Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Cardinal's contrition was just 'a publicity stunt'

Your columnist Alf McCreary feels that I went "too far" in criticising Cardinal Sean Brady's period of reflection as "nothing more than a stunt" (Review, May 29).

I do not believe there was even the remotest possibility that Cardinal Brady would resign as a result of his role in an investigation into Brendan Smyth in 1975.

Therefore, I can only conclude that his 'period of reflection' was a publicity stunt, an exercise merely in 'being seen to do something'. The victims of abuse he met publicly all told him to resign. He claims that he met some other victims privately who, very conveniently, told him to stay in office.

I have asked publicly: did Sean Brady ever worry about the welfare and well-being of the two boys he had interviewed in 1975? Has he made any attempt to reach out to them and express sorrow for what they suffered?

Also, did he never wonder what Smyth was up to since 1975? How can Cardinal Brady live with the fact that many other young lives were devastated by Smyth's actions since 1975?

Cardinal Brady has nothing to say in answer to those questions. Unlike Bishop Jim Moriarty, there was no danger whatsoever that he would accept some responsibility for what he had been party to in the past.

Had he had the courage to resign, he could have demonstrated that the institution of the Catholic Church is, at last, beginning to grasp and acknowledge the profound spiritual harm inflicted on victims of abuse by priests.

Then he could have, with some credibility, presented himself as 'a wounded healer'.

FR PATRICK McCAFFERTY

Rathmines, Dublin

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