Married Catholic priest to out others

Share Button

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.”

Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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

Share Button

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


Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Share Button

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.”

Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Share Button

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)

Tagged , | 6 Comments

Cardinal Brady revelations: reaction

Share Button

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.”

Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Cardinal Brady’s statement in full

Share Button

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.”

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fresh claims put pressure on Cardinal Brady

Share Button

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.


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.”

Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Appeal tomorrow

Share Button

Father Raymond Marie Laovie‘s appeal of his three year sentence for the sex abuse of 11 boys will be heard tomorrow (02 May 2012) at the Édifice Ernest-Cormier, the Quebec Court of appeal in Quebec City, Quebec.  I am sure there will be no decision rendered, but am interested in the arguments.  If anyone hears or sees anything would you please pass it along?

Please keep these victims in your prayers.

Enough for now,


Posted in Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Scandal | Tagged | Leave a comment

Details of abuse given to inquiry, says victim

Share Button

The Irish Times

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

GERRY MORIARTY, Northern Editor

A VICTIM of late paedophile priest Brendan Smyth has stated he gave information to a Catholic Church inquiry team that included Fr Seán Brady – now Cardinal Brady – about how Smyth had abused other children.

Brendan Boland (51), from Co Louth, said this information was not passed on to the parents of these children, two of whom continued to be abused by the serial child sex abuser.

Smyth continued to abuse one particular Belfast boy a year after Mr Boland had given information about this abuse to a church inquiry, it was claimed last night. Three priests, including canonical lawyer Fr Brady – now the Catholic primate, Cardinal Brady – conducted that 1975 inquiry.

Details of this abuse and how such details were not passed on to the children’s parents or to gardaí are contained in a BBC’s This World documentary, The Shame of the Catholic Church, broadcast last night on BBC Northern Ireland. It is to be rebroadcast tonight on BBC 2.

Mr Boland recounted to programme reporter Darragh McIntyre how, as a 12-year-old, he was sexually abused by Smyth. He had reported this to a local priest, who informed the church authorities and Mr Boland’s parents.

This in turn led to the 1975 canonical inquiry, in which Mr Boland was questioned alone by the three priests while his father remained outside the interview room. After making his allegations, Mr Boland said he was asked to swear on a Bible that what he said was true and that he would “speak to no one about this meeting, only to authorised priests”. He agreed to this.

The abuse Smyth perpetrated took place during car trips the priest brought the young Mr Boland and other children on. Mr Boland said he had told the priests about the abuse and about five other children Smyth had taken with him on these car trips.

He said: “I’d given them the names of the other children that were with me on the trips. There was a boy from Belfast – I gave them his name and address. There was a girl from Belfast – I gave them her name and address. There was a girl from Cavan – I gave them her name and address. And there was another boy from Cavan – I gave them his name and address. And there was another boy that was his friend.”

Mr Boland told the inquiry he knew at least two of the boys were being abused by Smyth – the Belfast boy and a boy from Cavan.

McIntyre said he had spoken to all the children identified by Mr Boland to the inquiry. He discovered four of them had been abused by Smyth and two continued to be abused after the inquiry. “They all say that, to the best of their knowledge, their families were not warned in any way about Smyth,” said McIntyre.

Furthermore, according to the programme, Smyth later abused the sister of the Belfast boy for seven years, and abused four of his first cousins for a period up to 1988.

The Belfast victim, now middle-aged, spoke to the programme. His name was not disclosed and his face was shielded. “Nobody came to our house,” he said. “They should have came to our house and warned our family, or my parents, and said, ‘Look, this is what’s happening, this man is involved in this. We would strictly advise you to keep him away from the house,’” he added.

After the 1975 inquiry, a report was presented to the late bishop of Kilmore, Francis Mac Kiernan. Smyth, a member of the Norbertine Order in Cavan, was later forbidden to hear confession and barred from certain duties. Police were told nothing and Smyth continued to abuse.

Smyth was jailed, first in 1994 in Northern Ireland, and later in the Republic, for his crimes of sex abuse of children over 40 years. He died in prison in 1997.

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Story of ‘ladies man’ priest turned molester unfolds in court

Share Button

Posted: Tue, May. 1, 2012, 12:07 PM

By Joseph A. Slobodzian


Young and darkly handsome, Sylvester Wiejata had an eye for the ladies, especially married ones.

Problem was, Wiejata was a priest.

This morning a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury listened to the grand jury testimony of Msgr. William J. Lynn as he tried to explain his alleged failure to act as Wiejata’s sexual overtures went from married women to single women in their 20s and, ultimately in August 2000, allegations that he had fondled the 13-year-old daughter of a woman with whom he had an affair.

As secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, Lynn, 61, was the Archdiocesan official responsible for investigating allegations of sexual abuse by priests. Charged with endangering the welfare of children. He is the first Catholic church official to be criminally prosecuted in a landmark trial focusing on the sexual abuse of children by some priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

Lynn had denied the charge that his alleged inaction enabled deviate priests to continue preying on children and his lawyers have argued that he was the first church official here to move against priests against whom there were years of record allegations of sexual misconduct.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington today read to the jury Lynn’s testimony before the county investigating grand jury about the Wiejata case in an apparent effort to show that Lynn, like his predecessors, was more interested in protecting the church’s reputation than the welfare of Wiejata’s alleged victims.

Wiejata, now 42, was defrocked by the church in March 2002, just six years after his ordination. According to trial testimony, Wiejata began an affair with a married woman at his first parish assignment, Our Lady of Calvary in Philadelphia. Moved to the Assumption B.V.M. parish in West Grove in Chester County, the young priest promptly began a new affair with another married parishioner.

Lynn, in his testimony before the grand jury, described how Wiejata was removed from the Assumption church in 1999 and became a patient at St. John Vianney Hospital in Downingtown, the church-run facility for priests with sexual or substance-abuse problems.

But after eight months of treatment, Lynn’s testimony revealed, the church official was getting new complaints that Wiejata’s “sexual acting-out” had taken a disturbing new turn.

In May 2000, Lynn told the grand jury that he got a phone call from a theological professor who accused Wiejata of acting inappropriately with the professor’s 20- and 21-year-old daughters during a dinner at his house. The professor said that Wiejata asked the young women to sit in his lap and then told one that he dreamed of her and kissing her.

In August 2000, Lynn told the grand jury, he received an anonymous call from a woman, who said she knew of Wiejata history because she had an affair with him. She said that she came home and discovered Wiejata there fondling and kissing her 13-year-old daughter.

In his testimony before the grand jury, Lynn struggled to explain to the prosecutor why he did not try to discover the child’s identity and why he did not consider calling the police. Although his phone memo notes had the name of a person named “Pat” on the pad, Lynn insisted that he did not know if this was the name of the anonymous caller.

Lynn said he did not contact the West Grove parish to see if the name matched with anyone who attended the Assumption church. Nor did he call police, telling the grand jury prosecutor that “I wasn’t thinking in terms of a crime.” Lynn also told the grand jury that he had doubts about the caller’s credibility because she admitted to an affair with Wiejata. “I thought she might be vindictive,” he said.

Still, Lynn ordered Wiejata — then still on administrative leave from the ministry — to come to his offices on Aug. 4, 2000 and, with an aide taking notes, confronted Wiejata who ultimately admitted to fondling the 13-year-old girl.

Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985,, or follow him on Twitter @JoeSlobo

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment