Catholic Church torn as pressure mounts on Cardinal to ‘consider his position’Friday, May 4th, 2012
A leading Catholic commentator has suggested that Cardinal Seán Brady, “should consider his position.”
Writing in yesterday’s Irish Independent, David Quinn said the Primate of All Ireland had to ask himself, “whether he is a net asset or a net liability to the church in terms of its moral standing in the eyes of society.” However, another well-known commentator, Fr Brendan Purcell, defended the Cardinal, saying he should not resign.
“To ask Cardinal Brady to resign now on the basis of what he did strikes me as over the top,” he told ciNews, “because he did no more than any Minister of Health, any Superintendent, any psychiatrist or any public servant would have done in 1975.”
Fr Purcell said the Cardinal Brady believed Brendan Boland when he interviewed him, and the second boy he interviewed.
“Lots of others [victims] were not believed by clerics. Here was a guy who took them seriously.”
Yesterday in his column, David Quinn accepted that the standard of behaviour being asked of the Cardinal over the 1975 case where Cardinal Brady said he acted as note taker was even higher than those currently being applied in the Children First guidelines that are shortly to become statutory.
Today, when an allegation is made of abuse, whoever hears of it must pass it along the line to the designated person whose responsibility it then becomes to deal with it. This, in effect, is what Cardinal Brady did, but according to Mr Quinn, his moral authority has been damaged.
“Cardinal Brady may think it is very unfair that in the present hostile media climate he has no realistic chance of restoring his good name. But fair or not, if he cannot find some way to persuade the public that he acted properly back in 1975, and then it is going to be extremely hard for him to exercise his office effectively.”
A comment piece in yesterday’s Irish Daily Mail, said that if Cardinal Brady were to resign he would, “be making a real and meaningful gesture, an effective acknowledgement, of institutional guilt.” However Fr Purcell said there is, “no such thing as institutional guilt. There is ‘individual guilt.”
He also criticised Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s call for Cardinal Brady to resign, saying that it was ironic to see a Labour Minister who often spoke of the separation of Church and State, “interfering with the Church by saying the Cardinal should go.”
by Susan Gately