Cardinal apologises to abuse victim but refuses to step down07/05/2012 - 20:10:30
The leader of the Catholic church in Ireland has apologised to a victim of paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.
Brendan Boland was among those targeted by the predatory sex attacker in 1975.
Primate Cardinal Seán Brady said he had no intention of resigning, despite pressure from those who believe the then relatively junior cleric did not do enough once concerns about Fr Smyth were raised with him.
Dr Brady said there had also been “many many calls from people who want me to stay on.”
But he said he hoped a coadjutor – with succession rights – would be appointed to his archdiocese as soon as possible.
A BBC documentary has uncovered new revelations about an internal church investigation into clerical child sex abuse in 1975.
It said a teenage boy who had been sexually abused by Fr Brendan Smyth gave the names and addresses of other children who were at risk from the paedophile priest to Cardinal Brady, then a 36-year-old priest.
He passed the allegations to his superiors but did not inform police or the children’s parents.
Fr Smyth continued to sexually assault one of the boys for a year after that.
He also abused the boy’s sister for seven years, and four of his cousins, up until 1988.
Dr Brady said he now realised that the parents of children who were being abused by Brendan Smyth should have been informed about the allegations of abuse being made against him.
“Definitely the parents should have been informed. That’s quite clear,” he said.
Dr Brady said he apologised without hesitation to Brendan Boland, and to all survivors of abuse.
He said he would also like to personally apologise to Mr Boland, and hoped to do so in the future.
He said he intended to remain on as primate “until I’m 75, or unless the Holy See indicated it didn’t want me to stay”.
The cardinal said there was absolutely no indication from the Holy See that it wanted him to resign.