Belfast Telegraph

Pope should have made Irish visit after abuse claims

The Pope himself should have come to Ireland himself following the allegations of child abuse by Irish priests in the 1970s, it has been claimed.

The call came from a contributor to a radio debate in the wake of last night's revelations that Cardinal Sean Brady knew of cases of abuse by a priests like Father Brendan Smyth.

A BBC investigation found that Cardinal Brady, the primate of all-Ireland, had the names and addresses of those being abused by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth, but did not ensure their safety.

The investigation centres on a secret church inquiry in 1975 when a 14-year-old boy, Brendan Boland was questioned about abuse.

In 1975, Cardinal Brady was a priest and teacher in County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland, when he was sent by his bishop to investigate a claim of child sexual abuse by a fellow priest, later exposed as Ireland's most prolific paedophile, Father Smyth.

During today's Nolan Show, callers said the programme threw up a whole series of new questions into the inactivity of the Catholic Church to stop and prevent further abuse.

One caller said "the Pope himself should have come to Ireland" to investigate the claims, instead of sending the emissary which the caller claimed treated the Irish government with contempt when questions were asked.

One man, a Roman Catholic, said he was "absolutely and utterly ashamed" with his church and called for the resignation of the Cardinal.

"Brady needs to go, for the good of the church and for Roman Catholics and I'm utterly ashamed.

"This goes all the way back to the Pope himself and I hope the Holy Spirits reds out the whole lot of them from the church.

"I love my church and its sacraments but we are not stupid and we are not taking it anymore," he said.

"There are 1.2billion Catholics around the world controlled by a single person - the Pope and the reason they have made no response is because they can't answer it, the whole thing is so condemning.

"My faith has been so gravely damaged by this, and other faiths, whatever they are, Christian other whatever, must be thinking the Catholic Church is stuffed it up to its neck in mugs."

A woman who said she left the Catholic Church said the Cardinal was answerable to a higher authority.

"I was so angered to watch last night how these people suffered and he should have made sure these children were protected and that their parents knew.

"The first person he is answerable is to God and I think a whole lot of hypocrisy is going on here, no wonder I left it," she said.

A woman said in the hierarchy of organisations, it was up to junior personnel, as Brady was as a junior priest at the time of the allegations, to go to his senior management, as she would have done when she was a junior nurse.

"That's just the way it is done and you will not get junior people going straight to the police; they would go to their manager for them to take it further."

Another caller said it was a "disgraceful" thing to say and couldn't believe she had the audacity to make such a comment on air.

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