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Parents should have been warned: Cardinal Seán Brady

Catholic Church leader apologises to abuse victims and says he regrets “very much” that parents of children at risk weren’t informed.

Cardinal Sean Brady.
Cardinal Sean Brady.
Image: PA Images

CARDINAL SEÁN BRADY has made a public apology to the victims of sex abuser Brendan Smyth.

A BBC programme recently revealed that a child who had made allegations of abuse against Smyth had given a Catholic Church inquiry the names and addresses of other children at risk. It transpired that their parents were never warned about the danger facing their children from Smyth. Cardinal Brady acted as a notary during the 1975 inquiry.

The revelations sparked a spate of calls for Brady’s resignation from victims of clerical abuse, from other priests in Ireland, and from members of government.

Today, Brady told RTÉ News that the parents should have been informed.

Brady was attending a pilgrimage this weekend in preparation for the Eucharistic Congress, which Ireland is hosting this summer.

The events of the last week and the events of 37 years ago featured repeatedly in his thoughts during the pilgrimage, he said, and “it brought home to me a new realisation once more of the enormity of child sexual abuse.”

“I once again want to apologise to all victims [and] those who have suffered.”

He also apologised directly to Brendan Boland, who said he had given the inquiry the names of other children at risk. Brady also offered to meet Boland to offer his apology in person.

The Primate of All Ireland said that the parents of abuse victims should have been informed. ”I regret very much that they weren’t,” he added. The fact they weren’t informed led to further pain and trauma for the children, he acknowledged.

He said he felt let down himself that Brendan Smyth wasn’t curtailed from abusing again, which he said he thought would have happened. “But we are now where we are – we must concentrate on the present and make sure that such terrible events never happen again.”

Responding to calls for his resignation, he said he’d heard the calls for him to step down, but that he had received “many many calls from people who want me to stay”. He said he would leave if the Holy See offered any suggestion he should do so.

Brady never offered his resignation to the Vatican – Catholic Church >

‘Where’s the humanity?’ – prominent theologian says Cardinal Brady should resign >

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