fellow bishops to ensure such a situation could never occur again and that the civil authorities in Ireland are now promptly informed of allegations of abuse against children. We have all learned from the tragic experience of the Church in Ireland but also from the sincere efforts of so many lay faithful, religious, priests and bishops to make the Church in Ireland an example of best practice in safeguarding children.’;
  • “In fact, I was shocked, appalled and outraged when I first discovered in the mid 1990s that Brendan Smyth had gone on to abuse others. I assumed and trusted that when Bishop McKiernan brought the evidence to the Abbot of Kilnacrott that the Abbot would then have dealt decisively with Brendan Smyth and prevented him from abusing others. With others, I feel betrayed that those who had the authority in the Church to stop Brendan Smyth failed to act on the evidence I gave them. However, I also accept that I was part of an unhelpful culture of deference and silence in society, and the Church, which thankfully is now a thing of the past;
  • “As to other children named in the evidence recorded during the Inquiry process, I had no further involvement in the Inquiry process once I handed over the evidence taken. I trusted that those with the authority to act in relation to Brendan Smyth would treat the evidence seriously and respond appropriately. I had no such authority to act and even by today’s guidance from the State I was not the person who had the role of bringing the allegations received to the attention of the civil authorities. I was also acutely aware that I had no authority in Church law in relation to Brendan Smyth or any other aspect of the Inquiry process;
  • “Today, Church policy in Ireland is to report allegations of abuse to the civil authorities. It recognises the Gardai and HSE as those with responsibility for investigating such allegations and that any Church investigation should not take place until the investigation by the civil authorities has been completed. I have fully supported this policy and have worked with my fellow Bishops and the leaders of Religious Congregations to put this policy in place;
  • “The programme made reference to a statement I made in the course of an RTE interview in which I suggested that if my failure to act on an allegation of abuse against a child led to further children being abused, that I would then consider resigning from my position. The programme failed to point out, however, that I gave this answer in response to a question specifically about someone in a position of ‘Management’, someone who was already a Bishop or Religious Superior with ultimate responsibility for managing a priest against whom an allegation has been made. In 1975, I was not a Bishop. I was not in that role. It was misleading of the BBC programme to apply my response to the RTE interview on a completely different situation to my role in the 1975 Inquiry.

“It is my view that the ‘This World’ programme has set out to deliberately exaggerate and misrepresent my role in these events. The programme suggested that no response to their questions had been provided before the programme was completed, whereas in fact a comprehensive response had been provided to the programme six weeks in advance and only days after the ‘door-stepping’ interview with me in Limerick.

“I deeply regret that those with the authority and responsibility to deal appropriately with Brendan Smyth failed to do so, with tragic and painful consequences for those children he so cruelly abused. I also deeply regret that no guidelines from the State or the Church were available to guide the sincere and serious effort made to respond to the allegations made by the two boys interviewed in the Inquiry process. With many others who worked regularly with children in 1975, I regret that our understanding of the full impact of abuse on the lives of children as well as the pathology and on-going risk posed by a determined paedophile was so inadequate. It is important to acknowledge that today both the Church and the State have proper and robust procedures in place to respond to allegations of abuse against children. I fully support these new procedures which include the obligation to report such allegations promptly to the civil authorities. I have worked with others in the Church to put these new procedures in place and I look forward to continuing that vital work in the years ahead.”

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Fresh claims put pressure on Cardinal Brady

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BBC News Norther Ireland

01 May 2012

By Andy Martin BBC News

Cardinal Brady became the Catholic Primate of all-Ireland in 1996, but the appointment that may define his career was made 21 years earlier.

As a Bishop’s secretary in 1975, he was tasked with investigating a complaint of sexual abuse made against a fellow priest, the man who would later be exposed as Ireland’s most prolific paedophile, Fr Brendan Smyth.

The manner in which he handled that internal church inquiry has come under intense scrutiny in a BBC ‘This World’ investigation.

John B Brady was born near Laragh, County Cavan in 1939, one of three children.

