Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Resignation of Brady will make little difference

THE resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady will do little to heal the pain of those abused by Brendan Smyth.

At the heart of the inappropriate handling of the abuse scandal was a fatal flaw in the way the Catholic Church was organised and saw itself – not the acts of particular bishops, which were symptomatic of a deeper malaise.

The mode of selection of bishops was, and remains, unfit for purpose. The search for a safe pair of hands to fulfil the bishop's role kills the enthusiasm and drive of many priests. Cardinal Brady was a man of his times, deeply trusting of the institutional Church to get things right. What he did was inexcusable, but driven by the belief that God guided that institution in all it did.

Thankfully, the present Pope is more focused on what the Church can learn, rather than on what it can teach.

PHILIP O'NEILL

Oxford

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