Cardinal did not try to resign in 2010Saturday, May 5th, 2012
Cardinal Seán Brady did not offer to step down as Primate of All Ireland two years ago, according to a statement released yesterday by the Catholic Communications Office.
Yesterday in its lead article, the Irish Independent claimed that the Cardinal had requested permission to resign in 2010, but the Vatican refused because it had no idea of who could replace him.
However a statement to the press yesterday, on behalf of Cardinal Brady, said that the Cardinal had requested episcopal support on May 17 2010.
“No such offer of resignation was made. “ This offer of episcopal support had been put on hold pending the outcome of the Apostolic Visitation, but said the statement, “it has now been reactivated.”
Yesterday, amid a media frenzy, pressure mounted on Cardinal Brady to resign. A ten-minute poll on a popular phone-in radio programme saw very little support for Cardinal Brady, with just 20% saying he should stay on.
Three Labour party government ministers and the deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland have called for his resignation, which has led to criticism by some clergy that the ministers have been trying to hound the Cardinal out of office, a claim denied by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore yesterday.
On a Primetime programme on Thursday night, retired Professor of Moral Theology Fr Vincent Twomey, said the Cardinal had lost his moral authority as head of the Irish church.
"For the good of the church, I'm afraid I am of the opinion that should resign."
However, other members of the clergy have backed the Cardinal and said he should stay. Fr Joe McDonald, from Johnstown, Killiney who was himself abused and could therefore speak, “in solidarity with Brendan [Boland] and others” [victims of abuse], said Dr Brady should be given, “the benefit of the doubt” and stay on.
He himself worked for 25 years in a school setting, much of that time counselling boys, and he was constantly asked by the boys to assure them, “my parents won’t find out, the headmaster won’t find out.”
“If you weren’t able to give that assurance, they wouldn’t have come back the next week,” he added. He said that idea that back in 1975, the then Fr Seán Brady would take the notes and then bring them to the parents was, “an unreasonable expectation and to call for his resignation is unfair.”
Both Fr McDonald and Fr Vincent Twomey agreed that Cardinal Brady needed calm to make his decision. Fr McDonald said the language used towards Cardinal Brady was very, “secular” telling him for example his position is “no longer tenable.”
“The Cardinal is not an elected representative,” he said adding he had difficulty with the, “increased pressure, hyped up hour by hour, a real tsunami of pressure” being heaped on the Primate.
Yesterday another victim of Fr Brendan Smyth, a woman who was horrifically abused by the cleric during his time in the States, added her voice to those calling for the Cardinal’s resignation. Helen McGonigle, an US lawyer accused Cardinal Brady of only thinking in terms of canon law and said there should be a public criminal investigation.
by Susan Gately