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Major reforms are needed in the Catholic Church

Malachi O'Doherty is right to say that Cardinal Brady's position is now untenable (March 16).

Brady has been under pressure to resign since it became known that he was a party to an interview with a paedophile priest and two victims back in the 1970s in which the victims were sworn to silence.

When asked about his actions with regard to serial child-abuser Fr Brendan Smyth, Brady said: "I did act, and act effectively, in that inquiry to produce the grounds for removing Fr Smyth from ministry and specifically it was underlined that he was not to hear confessions and that was very important."

Brady wanted Smyth removed from the confessional. Why was that "very important"? The implication is clear - the confessional is the place where Smyth was able to indulge in his paedophile activities and get control of his young victims. If Brady has had his doubts about the practice of confession and the opportunities it allows to paedophiles, has he done anything about those doubts, other than shunt priests around to other parishes?

Brady is refusing to resign because he says that he did nothing wrong.

He claims that he did all that could be expected of him - and that did not include telling the police about cases of child-rape! Many people in Ireland are calling for his resignation. Malachi O'Doherty agrees. So does the Belfast Humanist Group.

Major reforms are needed to transform the Catholic church from an organisation conducive to paedophiles into one which can be trusted by parents.


Chair, Belfast Humanist Group


From Belfast Telegraph