Belfast Telegraph

Cardinal sin means he must go

By Gail Walker

Why doesn't he just go? Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Martin McGuinness and, crucially, the people want Cardinal Sean Brady to resign. But His Eminence hangs on. Desperately. Counting angels on the top of the pin. A mere humble note taker, he says he did nothing wrong during the investigation into paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth.

Actually, he did absolutely nothing (apart from forcing Smyth's victims to keep their testimony silent, of course) and consequently many children were raped, abused and forced to endure the anguish of the damned. The investigating panel must have known this was a possible outcome, but instead it seems the policy was to let Smyth go on his merry way and hope for the best.

Did they inform the police about the alleged abuse? No. Did they inform parents of the victims? No.

Did they warn the congregations of parishes that Smyth was shipped to that a child rapist was in their midst? No.

That's why whether Cardinal Brady was merely a fancy stenographer or a clerical Columbo is a red herring. Every single member of that panel were adults with clear cut moral responsibilities. If you or I knew of an evil child rapist and sat on our hands, we'd deserve a lifetime of guilt and sleepless nights.

And, yes, judgement by our fellow man. By the same criteria, so does the Catholic heirarchy. They flunked the most basic of moral tests for the reputation of the Church. Well, look at that reputation today.

We're now hearing bizarre arguments from diehards - such as that nobody knew about the seriousness of paedophilia in the 1970s, which is strange since a glance at newspapers of the period shows many a nonce going to prison. Or that the Church is a fallen giant which has suffered enough. To which one can only offer sad silence ...

Little wonder the people want anyone smeared - even indirectly - with this filth out of public life. After all the ecclesiastic umming and ah-ing and contextualising (isn't it strange to see such an absolutist church reaching for the merits of relativism?) there's no justification for the Church's masterly inactivity over Brendan Smyth.

And that's why His Eminence has to go.

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