18/05/2010

Bishop Holds On Despite 'Abuse' Link

It emerged today that the Catholic Primate of all Ireland Dr Sean Brady will not step down until his 75th birthday.

That's in four years time and is despite him facing increasing pressure to resign over his role in an investigation of clerical abuse.

The cardinal has admitted that he was present when children signed vows of silence over allegations against a paedophile priest in 1975.

However, he has now asked for a Vatican inspection of child protection procedures to include Armagh diocese and for an additional bishop to be appointed in the diocese.

His comments followed the publication of the Annual Report of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

It found that nearly 200 new allegations of abuse have been reported to the Catholic Church's child protection watchdog since April 2009.

In a statement released on Monday night, the head of the Catholic Church said he has asked the Pope for this extra help to push through measures to deal with the sex scandal.

It is thought that will mean that a Bishop will be appointed to work alongside him.

"In the years that remain to me as Archbishop of Armagh, I am fully committed to building on the substantial progress made in child safeguarding in recent years and to working to bring about the healing, repentance and renewal set out for the Church in Ireland by Pope Benedict XVI," the statement read.

"I am fully committed to the path that as a Church we must take to the truth that will set us free."

Dr Brady has continued to resist calls for him to step down after he confirmed he was present at a meeting where two teenagers abused by paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth were asked to take a vow of silence.

The then Fr Brady was a part-time secretary to the late Bishop Francis McKiernan when he interviewed the young victims who were made to sign the oath of secrecy.

On St Patrick's Day, the Cardinal said he would reflect on his position and the best way forward for the Church.

In Monday's statement, he added: "I want to thank all those whom I have met over recent weeks as part of my own reflection on the next steps we might take.

"I listened firstly to those who are survivors of abuse. Some of these meetings were made known to the public while others were held in private at the request of those I was meeting.

"I thank them all for their generosity and courage in sharing their experiences and their wide variety of views with me," he said, but has continued to refuse to resign.

Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 September 2019
Govt Extends Abhaile Mortgage Scheme
A scheme that helps those in mortgage arrears has been extended for another three years with €24.7 million of funding, the Government has said.
05 September 2019
Homeless Charity Demands Policy Review
Homeless charity Focus Ireland has called on the Government to urgently review its policies to tackle the homelessness crisis as new figures reveal a total of 10,275 people were officially homeless in July.
17 January 2019
Initiative Launched To Study Affect Of Parental Alcohol Abuse On Children
A new initiative has been launched to highlight the impacts of parental alcohol misuse on children. The project called 'Silent Voices' aims to promote an understanding of the issue and develop a support mechanism for those affected.
24 April 2013
Church Watchdog Critical Of Former Bishop's Handling Of Abuse Claims
A former bishop has been criticised after a report was published into claims of child abuse allegations and the behaviour of priests. The National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBCS) in the Catholic Church has published audits of many dioceses. Dr Joseph Duffy said he regretted the management of some cases.
28 August 2019
Pressure On Garda To Step Up Operations Following Drogheda Feud Murder
The shooting dead of a man in a caravan park in County Louth on Tuesday has sparked calls for Garda to step up operations aimed at tackling an ongoing feud in Drogheda. Gardaí are appealing for information in relation the murder which saw a number of shots fired in a caravan park on the Clogherhead to Termonfeckin Road.