5 Dec 2010

Irish Cardinal who helped cover-up abuse by serial child rapist priest says he will not resign

Belfast Telegraph - May 18, 2010

Cardinal Sean Brady: I will not resign over abuse scandals

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland will not be standing down despite the furore over his role in the cover-up of notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Cardinal Sean Brady last night confirmed he has asked Pope Benedict to appoint another bishop in the archdiocese of Armagh to help him implement child protection procedures.

Officially confirming he does not intend to resign, the 70-year-old Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland said he would continue “the vital work of healing, repentance and renewal, including engagement with survivors of abuse”.

In a statement, he said additional support would enable him to meet “the many other challenges and opportunities which confront the Diocese of Armagh and the church”.

He also welcomed the Elliott Report, which showed 2,356 individuals have been trained and are now acting as child safeguarding representatives in parishes across the country.

A review of child-protection policies at Catholic dioceses in Northern Ireland — including the Diocese of Raphoe — is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The board said it was committed to a nationwide audit of all church authorities and the first phase would be completed by December.

The former Bishop of Raphoe, Seamus Hegarty, has been challenged to account for his handling of clerical child abuse allegations during his time in office between 1982 and 1994.

Child rapist Fr Eugene Greene served as a priest in several |parishes in Donegal under Bishop Hegarty.

The review will cover the 186 church authorities, including 26 dioceses and 160 religious orders, congregations and missionary societies.

“The review itself, because it is of such a major task, will be divided into phases,” the head of the National Board for Safeguarding Children, Ian Elliot, said.

“We will begin with the dioceses. We will divide the diocese into four phases which will be roughly equivalent with the four metropolitan areas.”

The dioceses in Northern Ireland include Raphoe, Down and Connor, Dromore, Armagh, Derry and Clogher.

Mr Elliott stressed the findings would be made public.

“It is our firm recommendation that all of the findings and recommendations from the reviews should be placed in the public domain,” he said.

The bishops are due to meet in June.

It is expected they will confirm Northern Ireland will be the first region to be audited.

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