He attended St Patrick’s College in Cavan before entering the seminary at Maynooth.

On his ordination he returned to Cavan to teach in his old school, and acted as a part-time secretary to the Bishop of Kilmore, the late Bishop Francis McKiernan.

It was in this role that he was asked to deal with the allegations against Brendan Smyth.

A child from Belfast, 14-year-old Brendan Boland, had been taken by Smyth on numerous trips around Ireland.

His deeply-religious parents believed it a privilege to have their son looked so favourably upon by a priest.

Sexual abuse

In fact Smyth was driving the boy and other children to various guesthouses, where he subjected them to sustained sexual abuse.

When Brendan Boland summoned the courage to tell a local priest about the abuse, that priest immediately drove him to his parents’ home.

When his father heard about what his son had endured, he ran into the garden and vomited.

The same priest then drove the boy to tell Smyth’s superior, the Bishop of Kilmore.

At his house in Cavan the allegation was levelled, and an internal Church investigation ordered.

Cardinal Brady’s part in that Clerical inquiry remained secret until March 2010.

Following two major and damning reports into the handling of clerical abuse in Ireland, it emerged that Ireland’s most senior Catholic Priest had himself been involved in a process in which sex abuse was kept from the civil authorities.

At the time Cardinal Brady described his role in the Brendan Smyth investigation as that of a “note-taker”.

He and two other priests questioned Brendan Boland at length, and were keen to point out that his parents had accompanied the child to the interview.

What actually happened during that inquiry has now been exposed by reporter Darragh McIntyre, who has uncovered the full extent of Cardinal Brady’s involvement.

McIntyre has seen the hand-written notes made and signed by “Father John B Brady” during the course of the interview with Brendan Boland.

Many people will find the nature of the questions put to the child to be shocking.

While it is true that the abused boy’s father travelled with him to the interview, he was not allowed inside the room while his son was questioned.

Nor did Brendan Boland feel able to tell his father about what had taken place, as he was sworn to secrecy, upon the Bible, before leaving.

The Cardinal was interviewed about his role in the affair when it came to light in 2010.

When questioned he said, “I think I would resign” if it emerged that anything he had done had allowed the abuse of children to continue.

He claimed that he had “acted effectively to establish the grounds to remove Brendan Smyth”.

However, McIntyre’s BBC investigation reveals that the teenage victim, Brendan Boland, had also told the then Father Brady and his colleagues, about other children who were being abused by Smyth.

He even furnished the investigating priest and his colleagues with their names and addresses.

Father Brady interviewed one of those boys, who corroborated each of Brendan Boland’s claims before being sworn to secrecy.

Father Brady however, failed to inform any parent of the children in the group that they had been abused. Nor were the police told of Smyth’s crimes against them.

The result was that Brendan Smyth remained free to abuse another boy identified by Brendan Boland.

His sister and four cousins also remained exposed to Smyth, who continued to attack them over the course of the following 13 years.

Investigation

Sean Brady may have been selected for the investigation of the matter because he was a Canon lawyer. In the years that followed, his career within the Church went from strength to strength.

In 1980, he was appointed Vice-Rector of the Irish College in Rome, becoming Rector in 1987.

He then returned to Ireland to become the Parish Priest of Castletara, in County Cavan.

In 1995, he was ordained Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, and a year later succeeded Cardinal Cahal Daly, to become Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of all-Ireland.

In 2007, the current Pope Benedict announced that Archbishop Brady was to be made a Cardinal.

There has only been one previous occasion on which a Cardinal has been forced to resign over the issue of clerical sexual abuse.

In 2002, Cardinal Bernard Law was forced to step down as Archbishop of Boston. He was however, subsequently made the archpriest of one of Rome’s most important basilicas.

The Catholic Church has said that the “sole purpose of the oath” signed by Brendan Boland in Cardinal Brady’s presence was “To give greater force and integrity to the evidence given by Mr Boland against any counter claim by Fr Brendan Smyth”.

The Church also points out that in 1975 “no State or Church guidelines for responding to allegations of child abuse existed in Ireland.”

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